Proud of our past – ambitious for the future. This is one of the key themes of Switch on to Swindon and the past week couldn’t have epitomised this better.

The Switch on to Swindon team were at Steam last Wednesday night to look back at a year of celebrations marking the birth of Swindon 175 years ago.

Local businesses, groups and organisations got behind Swindon175 enabling the town to celebrate with great pride its successes and showcase Swindon’s track record as a place of economic innovation with a thriving business and social community. An array of events took place including a Royal visit; the return of iconic locomotives to Steam - King George V and City of Truro; and a procession of vintage cars around the Magic Roundabout to name just a few. I encourage you to visit to see everything that has been going on.

Working with the Swindon175 team over the last year showed those connected to Switch on to Swindon that there is a real desire to come together to promote Swindon more effectively. I was delighted to hear that so many people at the 175 event acknowledged the Switch on to Swindon campaign and I will do all I can to harness the positive energy that has been created and build on it.

Swindon 175 has given us a glimpse of what is possible if you mobilise people. If we are going to position Swindon effectively to compete for new investment, support existing businesses to grow and ensure the economy prospers, we need to tell the positive Swindon story in a more consistent way. It is my belief that the best people to do that are the businesses, organisations and people that are already here. Their collective skills, networks and enthusiasm are our biggest asset.

So, following the successful launch event in January I’m looking forward to hosting our first Ambassadors event on April 6 at the National Self Build and Renovation Centre (NSRBC), which is itself a Swindon gem with a great success story. What is an Ambassador? It is our intention to create a long term approach to promoting Swindon and this has to start from the ground up. We want to develop a Switch on to Swindon Ambassador network that is:

  • An alliance of businesses, organisations and individuals connected to Swindon;
  •  A powerful network that is regularly informed about what’s happening in the area;
  •  An influential group who proactively and positively seek to make connections, create synergies and make things happen in the place;
  •  A resource of people, contacts and energy that will help sell Swindon;
  •  A group that can influence the development of the area through ideas, fresh thinking, involvement and resource.

Anybody can be an Ambassador. We have a wonderfully diverse and vibrant business community in Swindon who have a crucial role to play in this work. Our voluntary and community sector is equally as diverse and active and has some or our most passionate advocates – we need you too.

So, please go to where you can find out about the event on the April 6 and have priority for tickets to this and future events. As an ambassador you will be able to contribute to and influence the Switch on to Swindon campaign so sign up now.