Plans to turn Swindon’s former museum and art gallery into a restaurant and workspace have been submitted.

Arthur Dallimer has submitted a proposal to Swindon Borough Council which sets out his future vision for Apsley House.

The 28-year-old is seeking permission to create a 90-seat restaurant on the corner of Bath Road and Victoria Road, along with two new retail units on the ground floor and a co-working/meeting space for businesses on the first floor.

If approved, work to upgrade retail units at the top of Victoria Road, which forms part of Apsley House, would also be carried out.

The revamp could be finished as soon as September 2024.

Mr Dallimer said: “I’m hopeful these plans will be welcomed by local planning authority.

“Swindon to crying out for investment to improve its heritage assets.

“I was born and brought up here and I want to create something we are all proud of, which benefits the residents and the economy of Old Town.

“My intention is to make this a go-to venue for our vibrant community.”

Swindon Advertiser: Arthur DallimerArthur Dallimer (Image: Fiona Scott)

Built in 1830 as the home of surgeon Charles Axford, Apsley House changed hands a few times before becoming the home of the Toomer family in 1870.

The Toomers, who made their wealth as coal merchants, stayed there for more than 50 years before the local authority took charge of the building and added a modern extension in the 1960s.

Swindon Borough Council decided to close the Grade II-listed building in September 2021 because they considered it to be unviable.

All of its exhibits were removed by March 2022, and the site was put up for sale four months later.

Mr Dallimer added: “As soon as I saw the property, I knew it had potential for the future.

“I’m a believer in heritage being a catalyst for the future if it is embraced and respected yet also made fit for a modern purpose.

“If we don’t have the vision to update such properties and create a new use for them, eventually we will lose them altogether.”

Swindon Borough Council is now examining the plans and will make a decision in the coming weeks.

Arthur Dallimer bought and sold his first property at the age of 18 and founded William Arthur Property which focuses on property developments, both commercial and residential in Swindon, Wiltshire and Bristol.