NEW businesses have set up shop in Swindon despite growing uncertainty as the Brexit deadline nears.

With 100 days to go before Britain is set to leave the EU, the town is preparing for the worst but some entrepreneurs have gone against the grain to start their own companies in town.

Daniel Crowley of Dorcan-based recruitment company HeatherDaniel International head-hunts people from Swindon and London to work on construction projects in Abu Dhabi, Singapore, and Australia amongst other foreign locales.

He argued that the devalued pound benefitted British businesses and that, despite much forecast doom and gloom, there were plenty of chances for business owners to thrive.

Mr Crowley said: “Now is a good time to set up a business because interest rates are low, which is good for borrowing, and employment figures are good, plus the weakening pound made British exporters more competitive almost overnight without them having to do anything.

“Uncertainty is an opinion, not a fact. There’s always something causing a level of uncertainty and if it wasn’t Brexit, it would be something else, like a general election or new piece of legislation.

“I work for managing directors of large multi-million pound companies and you could tell who voted for what in the referendum by their reaction to the result. It was either ‘Thank God’ or ‘This is the worst thing in the world’.

“However, now there is a consensus that the current uncertain state of play is worse than leaving or remaining and we just need to get on with it. Once we know what’s going to happen – staying, leaving with a deal or leaving with no deal – at least then we can prepare.

“I set up this business because, although the current situation is not great, there is always opportunity when there is uncertainty.

“There are masses of work overseas that we can export our services to. People still need airports, railways and roads in foreign countries but these are costed, planned and designed in the UK so we need staff to fill these positions.”

Estate agents Grant Fraser Town and Country left Swindon’s largest independent estate agent to go it alone and is similarly optimistic about Swindon’s future.

Grant Fraser said: “There are opportunities in austerity. I’ve been in tough markets since beginning this job back in ‘05. The financial crisis hit in ‘08 and I went through it in a central London office, so this relatively is a walk in the park.

“Homeowners have put their moves on hold because of all the doom and gloom but it’s not that bad. New builds are being constructed and lots of properties are on the market which is creating a lot of movement and that activity is all you need.

“New builds and improved road networks will make Swindon more attractive along with the town centre regeneration and that will create a lot of activity. From my point of view as an estate agent, that’s all positive.

Honda is a huge employer so it leaving Swindon is a negative, but the site is massive, you could have something like Nationwide on Pipers Way but several times over. This town is very popular for blue chip companies and there could be companies that replace Honda on that site.

“Things have changed, the housing market has moved on, and the customer wants better value.

“Modern technology means it’s very easy for someone like me to use my 15 years of experience and knowledge but not be set up in the high street. I don’t have the pressure to sell as much to cover the costs of a central office which are often passed on to the customer.

“I can afford opportunities that I couldn’t before because I’m simplifying my efforts rather than doing lots of things at once. You don’t get good personal service from online agents but the high street is too pricey so I’m in the middle, offering value for money and expertise.

“It’s amazing how many small businesses are alive and kicking and starting in Swindon.”