TRUST STFC have strengthened their ranks with the addition of local businessman James Phipps to the organisation’s board.

Swindon-born Phipps also holds a non-executive directorship at the town’s ice hockey club Swindon Wildcats and has previously sat on the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership.

A lifelong Town fan, his companies have been major sponsors of several of the region’s sports clubs in recent seasons.

Trust chairman Steve Mytton believes that Phipps’ presence on the board will help expand the reach of the fans’ group.

Mytton said: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome James onto the Swindon Town Supporters’ Trust board.

“James is a passionate Town fan and long-time Trust STFC supporter, and he’s also a proud Swindonian, who wants to see the area thrive.

“We see that through his company Excalibur and their recent sports sponsorships, as well as other great ideas like ‘Swindon Soup’, which is a brand new crowd-funding initiative for community projects.

“He also brings a wealth of experience and local contacts that will help us to open doors into the local business community, and also to explore further avenues of funding to help us achieve our goals for the long term benefit of Swindon Town supporters.”

Phipps, a two-time Wiltshire Business Person of the Year, is looking forward to getting involved with the Trust.

He said: “I have been a Town fan for over 30 years and seen the ups and downs.

“I believe the fans need Trusts more than ever to represent them and should be the ultimate guardians for any club as owners come and go over a period of time.

“A strong, dynamic and capable Trust board is good for the fans, good for STFC and I look forward to bringing my business and sports experience to the board and hopefully adding to the great work already done by the Trust to date.

“If we get it right off the pitch then hopefully success will come on it.”