Refurbishment of Swindon’s Health Hydro one step closer

Work will include full refurbishment of the iconic Victorian Turkish baths.

Swindon Borough Council has now gone out to tender to secure a specialist leisure consultant, with experience working with listed buildings, to deliver the £6.5m refurbishment of the 130-year-old Milton Road centre.

Part of the funding includes £5m from central government's Towns Fund scheme.

The project will deliver an upgrade of the building’s leisure facilities and will include a full refurbishment of the iconic Victorian Turkish baths alongside general maintenance and repairs.

Councillor Robert Jandy, Cabinet Member for Culture, Heritage, Leisure and Town Centre Experience, said: “It’s great to see progress being made on the refurbishment of this amazing historical centre."

“The Health Hydro provides a swimming and social opportunity to so many in the town so it’s important we make sure it is in the best condition possible for this and future generations.”

The work at the centre is part of Swindon’s Heritage Action Zone, through which Swindon Borough Council has been able to deliver improvements to key heritage buildings and spaces linked to the town's historic Railway Village.

The Health Hydro holds a special place in the history of the area with it being fully paid for by workers of the Great Western Railway who once resided in the village.

Not only did it have its recognisable pools and baths, but it also housed medicinal facilities including dentistry and surgeries. It is also said to be where the NHS was first born with workers taking deductions from their pay packets to go towards receiving care at the site.

This latest project will help bring Swindon town centre back to its former glory and make it a welcoming place for everyone. Investing in regeneration projects like these should also have a snowball effect, increasing land values and attracting new private sector investment into new services, facilities, homes, retail and workspaces to support local jobs.