July 18th, 2016
Swindon was recently included in a list of the top 5 “Fast Growth Cities” in the UK, drawn up by the Centre for Cities. This means it is in a bracket with other highly productive areas such as Cambridge, Oxford and Milton Keynes. Many small businesses and start-ups choose to move into office space in Swindon because of the area’s successful economy, together with the fact that it is a cheaper place to do business than London and other large cities.
Major employers with bases in the area include leading car manufacturer Honda, which is set to base global production of its new Civic family car in the town, and computer giant Intel. Their commitment underlines the fact that Swindon and Wiltshire are increasingly being seen as top business locations.
Advantages of Being Based in Swindon
As Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s centre of the Great Western Railway, Swindon has a strong engineering heritage and skills base. This is a key reason why many companies and organisations choose to be based here. Swindon Borough Council’s Local Plan, which was launched in 2015, aims to see steady growth and sustainable development up to the year 2026, with a target of creating 19,600 new jobs.
Major investment in the area encompasses a multi-million pound regeneration of the town, including a plan to regenerate central Swindon. Flagship schemes include Regent Circus, a new leisure development including shops, restaurants and cinema screens, and Kimmerfields, a business district being redeveloped on a site between the railway station and the shopping centre.
One of Swindon’s biggest advantages as a place to do business is that it is a transport hub, with excellent links to other areas of the country and Europe.
Road: Swindon’s location on the M4 is a strong attraction for business, offering direct access to central London in around 1 hour, 45 minutes. It also links the town to the centres of Reading, Bristol and Bath, all with journey times of under an hour.
Rail: There are frequent services to both London and Bristol from the town’s main rail station on the Great Western main line. Journey times to London’s Paddington station currently take less than an hour and this is expected to reduce further to 45 minutes with electrification of the line, which will be attractive to businesses moving out of London.
Air: Airports near to Swindon include Bristol Airport, just 45 minutes away, which offers flights to more than 20 locations in Europe, and London Heathrow, with services to global destinations. Network Rail is consulting over plans for a direct rail link to Heathrow which would reduce journey times and bring a major boost to businesses in the whole area.
Skills and Knowledge Base
Swindon and Wiltshire boast a high level of skills, with figures from the Office of National Statistics showing that more than 57% of people in the area are educated to NVQ level 3 or higher, well above the national average. The town has one of the South West’s highest concentrations of knowledge intensive businesses.
Thousands of people in Swindon and the surrounding area work in the car industry, including many employed by Honda and BMW Mini, based in Stratton St Margaret. Financial and professional services are also major employers and play a key role in the local economy. The UK’s largest building society, the Nationwide, has its head offices in the town, as does leading charity the National Trust.
Swindon also has many residents employed in the area of digital technology, and is part of the “Silicon Gorge” cluster, together with Bristol and Gloucester. Computing company Intel has set up an innovation centre locally, which is showing the way forward in researching the “Internet of Things”.
For all these reasons, Swindon is a popular place for businesses and in particular for start-ups. Forward Swindon, a company owned by the borough council, offers advice to businesses looking to set up in or relocate to the town. Help is also available from Swindon and Wiltshire Business Hub, linked to the Local Enterprise Partnership, which is geared to support start-ups and SMEs.
Office Space in Swindon
Demand for offices in Swindon has grown over recent years, with some major companies taking up large amounts of space. At the same time, there has been a trend for some existing offices to be converted into residential accommodation. As a result, it can be hard for small and medium-sized companies to find office space which is in a good location and suits their requirements.
If you are looking for workspace in Swindon, Basepoint’s business centre in the town could well be the answer. It is in a convenient location at Westlea, with good access both to the town centre and to junction 16 on the M4. The centre includes a variety of fully serviced offices in different sizes, in addition to workshop units and studios. If you move into this office space in Swindon, you will benefit from our flexible terms and our full range of services, including superfast broadband.
Office Space in Swindon – Click to find out more about our range of serviced offices in Swindon.