Swindon Museum and Art Gallery activists encouraged by pledge of announcement

A PRESSURE group fighting for the reopening of the Swindon Civic Museum welcomed the assurance from a council chief that their treasures would not be stored.

Swindon’s council is preparing to make an important announcement on its plans to replace the Bath Road museum and art gallery, which it has controversially closed.

The authority kept the facility closed as the country emerged from lockdown, saying the building needed expensive repairs and other work to bring it into compliance with disability laws.

This week, culture and heritage cabinet member Robert Jandy told Adver he will not be stockpiling items while his plans are being made.

Ultimately, he wants to see a new museum and art gallery built in the new Kimmerfields cultural district in the city center.

In the meantime, there has been speculation that the council could use other municipal buildings to display works of art and artefacts.

The Save our Museum and Art Gallery group said that until realistic funding for the long-term project is in place, the collections should remain at least as accessible to the public as they are now.

Spokeswoman Linda Kasmaty said: “While we welcome the council’s aspirations for a purpose-built museum and art gallery in a new cultural district, it is clear that securing funding for any major project construction and infrastructure is going to be very difficult in the years to come.

“The time lapse between the closure of the current museum and art gallery and the construction of a new cultural district could actually be several years, if not decades. We were very concerned that many of the items that the people of Swindon would normally see in this space would have to be stored all this time, so it is very encouraging to hear the cabinet member responsible for this say that nothing is planned storage. ”

Almost 3,200 people have so far signed a petition calling for the museum to reopen.

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