A sensitively restored Mechanics’ Institution in the hands of the local community represents one of the most significant opportunities for Swindon.
It is well documented the contribution that heritage can bring to regeneration programmes. The Trust has been concerned that heritage has not featured strongly in the regeneration proposals for the town so far. The Mechanics’ and wider conservation area represent an asset, which if handled correctly, connect the town centre and Works site (Outlet Centre) and Railway Station. We will lobby and build partnerships with relevant bodies to raise the profile of heritage in current and future regeneration schemes.
Sense of Place
It is said that Swindon has lost its heart, pride and culture. The Trust believes that the protection and appropriate long-term use of our heritage can give us a town to be proud of and that celebrates its history and culture.
Most importantly community ownership of such assets ensures its long-term protection and that they become a resource for us all to enjoy together. The town lacks spaces for community, cultural and learning activity in inspirational settings controlled by those that use them.
World Heritage Status
The Railway Village and Works are part of the proposed World Heritage Site of the Great Western Railway between Paddington and Bristol. The Mechanics’ Institution is described as an impressive centrepiece to the proposal. It is vital that the Mechanics’ and the surrounding conservation area have a clear plan to ensure the highest standards of conservation and interpretation. Without this we risk letting down this exciting and well deserved scheme.