Aerial view of Swindon's Railway Village
Swindon’s Railway Village becomes a Heritage Action Zone © Historic England 29615/042
Swindon’s Railway Village becomes a Heritage Action Zone © Historic England 29615/042

Swindon Heritage Action Zone

The Swindon Heritage Action Zone was launched in June 2019, an ambitious five year plan to revitalise the town’s unique heritage and unlock its economic potential.

The Swindon Heritage Action Zone will breathe new life into the town’s Railway Village, an area rich in heritage and full of promise, to make it a more attractive place to residents, businesses, tourists and investors.

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The HAZ will pool the skills and resources of a number of partners to regenerate Brunel’s 1841 Great Western Railway Works and the village built to house its thousands of employees. It will restore and repair neglected public buildings and bring them back into use, improve public spaces and connections between the village and the town centre, and promote and celebrate the area’s special qualities, helping to instil a sense of local pride.

Over the five year programme Swindon Borough Council and Historic England will jointly invest £7.6 million in this special area.

Google Arts and Culture Gallery

From the comfort of your own home you can also take a visual journey through Swindon's development as a railway town with a Google Arts and Culture exhibit gallery.

View the Google Arts and Culture gallery

Key projects

Sixteen separate projects – from repair schemes to place branding and public engagement – will add up to make a big difference to Swindon’s future prosperity.

  • Reviewing the Railway Works and Railway Village Conservation Areas, to better understand issues affecting them and to plan for their future management
  • Producing updated list descriptions for some buildings, and gathering evidence for a Local List
  • A shopfront improvement scheme to help local businesses stand out and thrive
  • Improving the condition of the Health Hydro and its immediate surroundings
  • Refurbishing the Grade II Cricketers’ and bringing it back into use
  • Repairing and reusing the Grade II Carriage Works as a new co-working business hub and a Cultural Heritage Institute
  • Securing a sustainable future for the Grade II* Listed Mechanics’ Institution
  • Producing and putting in place a management plan for the GWR Park

With the appointment of Project Officer Karen Phimister, work is set to begin with a review of listings, a Conservation Area appraisal and key research work.


The HAZ brings together established groups and partnership who share a passion for the potential of Swindon’s heritage. They include:-

  • Mechanics Institution Trust
  • Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership
  • National Lottery Heritage Fund
  • National Trust
  • Swindon Designer Outlet
  • Swindon Business Improvement District
  • English Heritage

The Swindon Heritage Action Zone will capitalise on the town’s proud railway heritage and make it easy for investors and developers to bring jobs, homes and visitors here..

Rebecca Barrett, Regional Director, Historic England

The Heritage Action Zone will enable Swindon’s prized assets to flourish for years to come

Cllr David Renard, Leader of Swindon Borough Council

Get involved!

There will be many opportunities to get involved in the Swindon HAZ and to celebrate Swindon’s railway heritage through events, exhibitions, publications and tours.

Keep up to date by following the project on Twitter @HistoricEngland and @SwindonCouncil and by checking the project web page.

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