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Sunday, 28 August 2022

Plans for the first floor of the Civic Offices


Plans have been submitted by Swindon Borough Council to convert the first floor of the Civic Offices to Swindon Museum and Art Gallery. I appreciate it's not easy to see what is written in the boxes in the plan below, but it's probably easier to go to the planning link here:

You can see that the planning application asks for stud walls to be allowed to be removed to enable larger spaces to be created for displays. There will be disabled access via a lift which it is planned will be sited behind the current main reception area in the Civic Offices, which is currently a cafe, no longer used because so few staff work in the Civic Offices. It is hoped that the facility will be open from March-April 2023 for visitors.
Before then, we are hoping that Friends and members of the public will be able to look round the first floor, and then we will have a workshop where we can be involved in the process of deciding how the spaces will be used. Community involvement is important in the process as stressed by the Arts Council who are keen to stress involving communities in their latest guidance:
Expectations of National Portfolio Organisations in relation to Let’s Create 
Public funding entails public accountability, both for Arts Council England and for the organisations in which it invests public money. It follows that we have certain expectations of organisations in which we invest. All our investment is made to help us achieve our strategy,  Let’s Create. 
Let’s Create focusses on three Outcomes: [more detail here ]
•  Creative People: Everyone can develop and express their creativity throughout their life  [this is about ACE wanting increase participation in arts and culture]
•  Cultural Communities: Villages, towns and cities thrive through a collaborative approach to culture [this is about ACE wanting to support community involvement in their culture]
•  A Creative and Cultural Country: England’s cultural sector is innovative, collaborative and international. [this is about ACE wanting to support investment in arts and culture practitioners]
Each Outcome is important and will work together with the four Investment Principles[more detail here: ]
•  Ambition and Quality: Cultural organisations are ambitious and committed to improving the quality of their work
•  Dynamism: Cultural organisations are dynamic and able to respond to the challenges of the next decade
•  Environmental Responsibility: Cultural organisations lead the way in their approach to environmental responsibility 
•  Inclusivity and Relevance: England’s diversity is fully reflected in the organisations and individuals that we support and in the culture they Produce
Under the four Investment Principles guidance:
"In future, we will judge organisations for the way in which they reflect and build a relationship with their communities, as well as for the quality and ambition of their work."

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