HISTORIC buildings could sit next to state-of-the-art leisure attractions in future holiday brochures for Swindon.

Swindon Council plans to promote the town as a tourist destination with a mixture of ancient landmarks and new attractions, such as a snowdome or major concert venue.

The vision for Swindon’s cultural landscape is included in the council’s draft core strategy – a vision of how the town will develop over the next two decades.

According to Coun Phil Young, Swindon Council’s lead member for culture, regeneration and economic development, areas such as the Railway Village will be a key selling point in establishing Swindon as a tourist hotspot.

Other icons of the town, including the Mechanics’ Institute and the Locarno, should also be brought back to life, Coun Young said.

“Nowhere else in the country has something quite like the Mechanics’ Institute,” he said.

“It’s something we can be proud of and something that can represent Swindon to visitors.

“We keep plugging away and we are doing everything we can to get these projects back on track. We don’t own the buildings so there’s only so much we can do.

“I would like to see a viable use for the Mechanics’ and the Locarno found by 2026.”

Coun Young said work on regenerating the town centre would benefit the Railway Village.

He said: “It’s part of the same vision for the town centre and is about making the most of what Swindon has to offer and drawing people into the town centre.”

Other attractions to entice visitors could include a new concert venue or a 250ft snowdome.

Coun Young said: “The concert venue idea has always been a popular one and it is something we support.

“The way things are at the moment it is difficult to secure the funding for any major projects but this is a long-term strategy and we will keep looking at it.”

Negotiations with Urban Ski to bring a snowdome facility to North Star are ongoing, according to Coun Young.

“Again the current climate has made it difficult for companies to commit but we are still in talks about the snowdome,” he said.

“I think Swindon can be a great destination for tourists. We have some of the most beautiful countryside in Britain all around us. The challenge is to develop enough reasons for people to come into the town as well.”

A public exhibition to gather opinion on the strategy will be held today and tomorrow from noon to 6pm at North Swindon Library.

l Tomorrow: Plans to build a canal through Swindon