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Date added: 14 May 2010

Arts Centre plans to go on display 

Art Centre to transform into cultural hub
 
Plans to transform the Arts Centre into a cultural hub are to go on display later this month.
 
Swindon Borough Council has drawn up plans to create a new open plan box office with an improved café and bar area, which will house a brand new library to replace the current Old Town Library.
 
A new studio space will also be formed to stage small-scale cultural events and activities such as reading groups, pre-school activities and music events, while improved external signage will also form part of the plans.
 
 
The new library will have new shelving and equipment, an improved book stock and more public internet access.
 
Staff from Old Town Library will move across to the Arts Centre and work for the same number of hours.
 
However, a self service machine will be provided to enable people to pick up and drop off books out of staffed hours.
 
Library staff will be on hand to talk through the plans with members of the public during an exhibition at the Arts Centre on Wednesday, 26 May between 3pm and 7pm.
 
Children will also be invited to give their feedback on the proposals, while at the same time taking part in storytelling and bunting-making sessions. Arts Centre staff will be in attendance to listen to the public on what activities they would like to see in the new studio.
 
The project will be funded through Swindon Borough Council’s capital funds programme with additional money from the Arts Council, Section 106 developer agreements and donations from the Friends of Swindon Arts Centre.
 
The work will be carried out in two phases and it is hoped that work on the first phase will start in July and be completed by mid September. The remainder of the project will be completed next year.
 
“It is important the residents of Old Town and those who use the Arts Centre have their say on these proposals," commented Cllr Fionuala Foley, Cabinet Member for Local Environment and Corporate Affairs.
 
“The proposed changes will allow us to make some real improvements to the library facilities in Old Town, while the new studio and café will make the Arts Centre a real focal point for the community.”
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