The Friends of Swindon Museum and Art Gallery are committed to the reopening of Apsley House in Bath Road as soon as possible, until a viable option for housing the museum and art collections can be found. Currently there are plans to build a Cultural Quarter on the Kimmerfields site near the railway station, but this may be 10-20 years hence. In the meantime, in a town with a population of at least 220k, and rising, to lose our museum and art gallery would be a significant loss to the town, and others who visited Swindon to see the collections.
There have been several articles in the Swindon Advertiser on the proposal not to reopen Apsley House, put the collections in storage, and sell the building, since this was proposed at the end of June 2020. The latest article published today, commentis on the repairs needed to Apsley House: https://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/19544692.swindon-museum-art-gallery-repairs-no-obstacle-reopening-say-supporters/
I thought I'd have a look and find the last photographs taken in the gallery, they were taken at a lunchtime talk given by Katie Ackrill on 28 February 2020. They are a reminder of what a lovely facility we have in the 1960s extension to Apsley House which houses the art gallery, and of course the magnificent paintings, some of which were initially donated by Jimmy Bomford and many others purchased with the help of Richard Morphet who said the following about the proposed closure of the museum and art gallery:
'Swindon's renowned collection of British art has been built steadily over many decades as a key resource for the people of the Borough and region. It is of great significance to many people and through its quality has developed a national reputation, works being requested regularly for loan to major exhibitions in Britain and overseas. The collection brings together fascinating works made by local artists over many years with art of international importance. Successive curators have displayed works from this rich collection in lively and thought-provoking groupings that provide enjoyment that is available to the whole community, benefiting its health and wellbeing. The need for increased display space has long been recognised. For the collection to be placed, instead, in storage of unknown duration would deprive both Swindon and visitors from further afield of a vital source of inspiration. I advised on Swindon's art acquisitions from 1966 to 2006. I would be deeply shocked were the collection to become inaccessible to the community for whose benefit it was built.'
If you haven't done so, please consider signing the petition to reopen Apsley House:
Meanwhile some photos of the last lunchtime talk: