After four years and two months, Swindon has its Museum and Art Gallery back.

The exhibitions space, now named Museum & Art Swindon will open to the public at 10.30am on Tuesday  July 9, more than  four years after it closed for the first Covid-19 lockdown in early 2020.

And the borough council’s collection of historic artefacts and modern art has moved home from Apsley House in Old Town to an especially converted space on the upper floor of the Art Deco Civic Offices.

It was impossible to keep very broad smiles off the faces of all those involved in getting the museum and galleries opened as they showed a special audience around for a sneak preview.

Mayor of Swindon Imtiyaz Shaikh had the honour of cutting the ribbon.

Beforehand he said: “I’m very happy that this is opening and we will soon be seeing the people of Swindon, and from further afield, coming here to see the collection.

“I haven’t had a look myself yet, I was tempted, but thought I’d wait to see it with all the people here.”

In the happiness stakes,  it was a toss-up between Councillor Marina Strinkovsky, the cabinet member in charge of the project for the last 14 months, and Frances Yeo, the council’s museum’s manager, as to who was most joyful.

Cllr Strinkovsky inherited the plan to refurbish the Civic Offices' second floor to provide the museum and gallery space from the previous Conservative administration and drove it forward to completion.

She said: ”I am totally delirious with happiness.

Councillor Marina Strinkovsky was thrilled at the opening of Swindon Museum & ArtCouncillor Marina Strinkovsky was thrilled at the opening of Swindon Museum & Art (Image: Aled Thomas)

“I did very little of the work, really – it was the museum's team which did it all and they’ve done a phenomenal job.

“But I did give it some impetus – because when we came into office, we decided we wanted to this, it was something we took seriously, and not something just nice to have.

“Jim Robbins told me he had a job for me, to get the museum and gallery opened, and to get on with it.”

Ms Yeo said: “It’s been four years in the making, a bit less than the 155 million years of the story of Swindon.

Museums manager Frances Yeo, and Swindon Mayor Imtiyaz Shaik at the opening of Museum & Art SwindonhMuseums manager Frances Yeo, and Swindon Mayor Imtiyaz Shaik at the opening of Museum & Art Swindonh (Image: Dave Cox)

“The team has worked really hard to make this happen since the first proposal to bring the museum and gallery here was made in 2021.

“I can’t wait to welcome the people of Swindon and from elsewhere to see what we have here and to enjoy the collections and the  temporary exhibitions.”

Full details of what’s on at Museum & Art Swindon are available at

The museum spaces show the history and development of Swindon from pre-human times all the way up to the 21st century.

And the nationally important collection of modern art is well-represented.

There are four current exhibitions: Origins, which explores the story of Swindon’s museum through the pieces it owns, Pieces of Me, work by young people exploring the idea of their identity, Double Take, where school pupils across the borough have made their own responses to works from the gallery’s collection and a travelling exhibition of works by Elizabeth Frink, one of the 20th century’s most important sculptors.