Every successful place needs major employers and in Swindon we are blessed with some top national and multi-national organisations, which provide thousands of much-needed jobs and a significant boost to our local economy.

I was therefore delighted Zurich reaffirmed its commitment to the town in this very newspaper with the insurance firm confirming it hopes to build new purpose-built offices on the Kimmerfields site, next door to its current home in the Tri-Centre.

This council and Homes England, who jointly own the site, are currently discussing with Zurich how to take the plans forward and I hope we will be able to bring you some positive news on the outcome of these talks in the near future.

If the plans do go ahead it will be very welcome news indeed and send out a strong signal to local residents and investors that our town centre remains a top priority for the council and that visible progress on site is not very far away.

My cabinet colleague, Coun Dale Heenan, who has only been in charge of the Town Centre brief for a couple of months, is working hard behind the scenes with council officers to deliver on a number of regeneration projects, not just Kimmerfields, and people may have noticed some activity on the site of the former Wyvern car park over the last couple of weeks.

The old car park was knocked down because it was coming to the end of its life with the vacant space being earmarked for our ambitious plans for a new museum and art gallery.

However, following our unsuccessful Heritage Lottery bid, we are turning the derelict site into a temporary car park just in time for Christmas.

But we also have one eye on the future as the open-air Princes Street car park opposite the Magistrates’ Courts has been earmarked as a temporary bus facility while a new Fleming Way bus boulevard is constructed as part of the Kimmerfields scheme.

The new Wyvern car park would then provide space for some of the displaced parking.

Next Tuesday the planning committee will also decide whether to grant consent for the proposed indoor ski slope, leisure and retail facilities on the council-owned former Clares site at North Star.

If granted permission, the development would result in the investment of hundreds of millions of pounds in our town, creating extra jobs and bringing more people into the borough to support our already thriving economy.

And, with the electrified Great Western Main Line making it even easier to get to London from Swindon, we will become an even more attractive proposition for firms looking to invest and relocate.

Who knows we may even expand our impressive list of major employers?