Council leader Cllr David Renard said: “Delivering a genuinely world-class new museum and art gallery is one of the Council’s pledges and forms an integral part of its plans to breathe new life into the town centre.”
Cllr Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for the Economy, Regeneration and Skills, said: “We know from other hugely ambitious cultural projects, such as the Turner Contemporary that has re-energised and regenerated Margate, that the economic benefits to the surrounding area are huge. This structure and all that goes in it will play a key part in securing the town’s future economic and cultural regeneration, and put us firmly on the map as a major destination for arts, heritage and science.”
Robert Hiscox, chair of SMAG Trust, said the board’s vision is to build the most admired civic museum in the country.
Mr Hiscox said: “Swindon is a thriving town in beautiful countryside with easy access through rail and road for millions of people. The Council identified the need for a cultural quarter, and the new museum and art gallery will give it a heart and a centre for the local community. It will also benefit the town’s economy by making Swindon a destination for visitors and businesses. This is not a vanity project; it is a serious investment in the future prosperity of the town.”
The project has been warmly welcomed by one of the town’s major employers.
Rob Angus, strategy and propositions director at Nationwide, said: “Initiatives such as this are vitally important to the regeneration of Swindon. As a major local employer we know it is important that the town continues to be an attractive place for people to live and work, not just for our current 7,000 strong, Swindon-based workforce but for our future employees too.”