Over 350 business people and community representatives joined forces on Tuesday 24 January to signal the start of a new collaborative approach to put Swindon in the spotlight as being a great place to live, work, invest in and visit.
For too long Swindon has suffered from a lack of self-appreciation, despite the town having the fifth highest employment rate in the UK, delivering £6.6 billion in GVA economic output annually and having outstanding education and arts facilities, including one of the finest collections of British Modern Art outside London.
What will make Switch On To Swindon different is that it is driven by local businesses and community groups – the Ambassadors – to support and deliver the changes they want to see. The campaign is based on similar initiatives from across the country, which have already brought in significant investment for their regions, including Doncaster and Coventry.
Switch On To Swindon has been spearheaded by Nicky Alberry, Chair of Influence, which has now evolved into the Place Marketing Board leading the campaign.
Nicky said: “The start of Switch On To Swindon is major milestone in the success story of our town.
“Five years ago, a diverse group of people from major employers down to SMEs and micro-businesses sat down together and mulled over an idea. We wanted to be able to work closely with bodies like Swindon Borough Council and the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, to help them understand the needs of business and of the economy, and to understand the challenges and constraints they faced in trying to meet those needs.
“Influence has achieved a lot in the last five years – we initiated a local procurement policy to minimise the red tape for local companies to supply to the public sector; we’ve worked with Nationwide on the introduction of their Military Transition Programme; and we’ve added our collective input to issues of regional and national importance, including the electrification of the railway line, the proposed third runway at Heathrow, Swindon’s Local Plan and its Economic Strategy.
“Now the time has come for every business, whatever the size, to sign up to supporting Swindon as a great place to work, live, do business in, relocate to, and where ideas and innovation thrive.”
Switch On To Swindon is looking for Ambassadors from all ranges of business and community organisations to join the campaign to show people inside and outside of Swindon what we have to offer.
For more information or to sign up as an Ambassador visit www.switchontoswindon.com