SWINDON has been handed a £19.5m boost by the chancellor this afternoon.

The news means a transformation of the Health Hydro, as well as work on the Tented Market, the Carriage Works and Kimmerfields can go ahead.

Rishi Sunak’s Budget announcement revealed Swindon Borough Council will receive almost four-fifths of the Towns Fund money it bid for.

But an application for £5.5million to help regenerate the David Murray John Tower has not been funded by the government. 

Council leader David Renard said: “I’m absolutely delighted that our bid was successful. 

“It shows the bids which were agreed through the Towns Fund Board were very strong because they were funded, and the feedback we had from government was very good. 

“It is very encouraging to get support from the government like this. We shall have something like £4m for improving the Health Hydro and money for the Kimmerfields development.” 

Coun Renard was not discouraged by the decision not to fund regenerating  the DMJ tower block in the town centre. 

He said: “The money we bid for would have only been a contribution to the whole project - and I think the government felt it wanted to fund whole projects rather than simply make a contribution to larger one.” 

Ambitious plans for the Health Hydro include reopening the small pool. Millions will also be spent on fitting out the Carriage Works for Create Studios, finding a new use for the closed Brunel Centre tented market, and enabling work at the Kimmerfields development. 

Cabinet member for the town centre, culture and heritage Dale Heenan said: “I am delighted Swindon has secured £19.5m more from Rishi Sunak and the government today. In the last two years we have secured more than £100m for improving our town centre;  the biggest investment since the original town centre was created in the 1960s. 

“The council doesn't own 99 per cent of the shops and buildings, but our plans are showing visible progress. A crane is already on the Swindon skyline, and today's money will ensure everyone can expect to see many more things happening.  

Coun Heenan also is leading plans to create a new cultural quarter at the Kimmerfields  development,  include a new, bigger Wyvern Theatre and a new home for Swindon Art Gallery and Museum. 

He saw an opportunity to bid for more money in the Chancellor’s speech.

Coun Heenan added: “The new levelling-up fund also announced sounds ideal for funding the needed new Wyvern Theatre and Cultural Quarter.

“Exciting times are ahead with a very positive future for Swindon.”