Strengthening Swindon's local economy

The coronavirus pandemic has had a major impact on businesses and local economies across the world but, here in Swindon, local firms are beginning to bounce back in typically resilient fashion.

The council is working closely with the town’s innovative business sector and support partners to encourage economic recovery and growth. We play a key role in helping to support and shape the local economy. In this series of pages you can read about some of the work that is happening. Working collaboratively, the council always pushes Swindon’s case to attract major investment in big capital projects to improve the town for residents and businesses alike.

Below, you can read about some of our work to support the economy, including the response to the pandemic and an update on some of the ongoing projects in the town.

Outside seating at a restaurant in Swindon town centre

A temporary pavement licence allows Swindon restaurants to put tables, chairs, and other street furniture outside.

As more establishments reopened following the easing of lockdown restrictions, we helped businesses extend their services outdoors.

A fast-track system helped them to quickly obtain a temporary pavement licence that allowed them to put tables, chairs, and other street furniture outside their properties. This helped them to:

  • serve more customers outdoors
  • reopen in an economically viable way
  • keep their staff and customers safe

More information on licences and permits

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government announced several grant schemes available to small businesses and those in retail, hospitality and leisure industries.

Our role to help businesses through these most challenging of times was to:

  • make eligible businesses aware of the grant schemes
  • set up an application process
  • get the money out as quickly and efficiently as possible

We continue to work closely alongside the Swindon & Wiltshire Growth Hub to ensure businesses are getting the support they need.

Our Public Health team works with many local and national partners to provide invaluable mental and financial wellbeing advice and support to employers and employees during these difficult times. This is with a focus on those at risk of redundancy.

More information on redundancy support for businesses and individuals

As lockdown restrictions started to ease and establishments could start to reopen in June, our Public Health and Business and Economy teams worked to identify and support businesses considered most at risk of outbreaks in their workforces.

This involved providing advice and focused support where outbreaks did unfortunately occur.

More information about our support for businesses to reopen safely

M4 Junction 15 is operating near capacity. The planned improvements will help to mitigate the impact of additional traffic flow, which will be generated by nearby housing developments.

This is part of £183 million scheme supported by over £97 million of local growth funding.

Read more about M4 Junction 15 improvement works

Artist's impression of Zurich offices to be built in Swindon town centre

An artist's impression of Zurich's state-of-the-art offices to be built in Swindon town centre.

One of the town’s major employers, Zurich, will be building its new state-of-the-art offices in Swindon. The building will then be bought by us and leased back to the company.

The building will provide over 100,000 square feet of high-quality office space over six floors with a terrace and function space at roof level, providing over 950 staff with a modern workspace designed to enhance their wellbeing and the local environment.

Street in Railway Village area of Swindon

Swindon's historic Railway Village will be enhanced through the Heritage Action Zone five-year plan.

Swindon is only the second town to achieve Heritage Action Zone (HAZ) status out of 20 places in the UK. Swindon’s HAZ will enable enhancements to key historic buildings and spaces around Swindon’s historic railway village. These include the Health Hydro, the Cricketers, the Carriage Works, the Mechanics’ Institute and GWR Park.

Footpaths, signage and public spaces will also be improved in order to better connect the area to the wider town centre.

These bids also include projects under the Towns Fund, the Bus Boulevard and sustainable transport improvements.

Find out more about how we bid for external investment

We are working with fibre providers to ensure that they can make improvements across the borough. We'll continue to enable the journey to gigabit capability.

Working with Switch On To Swindon partners including Nationwide Building Society, Royds Withy King, Catalent and SetSquared, the TechSwindon team will host a week of virtual events in November 2020. The aim is to attract talent, develop the impressive cluster of businesses and encourage growth.

Learn more at the TechSwindon website

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