Engaging companies to ensure that the Government delivers a business friendly Brexit has been named as the number one policy priority by Swindon Chamber Council and its members.

The local Council represents a broad range of businesses, with a workforce that made it the manufacturing centre for the Great Western Railway and set the standard for excellence in engineering.

Swindon is also home to global brands such as Nationwide, Intel and the UK manufacturing hub for Honda and BMW.

In its key policy statement, which was formally presented at the Assembly of Chamber Presidents’ securing the right Brexit deal for the community was determined as crucial for the future of the town.

Outlining priorities for the next 12/18 months, the statement was fully endorsed and supported by the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, the only accredited Chamber in the region.

Other core areas identified included calling for improvement in regional and local infrastructure, specifically to call for investment along the Great Western line to free capacity to London and help bring Swindon within ‘the golden hour’ of London; timely implementation of Heathrow’s Third Runway; and commitment to delivering local infrastructure elements including improvements to the M4 Junction 16A; a new western link road to connect with the A419 north of the town/south of Cricklade and the extension of Thames Drive.

The importance of having an appropriate financial injection to manage, maintain and improve services and associated infrastructure for Swindon town centre; and a call to action for a 2050 Vision that maximises the potential to align economic and land-use planning to shape and frame Swindon’s future were also highlighted.

Kevin Gwilliam, President of the Swindon Chamber of Commerce said: “Securing a Brexit deal that places infrastructure and investment at the heart of any campaign is key to our long-term future.

“The local business community is unified in its approach and we are inviting partners to engage with business and the local Chamber Council to help shape, frame and deliver solutions that will secure the economic prosperity of the local area and wider Thames Valley region.”

Paul Britton, CEO of the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce commented: “Swindon businesses have spoken.

“Over the coming months, we will be working alongside the local Chamber Council and the British Chambers of Commerce to ensure that politicians, public policy makers and other key stakeholders are clear about the needs of the local community.

“As one of the UK's most successful regions, a proven destination for inward investment and a significant origin of export orientated trading companies, we are keen to secure economic prosperity throughout the Thames Valley region including Swindon, with the local Chamber Council playing a crucial role in helping shape, frame and deliver tangible solutions.”