Swindon was certainly hitting the headlines last week, locally, nationally and internationally!

I’ve talked before about how we need to back up the positive nature of the Switch on to Swindon (SOTS) campaign with tangible projects that build confidence with both local audiences and those outside the borough who we are trying to attract.

Let’s start with one of Swindon’s biggest employers, Nationwide Building Society, who announced an innovative new housing development in partnership with the council. The plan is to build over 200 homes on what was formerly the Oakfield Campus, with Nationwide investing £50m and committing to re-investing any profits back into other community projects. Demonstrating how you can build high quality houses at affordable prices is central to the project and I am sure it will prove to be trail blazer for Swindon and attract further interest from the rest of the country.

As will our continued leadership in implementing green energy technologies. Last week Public Power Solutions (PPS) submitted plans to build one of the largest battery storage facilities in the UK. It will have a maximum output of 50MW and a storage capacity of 50MWh, which if like me you are not totally up to speed on your megawatts needs some sense of scale. The current record holder is a 100MW facility in Australia which Tesla finished building last week. So this will be pretty big and follows on from the success of Swindon’s award winning community solar farm schemes.

Now, after months of hard work the team behind the new Swindon Museum and Art Gallery project (SMAG) headed off to Exeter last week to personally deliver the bid for £12m heritage lottery funding. Along with the 800-page bid they also delivered boxes full of postcards from the thousands of people who have backed the bid. A big well done to all involved in putting together what I know is a really thorough bid. This project is such an important statement of intent for Swindon and I, like many others, will have fingers crossed for the next few months while we await the outcome.

I’m equally excited about the plans the Science Museum have submitted to build a new collection management facility on the former airfield at Wroughton. This is the largest project the Science Museum has taken on in the last 20 years and would see the new facility become home to more than 340,000 objects. The best bit though is that the site would once again be opened up to the public through organised tours, learning and research visits.

I haven’t had the pleasure of seeing inside the hangars up at the current facility but members of the SOTS team have had a peek inside and say it is a treasure trove of historical scientific objects. Any plans to open this up to the public and create another reason for people to come to Swindon gets my full support.

That is a quick canter through some of the significant things that are going on in Swindon which have attracted significant interest. Throw into the mix recent announcements about outline planning permission for the £270m leisure complex including ski slope at North Star and it is easy to see why there has never been a better time to Switch on to Swindon.

So, if you haven’t already please do go to www.switchontoswindon.com and sign up to be an ambassador.