The huge space in the former Railway Museum on Faringdon Road is nearing completion and Swindon Council is looking for ideas from young people on how it should be decorated and utilised in its new use as a youth centre to be known as The Platform.
The council is spending £1 million on preserving the hundred year old building which once housed single railway workers, a congregation of Methodist worshippers and huge engines and railway memorabilia in a museum.
Now that most of the work is completed and the scaffolding has been removed, over 100 young people visited The Platform on 27 May to talk to youth workers and fill in questionnaires on the kind of activities that should take place from October when it is due to open.
The main hall could be used for music events, sports and creative arts, whilst side rooms can be utilised for online gaming, training, displays, meetings, information and counselling sessions, as well as a chill zone.
“The young people who visited today have really enjoyed being in an old building,” said David Attree, Swindon Council's integrated services operations manager working for the central south area. "The ideas put forward will be combined with with what we're heard at previous consultations."
He added that a young people's development group will be established to make decisions on how the centre is run after work is finished.
Coun Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for Children Services, said, “We want to provide young people in Swindon with a dynamic, colourful, safe venue which they can be proud of. Not only will it be a place where they can have fun, relax, and hang out with friends, but we intend to make it central point for information and guidance on serious topics such as sexual health, education and employment for young people.”
Since the property was vacated, the council has carried out extensive repairs and made it weather proof. This includes replacing the roof, renovating stone work, treating woodwork, and cleaning and painting areas of the building.
To contribute ideas about the platform, mail David Attree: email@example.com
Pictured above inside The Platform, youth worker Laraine Cox with councillor Gary Perkins, architect Nic Newland and David Attree