No Lottery grant yet for proposed Swindon museum & art gallery - Trust still aim to deliver new home for town's art collections
The Trustees of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, which leads the project to build a new museum and art gallery for Swindon, have said they are disappointed at not being awarded a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, but are determined to deliver a solution to house and display Swindon’s renowned art collections.
The Trust submitted a bid for £12.7m in November 2017. The proposal has been scrutinised at regional and national level and was found to meet all the criteria and was deemed an important and worthwhile project for Swindon.
However, the Heritage Lottery Fund receives far more viable applications than it has the funds to support. On this occasion, it has been unable to make a major award to the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery project.
The Chairman of the Trust, Robert Hiscox, said: “The work done on the bid has not been wasted, as the profile of Swindon’s culturally important collections has been raised locally and nationally, and has generated huge amounts of engagement around the importance of culture to the people of Swindon."
"We have been overwhelmed by the support we have received and want to thank everyone for all their hard work and passion. Over the coming months we will be consulting with stakeholders and the public to get as much input as we can on how to fulfil our ambition to create something that will be transformational for Swindon and a source of civic pride that everyone can enjoy.”
Any new solution will be delivered in the context of revised Arts Council and Heritage Lottery Fund strategic funding frameworks, which will be announced next year.
The Leader of Swindon Borough Council, Cllr David Renard, said: “The benefits of a new museum and art gallery cannot be underestimated. It will not only encourage millions of people to Swindon, but act as a catalyst for significant investment in the surrounding area, acting as a symbol of our ambition for the town."
“We knew we were up against some extremely tough competition, but we are committed to regenerating the cultural quarter area which will also include the Wyvern Theatre over time. We will be working with the Trust, stakeholders and Swindon residents on all the available options and will announce these plans in due course.”