Thursday, March 09, 2017

The Mechanics of Trust

If the Mechanics' Trust got a pound for every column inch of coverage of their cause then the building in question would be gold-plated by now.

The latest grand plan from them deems that they want to take over the entirety of the Railway Village. The trust also want £15 - £20 million of Heritage Lottery Fund money to cover the cost of repairing the Mechanics', but they fail to see the wood for the trees.

There's no way the HLF will give two bids of money of such quantities to Swindon for two projects, the Mechanics' and the new museum and art gallery (regardless of whether it will be on the Wyvern car park site or if they get drunk and decide to go with the London Street carriage works site that the Mechanics' Trust are so certain on).

Swindon Borough Council and Forward Swindon already have a plan for the carriage works site, plus Forward Swindon have their own feasibility study into the Mechanics'. The latter was missed out of the Adver piece.

The track record of the Trust is patchy at a very generous best :

- Bakers Arms. Given to the Trust after closing in 2012. Still closed.

- Central Community Centre. Given to the Trust from SBC. According to news provided by an independent source (that independent source being, erm, the Mechanics' Trust), it's being run well.

- The Old Railway Cottage. Given to the Trust from SBC. Opened a handful of times, but no prospect of opening regularly.

- An allotment plot. Given to the Trust (along with the purchase of new tools). Has been overgrown ever since.

- A People's Lottery-funded development officer who left part way through his tenure due to creative differences.

On top of this, the Trust want to be given :

The Health Hydro.

The old Railway Museum.

The Cricketers Pub.

Plus they want £50,000 to put together a business plan for their plan for the Mechanics' building.

Do we trust the Trust?

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