You may have heard that last year SBC Planning team submitted a bid to Historic England for Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) status for the Railway Village. The bid was successful and only the second HAZ in the South West. Historic England will work with us over the next five years to revitalise this treasured area of Swindon.

Historic England will provide £1.6million of funding, plus we will be able to access their heritage expertise and regeneration skills.

Through the HAZ Delivery, we will aim to:

  • Deliver enhancements to key community buildings and spaces such as the Cricketer’s, the Health Hydro and the GWR Park
  • Prepare a plan to identify a new use for the Mechanic’s Institute and source funding for its refurbishment
  • Improve public spaces, footpaths and signage and address traffic issues in order to improve connectivity with the rest of Swindon
  • Increase our understanding of Swindon’s railway history through research and by refreshing existing planning policies and listing designation
  • Carry out a branding exercise to agree a name for this area which can be used on signage and marketing materials
  • Promote the area to local people and to visitors through exhibitions, tours and other cultural events
  • Support local community groups to manage Swindon’s heritage assets

The purpose is to deliver positive outcomes for local residents, generate tourism and encourage private investment into the wider town centre by providing evidence of the Council and Historic England’s investment in Swindon and by generating a more positive image of our town. We should also be able to leverage HE’s funding to apply for further grants from other organisations.

Karen Phimister, has been appointed to oversee the HAZ and offers a walking tour of the HAZ area on the following dates:

  • Thursday, 19 September 3pm
  • Thursday, 26 September 10am

Tours will start at 1-3 Faringdon Road and last between one and one and a half hours. You can book a place or find out more by emailing: You can also find out more from the HAZ website and the Historic England website.