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More than 1,000 people sign up to back the bid for a new Swindon Museum and Art Gallery in first two weeks

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Trust volunteers Linda Kasmaty Jane Milner-Barry trust director Rod Hebden and volunteer Rosemary YeldhamTrust volunteers Linda Kasmaty Jane Milner-Barry trust director Rod Hebden and volunteer Rosemary YeldhamMore than a thousand people signed up to back the bid for a new museum and art gallery to be built next to the Wyvern Theatre in Swindon in the first two weeks after the campaign was launched.

The director of the Swindon Museum and Art Gallery Trust, Dr Rod Hebden, said that in the first two weeks of the Back the Bid campaign, 1,111 people had signed the postcards saying they want this project for Swindon.

This autumn, the trust will be submitting a bid for around £10m from the Heritage Lottery Fund towards the £22m project. The trust has already secured more than £6.5m and will be sourcing the balance through corporate and private funding.

Rod said that if the bid is to be successful, it must show that there is support from the local community.

“Since the launch day I and a group of volunteers have been taking the model of the new museum and art gallery to various community events, such as fetes and festivals, explaining the project and asking people for their thoughts. At each event we’ve had tremendous interest, and almost everyone we spoke with was keen to sign a postcard and add their support.

“And of those who were seeing the model for the first time, the first impression was almost universal – everyone says ‘Wow!’“

The next opportunity to see the model and talk to trust volunteers will be from 1pm to 5pm on Saturday, July 15 at the Pinehurst Fun Day.