Last week, the Swindon Advertiser ran an article entitled 'Swindon Museum could become shops and restaurants under plans' with some architect's impressions of how the outside of the building could be enhanced. Local property developer, Arthur Dallimer has put forward plans to buy and develop Apsley House, once home of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery, closed for Covid on 21 March 2020, and closed for good in June 2021. Swindon Borough Council had failed to maintain the building and decided it needed too much investment to bring it back into use, and put it on the market. The Friends successfully applied to have it listed as an Asset of Community Value, and it was accepted as one; South Swindon Parish Council triggered a 6 month moratorium on the sale by expressing an interest in buying Apsley House, but after looking into the business case, and having the building surveyed, it was decided that the parish could not move forward with the project. Other people interested in buying it have until 5 January 2023 to submit their bids to SBC.
Fears were expressed initially that Apsley House might share the fate of the Corn Exchange and the Oasis, or that it would be converted into HMOs and fall further into disrepair. The building has been in community use as a museum for 90 years and as a gallery for 60 years, and occupies an important position at the heart of Old Town and needs to remain accessible to the community.
There is a page where you can add your comments on the plans for Apsley Corner here:
Architect's impressions of how the building could look are shown below, courtesy of the Swindon Advertiser:
Another article has appeared in the Swindon Advertiser today and can be read here