A LIVE panel discussion for Swindon 105.5 brought councillors and business leaders together to tackle big issues, from town centre regeneration to promoting Swindon as a positive place for business.

The show, called Opportunities for 2019, was hosted by consultant Amelia Bishop and co-presenter Tim Thurston, from training specialist Team-i, who present the weekly show Mind Your Own Business.

An audience of 30 local business people put questions to a panel, chaired by Andrew Wells of Business West, formed from giants like Nationwide to successful tech starts-ups like Render Media.

The aim of the show was to highlight opportunities in the area and what businesses can do to make the most of them - despite the gloomy news from Honda that it plans to close the plant by 2021.

"When you drill beyond that there are so many great things going on and it was really to extend the conversation we have every week," said Tim.

"The driving force is to create a strong purpose in Swindon which focuses on growth, innovation and collaboration.

One of the topics on people's lips was also the long-running problem of town centre regeneration.

"The leader of the council explained it was a national problem, parking is taking people out of the town, to revitalise the town centre is a huge project," added Tim.

"There's not a silver bullet, but it's good to keep that on the agenda.

"It was an opportunity for people to ask questions which maybe they don't have that opportunity to ask before."

Kris Talikowski, founder of health juice business The Core, talked about the work by Switch on to Swindon and encouraged guests to become ambassadors and sign up to positive promotion of Swindon.

Nicholas Burns-Howell of Nationwide spoke about the launch of the company’s Mentoring Programme, which is accepting new applications for the second phase, and offers free office space in the Workshed.

"The way that they are involving other businesses and other individuals to support the programme is also a good example of what we're trying to do with the radio show," added Tim.

Another live panel discussion is planned for September. Mind Your Own Business is broadcast Mondays 6-7pm and repeated Tuesdays at 9am.