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Builder sets out plans for redevelopment of former Swindon Museum

A Swindon developer who wants to buy and restore the former Swindon Museum and Art Gallery has shared his plans to garner support – which have already won the backing of The Old Town Business Association.

Swindonian Arthur Dallimer plans to build “an iconic commercial development” at Apsley House, on the corner of Devizes Road and Victoria Road.

The plans outline full commercial use for the site, including five refurbished retail units, a large restaurant, cafe, and co-work office space. The plans would include replacing the facade of the 1960s extension with a wooden slat and glass frontage.

Local businesses fear other developers would look to convert the building – which dates from the 1830s – into flats or a House of Multiple Occupation.

“As a child I visited Apsley House when it was the museum and art gallery, and it has always held a special place in my heart,” said Arthur, of William Arthur Property.

“When I heard the Borough Council could no longer afford to maintain it, and the Parish Council couldn’t afford to buy it, I began creating a commercial plan to restore the beautiful main building and enhance the 60s extension to become a successful commercial development.

“If I am successful in purchasing the property I want to choose a set of independent businesses to operate out of Apsley Corner, to help grow Old Town business and the local community.”

Developers interested in the site have until January 5 to submit and offer to Swindon Borough Council, which owns the building and ran the museum and art gallery there until March 2020 until the building became, it said, too expensive to maintain.

Kris Talikowski, vice-chair of The Old Town Business Association, said: “We fully support the Apsley Corner development for Old Town. We need more commercial units in Old Town as demand constantly exceeds supply.

“The development Arthur is proposing is clearly high value and a significantly iconic development that has a great mix of retail, food and beverage, and co-work space which is exciting for potential operators.

“This development could become a landmark site whilst restoring a beautiful Old Town heritage asset into commercial use.”

Businesses interested in supporting William Arthur Property’s proposals can find out more and register their support at https://www.apsleycorner.com

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