28th November 2023
PLANS TO RE-INVENT APSLEY HOUSE. YOUNG entrepreneur Arthur Dallimer has submitted plans to Swindon Council. The plans set out his future vision for the town’s former museum and art gallery, Apsley House.
The twenty-eight-year-old, bought and sold his first property at the age of eighteen. He’s asking for full planning permission for this iconic Old Town building to bring it into the 21st century. His aim is to create a destination building in the heart of Old Town. He’s submitted the plans to Swindon Borough Council for consideration over the coming weeks.
He’s asked for permission to create a flagship ninety-cover restaurant within the former gallery. The full refurbishment of Apsley House will, he hopes, allow for two new retail units on the ground floor of the main house. And, further, a ‘we work’ style co-working and meeting space for businesses within the local area.
Work will also begin over time on upgrading several retail units on Victoria Road that are all part of Apsley House.
Hopes and plans
Im hopeful that the local planning authority will welcome these plans Arthur said. ‘Swindon is crying out for investment to improve its heritage assets. I was born and brought up here and I want to create something we’re all proud of, that benefits the residents and the economy of Old Town. My intention is to make this a go-to venue for our vibrant community.’
*Apsley House is a Grade II listed building, built around 1830. In the first instance it served as the home of surgeon Charles James Fox Axford. It changed hands a few times before becoming the home of the Toomer family from 1870. The family, who made their wealth as coal merchants, stayed there for over fifty years. It then became the property of the local authority. In the 1960s, the council added a modern extension.
*Apsley House features in Swindon in 50 Buildings.
The decision to close the museum came in September 2021 by Swindon Council as they considered it to be unviable. They removed all exhibits in March the following year. The building went up for sale in June 2022.
As soon as I saw the property I knew it had potential for the future. I’m a believer in heritage being a catalyst for the future if it’s embraced and respected yet also made fit for a modern purpose. If we don’t have the vision to update such properties and create a new use for them, at lenght we’ll lose them altogether,’ Arthur said.
Arthur is the founder of William Arthur Property. He’s an experienced and successful property developer concentrating on developments, both commercial and residential in Swindon, Wiltshire and Bristol.
For more information visit https://williamarthurproperty.com
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