Researchers who might come up with a major leap forward in sustainable tech could soon be working in Swindon.

Work has now been completed at the new Innovation Centre for Applied Sustainable Technologies unit at the Carriage Works as part of a regeneration scheme costing £11m.

The iCAST is an institute set up by a joint venture of the University of Bath and the University of Oxford with academics and business people looking at ways to revolutionise sustainable technologies and develop a truly circular economy.

It announced it was moving to purpose-built accommodation in the old GWR Carriage Works along London Street, where a number of units have already been refurbished.

This week representatives from Swindon Borough Council which owns the building and the University of Bath met to hand over the keys ahead of the innovation centre's opening event early next year.

Councillor Marina Strinkovsky, the council’s cabinet member for heritage, and culture, said: “We’re very proud to be home to this initiative by the University of Bath and Oxford University.

“iCAST are leading on innovation that will improve our world, and we believe that the Carriage Works, with its history of world-changing technology, is the perfect place for it to be.

“The refurbished units are prefect for the kind of creative collaboration that leads to new and exciting ideas being born.

“We’ve had so much development at the Carriage Works over recent years and we’re very keen for that to continue, including improving the external façade of the building and renovating more units to make the area thrive once again.”

Professor Matthew Davidson, director of iCAST, has previously said of the Swindon institute “We really hope that iCAST can make a huge difference to accelerate the translation to clean growth by tackling some really challenging problems.

“We already have over 40 companies as part of iCAST – they bring the really challenging problems to us. It’s the perfect model for joint industry projects.

“Swindon is geographically critical in this – it really is a pivot point between the west of England and the Oxford-Cambridge arc.

“We want to bring industry back to the Carriage Works.”

Other units in the 19th century Carriage Works building include the Workshed for small and start-up companies, a state-of-the-art media facility for Create Studios and the Cultural Heritage Institute, part of The Royal Agricultural University.