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History of the Trust

In 2000 the Trust launched its second survey of proposals for the Institution, these continued to support the Trust’s plans and also gathered evidence of the lack of support for commercial uses such as a hotel.

In 2002 the Trust appointed consultants to undertake a Feasibility Study into the building and our proposals. This work was funded by the AHF and was planned to inform the process leading up to and beyond the Urgent Works Notice due to be served on Mountmead Limited (the 2nd owner – 1986-2003).

In 2005 the Trust gained Listed Building Consent for our Plans.

Between 2003 and 2008 the Trust operated the “Community Crossroads” from the Old Railway Museum as a venue for community and cultural activity.

In 2004 the Trust was approached several times to be part of the BBC Restoration series, however we were unable to take part due to the ownership situation.

The Trust updated its charitable objectives to go beyond a Building Preservation Trust but to include a Development Trust too. The following two objectives were added:

  • The development and operation of facilities for the education, recreation or
    other leisure time occupation in the interests of social welfare;
  • The “promotion and provision of activities supportive of community development, and of regeneration and renewal”. (Widely referred to as “Community Capacity Building”.)

In 2009 the Trust gave evidence regarding the Central Area Action Plan during an Independent Hearing. Thanks to the Trust’s evidence the Inspector ruled that changes should be made by Swindon Borough Council to their policy regarding the Institution. This was a key turning point in vindicating the Trust’s long held position towards the issue.