Labour Leader and Shadow Chancellor visit Swindon’s women in business

By Anita Jaynes on 19 November, 2022

On Friday 18th November Leader of the Opposition, Sir Kier Starmer and Shadow Chancellor, Rachel Reeves visited the Foundry at the Workshed business centre in Swindon to meet with local women entrepreneurs.

The event was arranged as the Labour Party showed an interest in meeting with local female business owners to find out more about the challenges currently faced by women in business, with a view to understanding what government could or should be doing to enable them to thrive. 

Gilly Gray, Founder of sustainable fashion consultancy, The Sustainable Gray attended the visit, she said, “Kier and Rachel were very much in listening mode, keen to hear about our businesses and the challenges we face. The current cost of living crisis was very high on the agenda, but it was also important for me to tell them that, as female entrepreneurs, we face very personal challenges on a day-to-day basis like balancing caring responsibilities, general life admin and health concerns such as the menopause; these can all really impact one’s ability to run a business.”

Talia Maddison owner of The Cotswold Cooks and The Cricklade Club, was also in attendance, she said, “I spoke to Keir about the importance of supporting small businesses, about organic farming and the environment and finally about the importance of motivating children to eat healthily, at which point I thrust my book ‘The Giant Who Eats Trees’ into his hands. It is a book to inspire children to eat vegetables. He encouraged me to continue to take it into schools. Job done!”

Ieva Delininkaityte, Marketing Lead at Create Studios and Founder of talent agency, Evito Talent, added,“I attended the event and had a great chance to talk with Keir – and even take a selfie! What really stays with me after the event is that Keir took time to listen to every one of us. He asked us about our businesses and any struggles that we experience and took time to answer. To have events like this is super important as it brings the community together and we all know that together we are stronger. 

“This event might not make a huge difference right away but in the long run. It was great to share the real-life struggles and joys with politicians who seems to genuinely care. I asked Keir to join us at the launch of Create Studios new facilities in March, watch this space!”

To find out more about The Foundry visit:

And for more about the Workshed go to: