Become a Friend of the Swindon Museumand Art Gallery

For only £15 a year, you can become a Friend and receive links to our Zoom talks. To become a Friend or find out more about us, go to the website

Sunday, 24 March 2019

Latest Plans for Swindon MAG

On the 14 March, we read about the latest plans for the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, in this cabinet paper, on page 35 onwards:
 It's interesting how similar they are to the plans proposed in 1968 which resulted in the building of the Wyvern Group, and discussed in the previous blog post after Michael Gray's talk.
The plans were approved by cabinet a week later and goes before the Scrutiny Committee on 25 March for further consideration.
There was a press conference in the gallery at the museum when Cllr Dale Heenan was given a chance to outline the plans, here he is discussing them
 There's a good summary of his ideas/plans on the museum's website and another summary of the plans here:
'As most of you may know, Swindon Borough Council undertook an options appraisal last year to find a new home for the museum and art gallery, but recently it announced that it had not identified an affordable, deliverable option in the immediate term.
In March, the council’s Cabinet agreed:
  • to spend £400,000 on remedial works of the current building in Bath Road
  • to spend £100,000 to take the collections ‘on tour’ to venues around Swindon
  • To use £250,000 grant from the Local Enterprise Partnership to test the viability of a future project to create a combined new Wyvern Theatre, Museum & Art Gallery and ‘Civic quarter’. This quarter may be largely paid for by the sale or redevelopment of the Civic Offices on Euclid Street.'
I  appeared on  Points West the evening of the press conference, here's a photo of me being filmed  talking to Will Glennon about what I think about the proposals. I think the plans are great, but in the interim, it is hard to imagine how cuts can be made the the budget without affecting how the museum operates.
I talked to Tom Seaward, from the Swindon Advertiser about the £20000 cut in the museum's budget this year and how the running costs cannot be considered a subsidy, and the fact that it is hard to imagine how the museum can break even in its present location. Yesterday's piece in the Advertiser is here.
We now have a Plan B and hopefully us oldies will live to see Swindon Museum and Art Gallery being relocated in our lifetime.

No comments:

Post a Comment