Throughout the Summer months, Swindon has an abundance of festivals and fetes for families across the town to enjoy. However, one area of the town has been largely lacking a community event despite experiencing massive growth in recent years. Last week, following a public meeting, a committee was established that will look to start the first ever North Swindon Festival later this year.
A number of ideas of what shape the festival will take and where it will be held have so far been put forward but the overall aim is agreed by everyone.
“We want it to bring North Swindon together and help to build a community spirit,” said Suzi Gatward, 32, of Haydon Wick. “Whatever we do, it has to be for everyone of all ages. At the end of the day it is all about meeting new people who live in your community because at the moment there is not really a chance to do that in North Swindon.
“When you look around Swindon, there is the Old Town Festival, the Stratton Festival and lots of others but nothing around here, which is what we want to change.” Over the past 20 years or so, the north of Swindon has expanded rapidly with Oakhurst and Redhouse being just a few of the neighbourhoods which have sprung up.
“I think a lot of people have moved into the area from outside so there isn’t the community spirit,” said Suzi.“I am an example of that, having moved to Swindon eight years ago. Hopefully this festival will be able break down some of the barriers and become a real highlight of the year for North Swindon.”
Many of the key details are yet to be ironed out but the organisers are keen to get something in place for this year. At last week’s meeting, which was attended by about 30 people, ideas were put forward as to what the festival may consist of and where it may be held. To assist with getting everything off the ground, organisers have access to money from a locality fund.
Suzi said: “It was a really good turnout. When we first met there were about eight of us but now we are gaining momentum. The next stage for us is to put the best ideas together. “We are then going to hold another public meeting to explain how we are going to move forward.”