A heritage trust which plans to take over and run Swindon’s most important heritage building, is renewing and re-doubling its campaign from new, modern premises.
The Mechanics Institution Trust, first established in 1995, has moved its operation to 1 Milton Road, Swindon.
From here, its volunteers will coordinate activities to become the new owners of the currently derelict Mechanics’ Institution in the nearby Railway Village.
Trust chairman Daniel Rose (pictured in the library) said: “We are proud and delighted to move into these premises. It comes at a time when there is a big opportunity for there to be a conclusion to the future of the Mechanics’ Institution and we intend to be central to that future.
“These new offices, funded by private donation, allow us to move forward with our plans.”
Situated within sight of the grade II* listed building, the team of volunteers who run the Trust, are poised to implement plans for a modern-day use for the building – and its surroundings – in a multi-million pound plan upgrade to the area of the Railway Village.
Support for the office move came from several companies including Intel, Citrus Creative and Hinton & Newport. They, and others, have provided property advice, technology, marketing as well as volunteers to make the move happen.
The offices are shared with Swindon Civic Voice and include office space, a small library and a meeting room for up to 30 people.
“It makes such a difference to have these facilities where we can bring our vision to life. We can meet, invite people in to see our plans and we are accessible to all,” Daniel said.
The Trust believes, with the backing of Swindon Council, that it can attract substantial financial support from the Heritage Lottery Fund and other funds to redevelop the Mechanics Institution, on a social enterprise basis.