Forward Swindon is the company established by Swindon Borough Council in 2010 to deliver and facilitate economic growth and property development in the town. Forward Swindon is a limited company, funded by the Council, but operating independently. The Company has a Board recruited from locally based commercial organisations and Council representatives. The Company staff includes specialists in economic growth and inward investment, property development, marketing, project management and stakeholder engagement, with a mix of backgrounds in the private and public sector.
The aim of this activity is to generate more enquiries from businesses looking to establish or relocate their operations, by raising the profile of Swindon as a great place to locate, by ensuring we provide a first class information and support process to help that business choose Swindon and then set up here. For this activity we will: Design and launch a campaign to promote Swindon as a business location. Complete and launch a new ‘Invest in Swindon’ website. Become known as the point of contact for companies considering coming to Swindon. Increase our success rate by improving the way in which we handle investment enquiries by establishing and meeting high level service standards. Develop the hydrogen refuelling station project further as a means of demonstrating Swindon’s ability to innovate and an example of the Town’s low carbon economy. Work with the local Planning Authority to ensure there is a ready supply, both now and in the future, of good quality sites and premises available for new companies. Top 10 messages for Swindon Highly productive, adaptable workforce Home to big brands and HQs Strongest manufacturing sector of any town in South West Affordable workspace, affordable housing Track record of start-ups and flourishing SME’s Diverse economy – cars, financial services, heritage, semiconductors £350m-£500m investment in town centre regeneration “ Model” town – firsts in technology and reference point Super connectivity for transport and commuting Beautiful countryside within 15 minutes drive
Particularly in these difficult economic conditions it is important that Swindon provides the best environment it can for existing businesses to thrive and grow. Forward Swindon will lead activity to improve the conditions for businesses already operating here by; understanding better the barriers to their success and developing and implementing solutions to overcome them; provide useful and accurate information on what support is available to businesses from a range of sources. For this activity we will: Implement a programme of business engagement (Business Retention & Engagement) to develop a good understanding of the barriers to growth faced by companies in Swindon, and develop solutions to remove these barriers. Strengthen our relationships with other organisations that provide support to business in order that we can ensure companies in Swindon know about and access that support. Ensure we influence the delivery of support by other organisations to ensure it meets Swindon’s needs. Work with the Council to ensure there is a ready supply of good quality employment space that enables existing businesses to grow and remain in Swindon. Develop and support strong relationships with business representative organisations including the LEP, Influence, Chamber of Commerce, and FSB.
Purpose: Clear vision Strategic framework Basis for updating policy Illustrative master plan 15-20 year time frame Range of short, medium and long term projects
In order to attract more new business, support existing business and generate greater prosperity for all the people of Swindon we need to physically regenerate those parts of the town that are in poor condition and can be improved. In doing so we not only remove existing eyesores but we create new jobs, homes, shops and leisure opportunities - making Swindon a much better place to live and work. For this activity we will: Achieve a start on site for Union Square. Work with the developer to bring forward further phases of Union Square. Complete the station forecourt scheme Complete the refurbishment of the GWR tunnel. Work with developers to bring forward other physical improvement projects such as Regents Circus, and the Parade public realm that help to increase the attractiveness of the town centre. Complete a new town centre Masterplan Oversee delivery of the proposed Oasis redevelopment, including provision of a project management service.
Ian Piper, Forward Swindon
The Business Show Swindon19th March 2013Ian Piper – Chief Executive