What a week it has been in Swindon! We’ve seen everything including celebrations of our history, celebrations of our community and a massive vote of confidence that could prove to be a game changer for the town.

I said right from the start of launching Switch On To Swindon that it would need physical products, projects and developments to come out of the ground if we wanted to really convince people that Swindon is on the up.

The campaign is about building confidence and changing perceptions.

Well, a £270m commitment to the town is a pretty big vote of confidence and the creation of a regional leisure destination including a ski slope will certainly help with the perception.

Last Thursday saw the announcement that experienced developers Seven Capital, a firm responsible for successful multi-million pound projects in the UK, the Middle East and Australia, have bought out Moirai and taken their place as the sole partner for the North Star development.

Planning permission is anticipated by early next year and the scheme is expected to launch by 2021.

This is exactly the sort of landmark development that Swindon deserves and I can’t wait to hit the slopes when the complex opens.

From our future to our history and present. This weekend saw another successful Children’s Fete which is Swindon’s oldest summer event, dating back to 1866.

The tradition was revived by the Mechanics’ Institution Trust in 2003 and has run since with circus entertainment, arts and crafts, dance and music on display to more than 5,000 visitors.

This is the sort of event that celebrates Swindon’s rich history and community and it is a big credit to all of those who organised it.

I particularly like the fact they maintain the tradition of cutting the cake and providing a free piece of cake to all children on the day.

And up the hill we saw another successful Old Town Festival. The Switch On To Swindon team attended the recent Old Town Business Association AGM and were so impressed by the energy in the room and the plans they have to continue to put Old Town on the map.

This fantastic event is just another example of how businesses and residents are all coming together to attract people and present Swindon in the best possible way.

Very well done to all involved.

Finally, I was delighted to present certificates to the first intake of students from an innovative new training programme who graduated with flying colours.

The youngsters, who are all students at Swindon Academy, have been attending Retail Codex, a project instigated by The Brunel Shopping Centre, and run in partnership with Marks & Spencer and learning partners Imparta.

Over the last eight months the students have been learning about the many and varied aspects of working in the retail industry.

And they have been getting hands on experience to improve their confidence, communication, customer service skills and problem solving abilities.

This has been a wonderful opportunity for these young people and the course has enabled them to receive a quality experience that will prepare them for their future careers.

I do hope the initiative will continue so many more students can benefit from all that it offers.