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Celebrating Swindon’s Enterprise Culture

9th Nov 2007, Swindon, United Kingdom – The week commencing November 12th-18th is National Enterprise Week, and Swindon will be celebrating its strong culture of enterprise through a range of different events amongst businesses, within schools and at the University of Bath in Swindon. The Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership (SSEP) will hold its launch event on Wednesday 14th November, with the theme of ‘Driving Swindon Forward’.

The SSEP will be engaging with over 100 representatives from key businesses and public sector personnel to gain their involvement and support. They will present the range of economic development projects already underway, and will invite feedback on Swindon’s future economic strategy.

The conference links in with Enterprise Week, which runs every year nationally across the UK inspiring young people to put their ideas forward and make them a reality. In 2006, around 1,410 organisations took part in the national campaign, coordinated by ‘Make your Mark’, who organised a range of activities and events designed to make people aware of how they could ‘make their mark’.

The SSEP Launch is just one of a series of activities during Enterprise Week:

- The University of Bath in Swindon, at its Oakfield Campus in Marlowe Avenue, is joining in by offering business and enterprise taster sessions. The University is particularly focusing on supporting women into enterprise, encouraging them to get into the workplace and make themselves known among the other successful individuals already there.

- Many of Swindon’s schools are also participating in taster sessions to inform young people about a career in enterprise, offering exciting activities throughout the week

- St Joseph’s Catholic College are getting the whole college involved with activities such as ‘Take your Child to Work Day’, ‘Visit to the Council Chamber’ and ‘Uganda Fundraising‘ which involves producing a calendar to sell to raise the money.

- Ridgeway School in Wroughton are teaching enterprise lessons in various subjects throughout the week and hosting the ‘White Horse Challenge’, ‘Egg Drop Challenge and ‘The Dragon’s Den Challenge’.

Rikki Hunt, chairman of the SSEP recognises the importance of enterprise in creating Swindon’s future. ‘Small businesses are the engine of growth. As an entrepreneur myself, I can appreciate the vital role that enterprise plays in building a diverse and strong economy. ‘It promises to be a very successful week’. Rikki continued ‘It’s all about appreciating the importance of enterprise and small businesses in Swindon to help achieve economic growth for the future’.

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FACTS & FIGURES

Swindon’s Economic Performance Indicators

• GVA - Highest gross value added per head (the equivalent of GDP at town/regional level). Swindon’s GVA is more than 50% higher than the UK average. Third highest in terms of regions.

• Employment rate at 79% is higher than both the South West (77.7%) and the UK (74.2%)

• Swindon has a higher proportion of people in working age group (63.6%) compared to SW (59.9) and UK (62.1).

• Swindon also has just come out top of the league of the UK’s fifty largest towns and cities for the highest growth in the number of new VAT-registered businesses, according to a recent survey by accountants UHY Hacker Young

Location Swindon is located :

• One hour to London Paddington by train

• An hour’s drive to Heathrow and Bristol airports

• 90 minutes drive to Central London, Birmingham and Southampton

• 40 minutes to Reading, Bristol, Cheltenham, Oxford and Bath

• Near to the ports of Bristol’s Avonmouth, Southampton and Portsmouth

For further details, interviews and hi-res jpegs, contact:

Rhona Jack
Blue Click PR Ltd.
Tel: +44 (0) 1793 441414
Mobile : +44 (0) 7866 546221
rhona@blueclickpr.com

Sinclair Brown
Marketing and Investment Manager
Economic Development Unit
Swindon Borough Council
Tel: +44 (0) 1793 466170
srbrown@swindon.gov.uk

The Economic Development Directorate at Swindon Borough Council

Swindon Borough Council is committed to supporting the business community in the Borough. Swindon Borough Council’s Economic Development Directorate acts as an interface between the local authority and the business community and aims to maximise the benefit that companies make to the local economy.

The Economic Development Directorate provides a wide range of services to industry and commerce, including extensive research and analysis.

The two main areas of focus are:

Supporting the existing business community by providing help and advice to employers in the Borough, responding to their concerns and proactively targeting support to priority sectors of the economy.

Encouraging and facilitating new investment by promoting Swindon as an excellent location for business, working with companies that are considering relocating or expanding and ensuring that a suitable environment exists for investment.

The Economic Development Directorate works in partnership with a range of other organisations in delivering its strategy, including the Swindon Strategic Economic Partnership, Business Link, the New Swindon Company, South West of England Regional Development Agency, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce, Wiltshire and Swindon Learning and Skills Council.


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