Have your say in Swindon’s economic future

By Anita Jaynes on 16 June, 2017

Swindon is already one of the UK’s fastest growing towns and the refreshed Swindon Economic Strategy sets out a vision to build on this over the next 10 years. Swindon Borough Council is asking members of the public to give their feedback on the strategy during a four-week consultation with business owners and residents to have their say on the future of Swindon’s economy by taking part in a short online survey. The refreshed draft Economic Strategy for Swindon sets out the ambition to grow Swindon’s economy, create jobs, attract investment and create a prosperous town for local people and communities. Swindon will also be promoted as a key location for people to work and live.

The strategy has been refreshed from the original document agreed in 2013 in response to changing circumstances locally, regionally and nationally.

Swindon is ranked as the UK’s seventh most investable town or city, and over the next ten years, Swindon’s economy is expected to growth from its current value of £6.6 billion to £8.4 billion by 2026 – an increase of 27 percent.

The strategy also sets to build on Swindon’s strong growth in population, with the Borough’s population set to grow by 25 per cent to 250,000 in the next decade.

Key points in the Economic Strategy include creating opportunities for young people and developing employer engagement with a focus on schools and colleges. The strategy also sets out a vision to build partnerships with regional universities, Swindon College and New College to attract higher education investment to Swindon.

Further to this, the strategy also sets out plans for Swindon to build upon its national reputation as a centre for advanced engineering and technology by engaging in inward investment and promotional activity. The plans include strengthening the automotive supply chain and ensuring sufficient development land comes forward to grow these high value industries.

Swindon’s continued regeneration forms a key part of the strategy including creating a regional leisure destination at North Star, building upon the town’s national reputation as a low carbon economy, delivering business support, and ensuring the continued delivery of high quality housing. Total anticipated investment in the town centre is expected to amount to £0.5 billion over the next ten years. Specific proposals include the refurbishment of the Carriage Works as an innovation hub for start-up and growing knowledge based businesses working alongside higher education institutions; the creation of a new central business district at Kimmerfields, and a new museum and art gallery to house Swindon’s nationally important modern art collection.

The strategy also sets out an ambition to create 20,000 new jobs and build an extra 22,000 homes to support the forecast growth. A downloadable PDF of the proposed new strategy is available to view  by clicking here.

To take part in the survey click here.