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Friday, 19 March 2021

New Cultural Quarter Plans Revealed

 Yesterday Swindon Borough Council released a press release about their latest plans for the new Cultural Quarter, please click here to find out more. 

I have sent a copy of the Cultural Quarter investment Prospectus to all members of the Friends, it gives more details of the specifics of the project.

Further details about the proposed Cultural Quarter projects are below including images of what some of the new buildings could look like.

A copy of the Cultural Quarter Investment Prospectus is available on request

 Media contact: Kevin Burchall, Communications Lead – Media Relations, Swindon Borough Council, 01793 463105. | Email:


Art Pavilion
  • The town’s Art Collection is a superb, international quality celebration of painting and studio ceramics, much of it among the very best work of British artists at work in the mid-20th Century. The collection is loved and cherished but deserves to be seen by many more people – and to be a visitor destination for the town in its own right.
  • To achieve this, the Cultural Quarter will feature a new and dramatic Pavilion at the heart of the new public park in the Kimmerfields development. It will act as a permanent home for the display of the collection and its appreciation through permanent and changing displays of art and ceramics – in a landmark building – set in a public realm that will itself be a place for public art and for outdoor and informal performance.


  • The town’s Museum collections tell important stories about how Swindon came to be – and about the lives of its communities down the centuries. For new communities, and for young people growing up in Swindon, the Museum collection is important in defining what it means to be a ‘Swindonian’.
  • To ensure the widest possible access to and enjoyment of these collections and stories, the Quarter will extend to an imaginative project to consider their redisplay at the Town Hall, from which Swindon Dance will move to the new Dance Centre, linked with the town’s Central Library, at the southern end of the Quarter.

The Theatre

  • The Wyvern Theatre is nearing the end of its lifespan and even essential repairs would incur £20m of costs. As with many theatres of its time, its facilities are ill-suited to the more flexible and diverse uses of the modern performing arts, and there are significant access challenges.
  • The market appraisal has led to the development of a vision for a 1,200 seat number one touring house – a major theatre receiving the very best touring theatrical and musical productions and with the flexibility in its auditorium to welcome music concerts in all genres, including for standing audiences.
  • Many local groups will continue to present their work in the Theatre, including in a high quality 200-seat studio alongside the main house. Together with the other venues of the Cultural Quarter, the Theatre and its studio will provide formal and informal spaces and facilities for festivals as diverse as the Spring Festival of Arts and Music and of Science.
  • The landmark building will attract 400,000 visits a year, and be sustainable – from its performance economics, its extensive food and beverage provision and its contribution as a conference, event and exhibition venue at the heart of the town centre.
  • As a net zero carbon major theatre – the new Wyvern has the opportunity to be a national exemplar for the 21st

Dance Centre

  • The proposed new Dance Centre will provide fit-for-purpose, professional standard studios, facilities for therapy and recovery and for student learning, together with a performance studio designed to meet the needs of dance and expressive performance. It will change lives and inspire tens of thousands of young and older people from the town and region to participate, to express themselves, and to explore their professional potential.

Media and Arts Production Centre

  • An innovative combination of theatre, film and digital arts production organisations and independent cinemas will occupy this characterful new facility at the gateway to Swindon’s Cultural Quarter. This new facility re-homes Prime Theatre and Create Studios, who currently occupy inconvenient and cramped spaces on the top floor of the Wyvern Theatre.
  • The vision for the building has been developed with the young people who drive Create and Prime – as a contemporary and welcoming space with facilities for exploration, engagement and expression – supported economically and reaching a large audience through provision of independent film and media screens and social facilities.
  • Already Create Studios and Prime Theatre work with more than 30,000 participants annually and Create’s online presence reaches digital audiences of more than 3.5m. With these new facilities and continued super-growth in the sector in the town, these metrics are set to grow exponentially over the years to come.
  • The specification embraces new digital, film and live recording production facilities, rehearsal and informal performance studios – providing the facilities for many organisations in the town to continue their growth into digital - and three state of the art cinemas showing independent mainstream and alternative film and providing screening facilities for the town’s screen industries cluster.

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