Plans to create an innovation centre for sustainable technologies in the heart of Swindon have been submitted.
Swindon Borough Council has kicked off the process by submitting a planning application to convert units 3, 5, 7 and 17 at the former railway shed into a higher education facility and offices.
The £17 million facility will house academics from the Universities of Bath and Oxford and industrialists to develop sustainable chemical technologies to accelerate the UK’s transition to net zero.
The Innovation Centre for Applied Sustainable Technologies (iCAST) will focus on research into four core programmes: bio-based feedstocks; sustainable chemical production systems; sustainable engineering materials; and plastics as part of a circular economy.
Industry partners include Unilever, Wessex Water, Corbion, Total Corbion PLA, and Recycling Technologies.
The plans include adding a mezzanine floor to the upper storey of unit seven and creating a reception and meeting rooms on the lower ground floor among the original supporting pillars.
Many of the internal and external industrial features of the Victorian Grade II listed buildings – which were used as a canteen and bike store for railway workers – will be retained, although some 20th century additions, considered to have no historic or architectural value, will be demolished or removed.