The economic future of Swindon is very bright, of that there is no doubt. The town sits within 60 minutes of five major cities in the south and south-west, namely Reading, Oxford, Gloucester, Bristol and Bath. Thanks to excellent motorway and rail connections, the Centre for Cities claimed in 2015 that Swindon is now one of the most innovative and knowledge-intensive places in the UK and also labelled it a ‘Fast Growth City’ last year.
With a £16bn economic output and 281 businesses per 10,000 of the Swindon population, our Wiltshire town is becoming a nationally significant hotbed for businesses in a number of sectors, most notably:
Since the mid-20th century, Swindon has been a leading player in the UK car industry. Today, it remains Honda’s headquarters for its entire European automotive operation, having invested hundreds of millions in Swindon’s automotive experts to design and build the next generation Honda Civic for its global customer base. In fact, since 1985, Honda has invested £2.2bn in Swindon’s automotive sector.
Swindon is also doing its bit to lead the way in terms of an energy efficiency automotive industry and is home to the UK Centre of Excellence for hydrogen fuel cells. It is also becoming a powerful mouthpiece for the British car industry as a whole, urging a phased Brexit plan to avoid a ‘cliff edge’ for Swindon’s car plants and those across the country.
The Swindon Borough Council’s Economy & Growth team claimed in October 2015 that the town was home to 13,000 jobs in banking and professional and financial services. This amounted to a 14% increase in jobs in Swindon’s banking and finance sector. The South West of England as a whole boasts the third-largest financial services sector in the UK, employing almost 150,000 professionals for leading insurance, banking and wealth management firms. Law firm Irwin Mitchell also ranked Swindon as the fourth best town in the UK for economic growth in the financial services sector.
Swindon and Wiltshire as a whole is a region that’s increasingly gripped by financial trading. There are knowledge academies and forex trading hubs across the area, equipping future and existing traders with the skills necessary to make consistent profits in the UK trading markets online via the many tax-free spread betting platforms that provide direct access to tens of thousands of foreign exchange markets.
Swindon also benefits from being situated a stone’s throw from the M4 corridor – also known as the UK’s very own Silicon Valley. Last year, the M4 corridor turned over £10bn from tech economy, second only to London in the list of the UK’s most profitable ICT sectors.
“Microchip” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by steve r watson
The Swindon Borough Council’s Economy & Growth team also revealed that computer programming and consultancy was one of the town’s biggest cluster of professionals, with some 2,500 programming experts based here in Wiltshire.
In fact, forget Silicon Valley, Swindon is part of its very own triumvirate of tech towns, called Silicon Gorge. With numbers high-tech and research companies operating out of Swindon, Bristol and Gloucester, it is rapidly becoming one of the fastest-growing digital areas in the UK outside of the capital. So much so that global tech innovators, Intel have set up an innovation centre at its UK headquarters in Swindon town centre.
Couple this with the fact that Wiltshire Business Hub believes 94% of businesses launched in the county succeed and thrive, and you have a region that’s geared to economic growth.