Regular, sustainable and long-term use of the Town Gardens and its bowl amphitheatre are critical for its long-term survival says the councillor behind this summer’s events and licence application.

The borough council’s licensing panel will meet on Wednesday to decide on South Swindon Parish Council’s application for a premises licence.

The parish wants to be able to put on events such as theatre, film live or recorded music or one-off festivals and to be able to sell alcohol between 10am and 10.30 or 11pm every day.

The next event will be the charity music festival My Dad’s Bigger than Yours, organised by the parish council and Swindon Shuffle on August 28.

Chairman of the parish council’s leisure committee Neil Hopkins said he wanted to put on appropriate events: “We’ve held eight outdoor theatre events this summer, and we’ve had to apply for separate temporary event notice licences each time.

"A premises licence would mean we wouldn’t have to apply each time and we’ve found out there are about six other organisations with premises licenses for the town gardens, but the parish council doesn’t have one.”

Coun Hopkins said the council wants to make as much use of the gardens and its bowl theatre, which would allow it to be maintained and restored.

“If the demand is there we’d like to do about 20 outdoor theatre performances next year, and I think there will be. It’s an ideal space for it, it’s ideal for classical music concerts.

“And if we can make good use of it and use it to generate revenue then we can improve it. If it doesn’t get used then it’s hard to justify spending money on it being made better.

"As the council chairman Chris Watts said 'if we apply for funding from the lottery heritage fund, they won’t want to spend money on a folly'.”

The licence, if granted, would allow the parish council to put on events, every day if it wanted. But Coun Hopkins said that was not the intention.

“We’re not going to be having huge wild events. We want to have a long-term, sustainable use of the bowl to keep it viable.”

Some neighbours have written to the borough council’s licensing panel to object. One, Peter Fitzsimmons said: “As neighbours of the Town Gardens we have ourselves witnessed many great events that have taken place there.

“Up until this time most events within the gardens have not run past 10.30pm as an official finishing time.

“It is the noise and disturbance that runs on past this time that causes problems.”

Coun Hopkins is to meet with neighbours next week and said: “We are very aware of their concerns and will listen to them and want to work with them.”