5 Reasons why Swindon and Wiltshire is a great place for business 

Swindon now has over 28,000 businesses helping to generate over £18bn for the economy according to Invest in Swindon and Wiltshire. In recent years, the rapid progress Swindon has made is shaping a new perception of its tech and digital scene.

It's evolving into an increasingly thriving sector, and whilst Swindon may still be somewhat considered as a hidden gem, there’s plenty to get excited about in the area. But incase you didn’t know that, we’ve put together 5 reasons why Swindon and Wiltshire is an excellent place for business.

1) The Opportunities

It only requires a brief search to uncover the hub of activity currently unfurling in Swindon.

Household names such as Dyson, Intel and Catalent are big employers for the town. Their presence has created vast opportunities for Swindon’s residents, whilst also encouraging other tech based businesses to settle in the region. Collaboration is integral for a tech and digital to flourish, and Swindon has a selection of big names to connect with.

Successful companies generate high salaries for their employees. To provide some context, here are some examples of the career opportunities on offer in the area that we found on Glassdoor.

  • Tech Lead at Nationwide: ~ £100 000
  • Tech Leader at Alcatel-Lucent: ~ £60k
  • Communications Tech at Capita: ~ £50k
  • Tech Lead at Wipro: ~ £42 000

With an array of flagship companies in Swindon, buisness expenditure here is 60% above the national average. The business scene is thriving for both startups and well-established companies alike, so why not be apart of its up and coming cluster?

2) The Community

Swindon’s rich business community has also supported a multitude of scale ups within its tech scene. As new and exciting opportunities frequently emerge, small businesses quickly discover the resources, people and encouragement required to expand.

SETsquared, an enterprise partnership between the 5 leading UK universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, is a leading example of an organisation that facilitates the business growth in the region.

Offer a range of business support, including their Innovation Workout training sessions delivered by experts for established companies, as well as their Entreprenuers Workout training for digital startups in Swindon and Wiltshire, SETsquared is a huge asset to the region.

Swindon and Wiltshire’s tech sector is particularly notable for its cyber security and digital technology businesses. There are over 300 companies working in IT, over 60 in software and over 70 in hardware, including global giants, such as BT. This is all made possible by Swindon’s talented workforce, which is above the national average for areas with NVQ level 4 qualifications and above. But with so many top tier universities nearby, this is of little surprise.

Tech Swindon also strives to be an organisation that nurtures our ecosystem, through creating the right connections and support for businesses. We are passionate about our tech sector, particularly with regards to attracting and retaining talent to the Swindon and Wiltshire area.

We also showcase and host a range of events for the community. Check out our website for all techie-based events that you can attend!

Swindon is home to an array of ambitious companies with the right business support to accelerate unique ideas into reality; making it an ideal place to start your own one too.

3) The Connections

Swindon is very well connected to a range of major cities in the UK. London is less than an hour train ride away and, although we are currently working remotely, having the capital at our doorstep is a huge advantage to any growing business. Bristol and Oxford are also major cities around the corner which can be travelled to with ease, both only being 40 minutes away from Swindon.  

A major benefit of having a breadth of cities so closely available is that some of the country’s best universities are located across these areas. The University of Oxford is nearby, as well as the prestigious universities of Bath, Bristol and Exeter. There are twelve separate universities which are accessible within an hour’s reach of Swindon and 5 of these are in the UK’s top 10 for Finance, Economics and Mathematics.

If your tech organisation that needs access to a pool of new talent, being based in Swindon allows you to reach some of the country’s brightest minds from an array of top-class institutions.  

The railway links aren’t the only great transport options available in Swindon either. If you need to make a trip overseas (once it’s safe to do so) living in Swindon allows for quick access to airports in Heathrow, Bristol and Southampton. The cities of Bristol and Southampton also have their own ports too, which allow for easy shipping access to businesses that need it.

4) The Affordability

The cost of living and housing in Swindon is significantly cheaper than its neighbouring cities, despite being less than an hour away.  

According to Rightmove, buying a home in Swindon in the past year would have set you back just over £240,000 according to average housing prices. In the same period, a house in London would cost almost £800,000, in Oxford this would be just shy of £450,000 and in Bristol this would be approximately £340,000.  

The price tag on housing in Swindon is a key factor to consider when setting up your business. As stated earlier, the hub of exciting business activity taking place in the area means you don’t have to compensate on connections and community, whilst getting  better value for money in comparison to living in these nearby cities.

And if commuting is necessary for your business, you can rest assured the journey will be no longer than 60 minutes away from Swindon, making this very doable and saving you a lot of money which can be spent elsewhere.

5) The Countryside

Not only is Swindon an affordable area to settle in, it’s also a great place to live. Almost half of Swindon has been designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty with great attractions such as Cranborne Chase; the North Wessex Downs and Castle Combe, the latter of which having been voted as the prettiest Village in England in 1961.

With the new normal becoming such a big part of our lives, having the escapism of the countryside makes for a lovely break from WFH, as well as benefitting your physical and mental wellbeing. TripAdvisor has plenty of recommendations for exploring the nature Swindon has to offer, which you can find out more about here.

Overall, we believe that there are many great reasons as to why Swindon and Wiltshire is a great place for business. Its thriving community and range of huge employers in the area is very desirable, especially if you’re working in tech. We strongly believe that not only is Swindon a great place to work, it’s a great place to live too. The beauty of the countryside is second to none in the UK and travelling to a range of big cities from Swindon can be done with ease. If after reading you’re still not convinced, we encourage you to come and visit yourself!

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