James Dyson has been offered space in Swindon to establish his centre of excellence in engineering.

The Wiltshire-based billionaire spent two years and invested £3m in discussions and planning to establish his unique School Of Design Innovation in Bath.

But this week it emerged that the tycoon had been out-bid to the allocated site in the centre of Bath, by Bath Spa University.

Initial plans saw the institutions nestling side by side on the historic waterfront, but flooding concerns prompted Bath and North East Somerset Council to launch a competitive tender between them, with the university's arts campus winning.

Now Swindon Council has launched a bid of its own to bring the school to the town to capitalise on its past and present engineering heritage.

Coun Peter Greenhalgh, the cabinet member for highways, transport and strategic planning, said officials were contacting the Dyson Foundation yesterday afternoon to see what the council could do.

"We have land available and would be quite happy to speak to James Dyson about him using it," said Coun Greenhalgh (Con, Freshbrook and Grange Park).

"I'm amazed at Bath and North East Somerset Council's decision to reject such an innovative establishment.

"I would hope that James Dyson would consider Swindon, which we believe would be the perfect place for a school such as this.

"Swindon has a history of innovation from the railways onwards and a lot of high-tech industries are based here now. It would fit in with the town's strategy in terms of becoming a leader in innovation."

Coun Greenhalgh would not confirm any details of the site in mind, but said it had good transport links.

Swindon's connections to firms such as Motorola, Honda and BMW could play a vital role in bringing Dyson to the town, as the entrepreneur wants big industry names to have hands on involvement with the education on offer.

And with the National Science and Industry Museum, in Wroughton, another link to the town's heritage of innovation could be established.

The Science Museum has launched the Inspired project as it bids for £50m of lottery money. It is competing against five other schemes in a television vote later this year.

Graham Nichols, a spokesman for the museum, said: "James Dyson is a supporter of what we are doing here.

"He is a fan of what we do and it fits in well with what he wants to do.

"Part of what Inspired is about is getting people to be inspired by history and to move on from that to become the next generation of James Dysons. So the school would fit well with that."

The Dyson Foundation, the firm's educational arm, issued a statement saying it was committed to setting up the school in the south west, but refused to confirm any sites.

Spokeswoman Julia Curry said: "We're still utterly committed to getting the Dyson School up and running by September 2009. We're currently investigating other sites and are confident that the school will go ahead in the south west but not in Bath."

Scott Sissons, the headteacher at Dorcan Technology College said the design school could have a great effect on education in Swindon.

"I feel it's the kind of thing young people in Swindon would find really inspiring, and we are regularly talking about raising aspirations," he said.