Another £1m has been allocated by Swindon Borough Council to construct offices in one of the town’s most historic buildings.

The budget for turning the old GWR Carriage Works, running along London Road and Bristol Street, was set at £3.6m in 2017 – but members of the Conservative cabinet have approved borrowing more.

The local authority will spend another £1.1m in two chunks on the renovation of the listed Victorian buildings as office spaces for digital and technology companies.

And it says the success of the first phase – constructing the Workshed offices for start-ups – is an indicator it will be money well spent.

Another £530,000 will be used for the refurbishment of three units in the building. One of those units has already been let to the Royal Agricultural University, which will bring its Cultural Heritage Institute to Swindon next year.

Cabinet member for the town centre Dale Heenan said: “The refurbishment of unit 11 and also units seven and nine need major structural works which were not envisaged within the original budget approval.

“After these works the development potential of phase two would increase, with more lettable floorspace compared to our assumptions in 2017.”

Another £480,000 will be used for work on the undercroft in the building.

Coun 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.”

He added that the council had received a lot of interest from potential tenants, but businesses expect to be able to move within 12 to 18 months.

The refurbishments wouldn’t be available in that time, unless more money was spent on accelerating the work on units seven and nine before tenancies were agreed. It would include removing asbestos, re-roofing and creating a new entranceway and foyer.

Coun Heenan said: “Completing the works early would reduce the timescales from pre-let to occupation for potential tenants and help us to secure the lettings.”