I’ll open this week with an unashamed plug for the Switch on to Swindon Ambassadors event on June 14, 6pm-8pm at the Carriage Works – register here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/switch-on-to-swindon-phase-2-tickets-45650107701. Now, let me tell you why this event is so important and what you will learn if you attend.

To date, the Switch on to Swindon (SOTS) campaign has been focussed on mobilising support from businesses, organisations and people across Swindon. The simple premise has been if we all join forces to promote Swindon then we all benefit. I’ve described this as a mile wide and inch deep approach, which has served us well.

We will, of course continue to nurture and grow that support - the ambassador network is the lifeblood of the campaign. As planned though we are now at the point in the campaign where we need to use SOTS to get more targeted about competing for growth in our strategically important sectors and businesses.

In thinking about how take the SOTS campaign outside of the borough boundaries and our target markets, a question keeps coming up at Place Board meetings – what are our proof points? This is a bit of jargon which basically means can you back up what you say.

So, on the June 14 we will be sharing how the SOTS campaign will be shifting gear, how it will be getting more targeted and how we intend to back up what we say.

To start with the event is in a living and breathing proof point of Swindon’s heritage and future. You will be among the first to see the start of the transformation of the historic Carriage Works. Hosted in one of the empty units, guests will be able to see development in action and the finished product - The Workshed, 7,000 sq ft of heritage space transformed into state-of-the-art office space for cutting-edge, creative and technology companies.

You will hear from marketing experts at Nationwide and Intel about how they have teamed up with SOTS to develop a campaign that will help Swindon compete to attract the best talent from across the UK. Good quality, affordable housing; great quality of life; and diverse employment opportunities are Swindon’s proof points. This work is designed to increase the available skilled workforce which is good for businesses looking to relocate and those already here looking to grow. This is an important step for SOTS as we introduce a more sophisticated level of rigour and science to the campaign.

We talk a lot about investor confidence and how Swindon is one of the most investable places in the UK. What better proof point for this message than a multi-million pound development of a ski centre at North Star? Be the first to hear from investors and developers Seven Capital about the detail of this leisure development which will include the biggest indoor snow area in the UK, and when you can expect to hit the slopes.

We’ve shown that businesses, organisations and people in Swindon are passionate about the town and will get behind promoting it. Now we need to take that energy and support and tell the rest of the world. Together we can make sure that Swindon competes for the best business growth, the best investment and the best talent.