Let’s make the most of our great heritage

5:30am Saturday 31st May 2014

By Mike Benke

A NEW move to make more of Swindon’s heritage will celebrate some of the town’s lesser-known landmarks.

One Swindon, which includes representatives fromSwindon council, the community, as well as business and voluntary bodies, has adopted a strategy to highlight not only the town’s well known assets, such as Lydiard Park and Coate Water, but also the less obvious sites, such as the Spectrum building.

It also aims to make Swindon a national centre of expertise, taking advantage of being the home of English Heritage and the National Trust.

Council leader David Renard (Con, Haydon Wick), who is also chairman of the One Swindon board, said: “Our heritage defines who we are, where we have come from, and shapes our view of our future.

“Swindon has a rich and diverse heritage, much of which is unknown and hidden from view.

“While our rich railway heritage is well publicised and known about, few people realise that the history of human settlement in the borough can be traced back to prehistoric times and there has been human settlement here ever since.”

The heritage strategy has the objective of increasing the awareness of the town’s heritage not only for visitors but also people living in the town.

Any regeneration of the town centre will be done to make the most of the town’s past while also working to make sure it is protected for future generations to enjoy.

Coun Renard said: “I am delighted that this strategy has been developed to raise the profile of heritage across the town and with our communities.

“A clearer focus on our heritage will undoubtedly have a big impact on our regeneration plans; it will provide the backbone of our identity and can help us feel pride in our towns and villages.

“I believe it is vital that we find new and exciting ways to fund and engage with our heritage in all its different forms, from visiting museums, to enjoying our historic parks, protecting our special buildings and places and educating our young people about the history of their town.”

The strategy is likely to be updated every three years.

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