Swindon’s STEAM Museum has unveiled a new visitor parking area at the popular railway museum, following a six week construction project to improve the drainage and surfacing that has blighted the visitor attraction for many years.
Working in partnership with McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon, the Council-managed project has created six dedicated coach parking bays and much needed parking for blue badge holders directly outside STEAM.
The project, which has been 12 months in the planning, gathered momentum when Councillor Garry Perkins, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, championed the museum’s application to secure the external funding for the essential improvement works to the museum frontage.
Cllr Garry Perkins, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member responsible for STEAM said: “We have worked in partnership with McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Swindon to make this area more appealing and welcoming to the many thousands of visitors who visit both STEAM and the Outlet Centre each year.
“First impressions are so important when visiting a heritage visitor attraction like STEAM, and I’m delighted to see an end to the large puddles which have greeted STEAM’s visitors and coach companies for some time.”
The project was funded by developers Section 106 contributions set aside for public realm improvements within the town and the contract was successfully completed by Swindon-based contractor Lake Edge Limited, following a thorough tendering process.
Ian Surtees, Income Generation Manager at STEAM, said “It’s been a rewarding project to manage and help turn an area which was prone to excessive flooding into a versatile and attractive parking facility for STEAM and Swindon Designer Outlet customers.
“We had to find a cost effective, but aesthetically pleasing surfacing solution to accommodate the high volume of traffic to this location and I’m really pleased with the end result.”
The car park was constructed using specialist system Golpla® manufactured in the UK by Geosynthetics Limited. This is made from high quality recycled plastics with gravel reinforcement and erosion control and is used at many heritage sites throughout the UK.