Town Planning, Housing Developments, Transport & Education => Regenerating Swindon => Topic started by: Tobes on August 19, 2015, 12:55:39 PM

Title: Swindon bids to become Britain's new cultural magnet
Post by: Tobes on August 19, 2015, 12:55:39 PM
Is Garry ready to polish up the leather trench-coat!?  :wink: (

A cultural tour of Britain might take in the National Gallery and Tate Modern, Shakespeare's birthplace in Stratford-upon-Avon, Jane Austen's Bath or the sweeping grandeur of Chatsworth.
If a new campaign succeeds, Swindon could find itself an unlikely addition to the tourist itinerary.
The birthplace of Diana Dors, Melinda Messenger and Billie Piper, home to Britain's worst roundabout and described by its own council as having "a bit of an image problem", has launched a multi-million pound bid to become a new cultural destination.

I'm actually finally pleased and a little proud that the council have finally listened to all of the people (of which I've long been a voice) who've pointed out that this towns principal problem has been of brand.

... and in a time of austerity, it also beggars believe that we have a such an asset as our art collection which isn't being both celebrated and put to good use.

At its centre will be a £17.5 million museum and gallery to rival anything London has to offer, because it is a little-known fact that Swindon is home to what experts rate as one of the most important collections of 20th century British art outside the Tate.Established in the 1940s by a local businessman, it includes works by Lucian Freud, Frank Auerbach, Henry Moore, LS Lowry and Maggi Hambling. There is also a notable ceramics collection amassed over half a century.
It is currently housed in a building in Swindon's Old Town, but one so small that only a fifth of the collection is on show.


The campaign is being supported by Robert Hiscox, founder of Hiscox insurance and a noted art collector, who has a home nearby.
"I was High Sheriff of Wiltshire for a year and I saw Salisbury, which is lovely, and then I went to Swindon. I think the term for it is 'architecturally challenged'," said Mr Hiscox, former deputy chairman of Lloyd's of London.
"It is ugly, but it's wonderful that people appreciate that and want to make it better. My heart went out to Swindon.
"The current museum is in a house in the Old Town, which is not the heart of Swindon - but Swindon has no heart, that's its problem. A town needs a heart.

For once - well done SBC. Please please make sure you win that heritage Lottery grant this time round. Failure would be a massive blow - and it probably marks one of the final opportunities to turn our town from the never enduing path to Chavopolis.

Fingers crossed.