Swindon was full of colour this weekend with the 10th Swindon and Wiltshire Pride Parade.

It was great to see so many Swindon companies represented and the whole community come together to celebrate diversity. The Switch on to Swindon campaign seeks to shine a light on all the great things about the town. A strong sense of community is certainly one of those things and this was on full display on Saturday.

I was reminded of something else that we should celebrate more in an excellent blog by one of our ambassadors last week, see here for the full blog – www.insideswindontheatres.wordpress.com

Culture in Swindon is always a hot topic, often talked about by people who don’t have any idea just what a thriving arts and cultural scene there is here. Swindon Theatres (Wyvern Theatre and the Swindon Arts Centre) offered a timely reminder by sharing the work they do and here is just a snapshot.

They programme more than 250 shows a year including concerts, comedy, dance, drama, musical theatre and local amateur productions across both of venues. The Wyvern Theatre auditorium holds 635 seats with every seat designed to be no more than 70ft from the stage, so there is no such thing as a bad seat in the house. It is home to nationally recognised organisations Prime Theatre, Create Studios and Reach Inclusive Arts. Prime Theatre and Create Studios have recently been recognised and received National Portfolio Organisation status by Arts Council England.

The Swindon Arts Centre in Old Town celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2016 with a selection of performances by companies who have been involved with the Arts Centre over the years.

Every year, Swindon’s cultural scene bursts with world class musicians, authors and films presented by the Swindon Recital Series, Swindon Festival of Literature and the Swindon Film Society.

The Recital Series are concerts that take place each year from September to April. The annual Swindon Festival of Literature brings together writers, thinkers, speakers, novelists, poets and storytellers to present and discuss literature in all its forms. The Swindon Film Society showcases films from around the world at the Swindon Arts Centre.

One of the most exciting times for the Wyvern is right now with the annual Summer Youth Project which takes place in the last two weeks of August. Young people are offered the chance to work alongside a professional creative team (director, designer and technicians) to rehearse and perform a full scale musical on the Wyvern Stage.

All of this in Swindon and there are a whole host of other arts and cultural things in offer. If you are in any doubt about just how much is on offer then you can should take a look at some of the 293 posts on the subject from another one of our ambassadors, Angela Atkinson - http://swindonian.me/category/artscultureheritage/

Great news for Swindon last week with the announcement from BMW that their new electric Mini would be built at Cowley, securing the future of panel pressing at Plant Swindon. With the company’s new battery-electric cars going into production at the Oxford plant from 2019, Swindon will have a significant part to play in the new electric Mini which is a real boost for the local economy.

Got to www.switchontoswindon.com for more information about how to become an ambassador and how you can contribute to the campaign.