Wiltshire

Swindon's GWR Carriageworks revamp gets extra £1m

Workshed, Swindon Image copyright Swindon Borough Council
Image caption Some parts of the carriageworks have been renovated and are being leased out

The ongoing renovation of the former GWR Carriageworks in Swindon has secured an extra £1m from Swindon Borough Council.

In 2017, the council spent £3.7m creating offices for tech start-ups in London Road and Bristol Street.

The money will be spent on refurbishing three units which require major structural repairs not envisaged in the original plans.

The council says it has received a lot of interest from potential tenants.

Cabinet member, Conservative, Dale Heenan said: "Phase one has been wildly successful. The Workshed is full, and we are getting really good support from the local community.

"The whole Tech Swindon initiative and Switch on to Swindon is to help businesses and to attract companies from places like Reading or Oxford, and we can do that with this redevelopment."

Image copyright Google
Image caption The former GWR building requires significant transformation

About £530,000 will be spent on refurbishing three units - where one has already been let to the Royal Agricultural University which will bring its Cultural Heritage Institute to the town next year.

The rest will be spent on asbestos removal, demolition, roofing and creation of a new entranceway and foyer connecting three units to the lower ground floor, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

It is hoped this will help to "to activate the street scene and providing visible signs of regeneration in a prominent location along London Street".

Cabinet members agreed to borrow the extra money, which will result in paying around £42,000 in interest.

The local authority also hopes that it will also open up new grant funding of up to £250,000 from Historic England to pay for the replacement of the Georgian-era wired glazing with clear glass in the lower ground floor of the building.

Image copyright Swindon Borough Council
Image caption The council says the Workshed project has been "wildly successful"

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