Mechanics’ Institute

  • Location: Swindon
  • Client: Mechanics' Institution Trust
  • Destination: Railway Village, Swindon
  • Role: Options appraisal and development strategy advice for the re-use and regeneration of the Grade II* listed building

Fourth Street, in partnership with Donald Insall Associates and Ian Walker Associates, was commissioned by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust to undertake a viability assessment for the Mechanics’ Institute. This commission followed a series of studies, undertaken over several years, that appraised a wide range of possible uses for the building.

The combination of the market assessment, stakeholder consultations and building appraisal revealed a preferred option that proposes the Mechanics’ Institute’s restoration and revival into a high quality, multi-purpose events venue. This responds to the partners’ strategic aims and objectives while offering a solution that has a high probability of being funded and the strong potential to become financially viable in operation.

Key to its long-term financial viability in operation will be its attractiveness and suitability for staging meetings, conferences and wedding events. These will be the commercial bedrock that underpins its operational financial viability and enables it to operate as a multi-purpose venue, with a broader supporting range of arts, cultural, education and community programming.

On 22nd April 2020, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet unanimously agreed to the proposed way forward for the Mechanics’ Institute as set out in Fourth Street’s report.