Swindon and Wiltshire LEP discusses the development of the urban centre in Swindon and Salisbury, as well as developments in Wiltshire
Swindon and Wiltshire is an area of major economic significance; attracting substantial overseas and UK investment. Its pivotal location in central southern England offers direct links to London, Heathrow, Oxford, Bristol, Cardiff, the Midlands and beyond. Swindon and Wiltshire is 1 of the top 5 business locations in England (Business Location Index 2015 Local Futures with the Municipal Journal). Over 29,000 businesses thrive in the area generating more than £17.3bn. 60% of the 703,000 population (one of the fastest growing in the country) are of working age. This area has the 2nd highest GVA growth rate across all 38 LEPs in 2014-15. Yet, the area offers the lowest commercial rentals along the M4 corridor, attracting many industry giants.
Urban centres of Swindon and Salisbury
Major construction is transforming the urban centres of Swindon and Salisbury. New employment sites, upgraded transport systems and 40,000 new homes are supporting the creation of 30,000 new jobs across the county. The area has a broad and diverse economy built on a rich industrial heritage. Innovation continues to be central to our Strategic Economic Plan. It is typified by the number of global innovators who have invested and prospered in the Swindon and Wiltshire area such as Honda, Intel and Dyson as well as the presence of a number of innovation-driven sectors including Health and Life Sciences; Pharmaceuticals, Mobile Telecommunications, Digital and High Value Manufacturing. They actively continue to invest in research, design and development, create new employment and offer supply chain opportunities for smaller companies in the local area and beyond. Swindon is also home to seven national Research Councils as well as the Space Agency.
Wiltshire and its military presence
By 2020, Wiltshire will be the base of nearly a quarter of the regular army. Investment by the Military over the last century has generated exceptional commercial opportunities which have driven innovation. A unique ICT infrastructure has built up around Corsham where the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the private sector have invested heavily in secure communications and data storage. Corsham is home to a growing cluster of digital industries as well as the most secure cloud data centre and electrical supply in the country. There are also strong links with the 100,000 Whole Genome Project and secure Government communications. As ‘big data’ and cyber security become even more important in the digital economy nationally and internationally, the economic potential of this infrastructure to create a leading digital economy cluster is evident.
The presence of the Military in south Wiltshire at Porton has led to the development of a cluster of Health and Life Sciences companies adjacent to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) and Public Health England with specialisms in microbiology, immunisation and medical care. Leading edge work is also undertaken by Dstl in cyber-security at the site. The availability of strategic sites across Swindon and Wiltshire plus the growing network of development sites across Corsham, Porton, Salisbury and Swindon therefore have the potential to draw in new investment nationally and from overseas. These investors will benefit from our unique combination of expertise with the potential to foster collaborative activity and spur further innovation and invention.
Swindon and Wiltshire LEP
The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership (SWLEP) is a business-led partnership between Swindon Borough Council, Wiltshire Council, local businesses, the military and the education sector. The SWLEP is making over £518m investments to drive local economic growth. To know more about the SWLEP and the Swindon and Wiltshire area, please visit https://www.swlep.co.uk/why-swindon-wiltshire.