Friday, September 7, 2012

Swindon's Regeneration : Culture With Confidence

The Kentwood Show Choir in rehearsals at the Wyvern Theatre in May this year.

One of the 'shop window' areas covered in the draft Swindon Masterplan is culture. How does a town not popularly known for it's culture get that message out?

The answer is simple, put as much of it on display as possible and make sure everyone sees it.

Art Gallery : Section 4.2 (pages 56 and 57) makes the case for a new art gallery in the centre of town, to house the modern art collection, raising the profile of the collection, transforming the town centre through a big cultural anchor. It suggests exploring of possible sites, fundraising and getting it done quickly to win local support and involvement in art.

Theatre : The same section recommends the redevelopment of the Wyvern Theatre as a new performing arts centre, with a bigger capacity of 1,200 seat theatre/concert hall. It would also be the home of Swindon Dance.

Science and Engineering Museum : Investigate a Science and Engineering Museum to be in the town centre, in association with the Science Museum and the items they have in storage at Wroughton airfield. This would be heavily influenced by Swindon's own links to engineering achievements.

I'd also say a Science and Engineering Museum would be even more effective if it has a strong link to manufacturers (Honda and BMW), so that it's a living museum showcasing new items, ensuring that it is not simply covering a fixed period in history.

Let's get all our good stuff out of the loft and put it on display!

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