Nationwide's headquarters in Pipers Way was packed to the rafters last night as the great and the good of the town gathered to hear the much mooted 'Big Idea' for the town from Switch on to Swindon.
Switch on to Swindon was formed a couple of years ago with council backing, to try and entice businesses to the town at the same time as changing perceptions from without and within.
At an event last year in the Carriageworks the campaign announced that it would be putting together a 'Big Idea' to firmly put the town on the map and it was finally unveiled at a glamorous event at Nationwide last night.
And the 'Big Idea' is Tech Swindon - a concept put together by Swindon Marketing firm Bravedog, that will be celebrating the town as a centre for tech and innovation.
The Tech Swindon campaign will support and promote Swindon’s growing digi-tech community and is a Switch On To Swindon (SOTS) branded project. The project will work with organisations and business groups to run a series of meet-up events for start-ups, micros, SMES and larger companies, which either provide digi-tech products and services or are reliant on it to do business.
The year-long campaign will culminate in a two-day summit in spring 2020 with high-profile speakers from Swindon and around the world, in venues across the town, welcoming up to 1,000 visitors a day.
The aim of the campaign is to work with partners to enhance Swindon’s digi-tech cluster and showcase its impressive capability to attract inward investment and a pipeline of additional skilled staff to allow business growth.
Switch On To Swindon proudly unveiled Nationwide Building Society as its first TechSwindon sponsor. On the night, Nationwide confirmed its support and sponsorship of the year-long campaign to build and promote Swindon’s tech capability.
DigiTech is a strong and growing industry and Swindon boasts the UK’s 3rd most productive tech sector with over 2,800 companies in Swindon and Wiltshire delivering digi-tech products and services and over 25,000 companies reliant on digi-tech to operate.
Jenny Groves, Chair of Switch On To Swindon said: “The Switch On brand is used to promote Swindon as the destination of choice to live, work and do business and our 600 plus passionate Ambassadors provide their time and support to share these positive messages. Both local businesses and new investors will benefit from the TechSwindon focus on attracting and developing additional talent, alongside the timely recent announcement of Institute of Technology funding for Swindon College and partners.”
A number of businesses have already signed up to support the campaign, and lots more opportunities for business engagement and promotion will be announced over the coming weeks.
Also at the Switch On To Swindon event, over 400 delegates heard Nationwide Building Society’s latest news; a business in the community round up from Swindon 105.5 and were wowed by demonstrations from some of Swindon’s digi-tech community including an impressive drone display.
Councillor Oliver Donachie, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Economy and Place, said: “Advances in digi-tech are essential to Swindon’s industrial growth in all of its key sectors, particularly advanced manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, business finance and professional services and logistics.
“I am therefore delighted we have launched the TechSwindon campaign, which will keep Swindon at the forefront of this dynamic sector.”