The transfer of the Swindon collections which will be on display at the municipal offices on Euclid Street instead of Apsley House in the Old Town will cost Â£ 400,000.
This includes Â£ 150,000 to prepare the spaces directly for use as museum and gallery spaces, and Â£ 250,000 for general work on the Euclid Street buildings, in particular to make the elevator accessible.
A report to the Tory Cabinet of Swindon Borough Council says the figure, which includes contingency funds, is lower than the Â£ 450,000 it would take to upgrade Apsley House in Bath Road, which has been closed since March 2020.
If the report is approved, work will begin in December. The first set of rooms will be prepared to display the works of art and artefacts, and a request for authorization to upgrade the elevator in the listed building will be filed. It is expected that the first theaters will be open by April of next year. The report says the total number of bedrooms on the first floor is expected to be ready by March 2023.
He points out that the first floor of the municipal building is 930 square meters compared to 655 at Apsley House
Robert Jandy, member of the Council for Culture, Heritage and Recreation, said: âOur museum and art collections have been hidden away in a corner of the Old Town for many years, but the deterioration of Apsley House gave us the opportunity to explore how we can display them to many more people.
âCity offices as a temporary location for the museum and art gallery tick a lot of boxes. It is close to the city center and public transport; it has access to a car park and it offers a significant additional floor space to display our collections.
âI want to see loads of local kids having the opportunity to see some of our amazing art and museum artifacts firsthand. We just couldn’t do that at Apsley House and the cramped spaces and small rooms on so many floors would not only make school visits difficult in these times of Covid, but it would make it extremely difficult to access if you have any issues. of mobility.
âI hope that my Cabinet colleagues recognize the great benefits and opportunities that are available in municipal offices and that we can begin to hope that our collections will be on display again to the public. ”
The report says that in addition to regular and special exhibitions, the council will continue its Art on Tour initiative of pop-up exhibitions.
Members of the Save Our Museum and Art Gallery group, who are keen to see Apsley House reopen as the museum’s headquarters, say the numbers don’t match.
We will bring you the detailed response of the group in the Adver of tomorrow.