Along with our regular associates HemingwayDesign, we have been commissioned by Swindon Council to develop a place brand for its Heritage Action Zone.
Swindon was the epicentre of the Great Western Railway and much of its railway heritage is still present within the designated Heritage Action Zone area – from the railway village housing, to the Health Hydro, Farringdon Park, The Cricketer’s Arms, the Carriage works and the Mechanics Institute, to name a few of the iconic buildings and infrastructure. You may be less aware that is was also a fascinating model community – build around very contemporary values of home, work, learning and wellbeing. Following major grant awards the council is investing in the regeneration of the area over five years.
For a quick overview of this remarkable history have a look at Google Arts & Culture’s exhibit of Swindon: the heritage of a railway town produced by Historic England.
We’re only part-way through our work but we’ve spent the summer talking and consulting with local residents, businesses, colleges, and visitors through workshops with young people and creative industries, one-to-one discussions with representatives from the public and private sectors, vox pop interviews across the town and a survey to find out what they think and feel about Swindon’s Heritage Action Zone.
These insights will help to inform the next phase of the work towards a new place brand.