The project to build a new Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust in the town centre has moved into another gear following the appearance of an advertisement for a £70,000 a year director at www.museumsassociation.org/find-a-job
The advert says the successful candidate will be employed by the recently formed Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, chaired by Robert Hiscox, and will be responsible for leading, managing and delivering a new world-class Museum and Art Gallery for Swindon. The closing date is Sunday 21 December.
The budget for the position is coming from the resources of the trust which will receive £250,000 out of Swindon Council’s £5 commitment to the project. The full details were set out in a report to the council’s cabinet on 10 December 2014, which the all-party Scrutiny Committee noted without comment on 15 December 2014.
Cabinet supported the decision to create the trust on 9 September 2015. The supporting report states: ‘Private benefactors have already given strong indications that they are ready to provide a significant financial contribution to this Trust.’
Swindon Council Leader Cllr David Renard said the council has no involvement in determining the salary but the appointment of a director of the project was a significant step in developing a major feature of the town centre.
“This is an example of the Council’s Vision becoming reality,” he said. “I have made it clear that we need to work with partners to continue to improve Swindon and I am delighted that the other Trustees will be contributing significant amounts to pay for this post and the work needed for a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund.
“A new Museum and Art Gallery is a key part of making Swindon a great place in which to live and work as well as allowing more people to enjoy the distinctive and world-leading items in our collection.”
The first application for some £12million to Heritage Lottery Fund was turned down but the council was encouraged to refine its case and apply again. Apart the council’s £5million contribution, the trust will be seeking some £3million from private benefactors. The details of any commercial retail space or what the building might look like has yet to be revealed.
Pictured, above by Richard Wintle of Calyx, Robert Hiscox and Sarah Rose Troughton CStJ, Lord Lieutenant of Wiltshire, at the Turner viewing in the current Art Gallery and Museum in Old Town, Swindon.
Below, the new museum and art gallery will be built next to the Wyvern Theatre. Work on demolishing the multi-storey car park on the left as started and the Magistrates Court on the far side of the ground level car park is to be relocated