The Carriage Works is situated at the heart of Swindon railway heritage area.
Swindon Railway Works opened in January 1843 as a repair and maintenance facility for the new Great Western Railway. By 1900 the works had expanded dramatically and employed over 12,000 people. At its peak in the 1930s, the works covered over 300 acres and was capable of producing three locomotives a week.
Fast forward a few decades, the Carriage Works is still a thriving economic industrial area, with a mix match of car garages and specialist workshops.
Swindon Borough Council are beginning a digital transformation journey, but to be able to do this effectively long term, they need a digitally enabled workforce, on tap. Companies and organisations that reside in the town also need a new digital workforce to meet today’s challenges, with less. Less people, and less capital.
The heritage of Swindon’s Carriage Works (once part of railway innovation) is being transformed. Large units have been emptied and digital SME’s are primed to move in. Its all started with WORKSHED. A tech and digital incubation centre, funded by Swindon Borough Council. A empty, dirty, rundown industrial unit has been transformed into high end, cost effective a flexible office space, something more likely to be seen in London and other large cities. Swindon’s digital revival has begun.
The Carto Group were one of the first in, even before the dust had settled. Our CEO and Founder, Tim Hughes (a Swindonian), has been bought into this vision before the architects had even started their designs.
Of course WORKSHED is just the start, and Swindon Borough Council have commissioned The Carto Group to undertake 3D building surveys of the ‘old bike sheds’ and the other empty units at the Carriage Works. Being unused for many years and the fact the buildings are listed, means there are many structural challenges for architects and engineers to come through, so a reliable high resolution 3D survey of the buildings was a must.
We are proud to be part of the transformation and revival of Swindon’s ‘heritage zone’ and also be residents within the buildings.
The future is bright for this once forgotten area, and with the amazing footfall from the Outlet Village and National Trust, the area is on the verge of becoming a bustling community, like it once was when it served the railway.