The Switch on to Swindon (SOTS) team have been busy getting out and about spreading the word about Swindon. Last week we were invited to present at the first Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce corporate insights lunch at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel. Swindon Chamber president Kevin Gwillam hosted the event and it was a pleasure to see so many SOTS ambassadors in the room with more recruited by the end.

As well as running through the economic growth priorities for Swindon and describing what the Switch on to Swindon campaign has been doing in its first year, the event was a good opportunity to find out more about the Chamber’s Made in Swindon initiative which kicked off a couple of weeks ago. The aim of Made in Swindon is to showcase the success of local, regional and international businesses based or founded in Swindon.

The more people shouting about Swindon the better as far as I’m concerned and I’d encourage you to go to the Chamber website and take a look at the films they have produced to support Made in Swindon -

In a similar vein we are stacking up the great stories from our SOTS ambassadors and they are getting an excellent response. The first sixteen stories are live here with more to follow.

Looking ahead we will have a Switch on to Swindon stand at the first ever Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) Annual Conference on Thursday. We work closely with the SWLEP, with some of our ambassadors sitting on the board, because Swindon’s dynamic local economy is one of the cornerstones of the wider economic strategy for Wiltshire. The event will be a chance to get to know more about the work being done to build Swindon’s economic advantages and take its economy forward.

During the conference, attendees will hear about the re-launch of the Swindon and Wiltshire Growth Hub, progress on SWLEP’s £518m portfolio of infrastructure projects, and also offers an opportunity for networking with influential attendees and businesses from across Swindon and Wiltshire’s diverse industries.

The SWLEP is becoming increasingly important drive economic growth and secure investment from government for the vital infrastructure that Swindon needs. There is still time to register for the event and I would encourage anyone with an interest in Swindon’s economic growth to do so here -

To finish I’ve been asked by Gavin Calthrop who heads up the Switch on to Swindon team to pay tribute to Tony Martin who sadly passed away last week. In communities of all sizes there are usually a few people who stand out and through sheer determination get pull people together and get things done. Tony was certainly one of those people.

Switch on to Swindon were invited by Tony to present at the most recent Involve Swindon conference. His work to develop this network of companies and other organisations to encourage employees to volunteer their time in the local community was quite incredible. As Gavin says, Tony was one of those people you just couldn’t say no to because his enthusiasm and commitment was infectious. He leaves an amazing legacy and Switch on to Swindon will do everything it can to support Involve Swindon.