While central government continues to negotiate the UK’s separation from the European Union, there is naturally a period of uncertainty.

Independent think tanks have identified that there is a particular risk to Swindon not only because of well-known companies based here, but also because of the intricate supply chains for those firms that provide many local jobs.

However, while some may think of risk as bringing negative possibilities, as a glass half full kind of person, I like to pay attention to the fact that risk opens up new possibilities.

For me, this is a time we should be buoyant and bullish about our local economy and our potential for growth.

Our first opportunity comes from within the UK. The Government is investing in the transport infrastructure from Cambridge to Oxford via Milton Keynes. This corridor, which is called England’s Economic Heartland, seeks to use the full potential of this area to provide new jobs and industries along with additional housing, to take pressure off other parts of the South East.

For the past year or so I have been busy working with the council leaders of all political colours in this area, particularly in Oxfordshire, which is why in the first instance we have been invited to join the EEH Strategic Transport Forum.

By doing so, we will have a seat at the table to steer investment into the A420 and possibly into improved rail links from Swindon to Oxford and beyond along with a western connection to Heathrow.

Our second opportunity comes from the diverse base of industries and employers already based here.

With our excellent road connections to over half the UK’s economy, the soon to be electrified rail line to Paddington, and massive wealth-creating private sector, we can support all our existing firms.

The annual report by the independent Centre for Cites shows how well Swindon is ranked alongside the UK’s 63 top towns and cities.

Swindon had the third largest increase in housing from 2016 to 2017. We had 95,000 jobs in the private sector and only 23,000 in the public sector, a ratio of 4.1:1, and again, the third best in the UK.

More working-age residents in Swindon have a formal qualification than many of our rivals. Just 3.9% lack any qualification here whereas even in Oxford the figure is 4.5%, while it is 5.4% in Reading.

Above all, Swindon is once again a high-employment town, with a better employment rate in the year to June 2017 than Gloucester, Oxford, Reading and Bristol.

It may be a cliché to say “success breeds success” but the evidence shows that Swindon is not only a high performing economy, but that we have every intention of becoming even better.