Reflexions from Swindon & Wiltshire 2040 breakfast

18 November 2019

Last Friday 15th, we attended the Swindon & Wiltshire 2040 breakfast event at Swindon.

The event was hosted by Insider Media, with editor David Clensy acting as conductor. The panel of experts was made up by local business people and representatives from Swindon and Wiltshire LEPs.

Amanda Burnside, principal at Wiltshire College, emphasised the need for a different model for learning and attendance to classes that overcomes the traditional method, opting for a blended model as the best way forward.

Paddy Bradley, director of Swindon and Wiltshire LEP, stressed the importance of constantly reviewing what kind of business environment would encourage businesses to remain in their county. Although the area has been recently hit by unfortunate business events in the automotive sector – namely, Honda leaving Swindon in mid 2021 and Dyson ceasing its Electric Vehicle development programme – there were also positive notes in the railway industry, with plans for electrification of the line in Chippenham, improving the access to Northern routes and upgrading its railway station.

Adam Woodley, director of Sinewave, commented on the EV market and how, in his opinion, the UK is lagging behind in providing the charging points that are required to sustain the market. Within 5 years, he envisions that more people will own Electric Vehicles than petrol or diesel vehicles.

Samantha Bramley, founder of Active Potential Therapy, pointed out that the business support available to businesses like hers would need to be more prominently publicised.

Paul Moorby, managing director at Chipside, shared his views about driverless cars and considered that we are still a long way off to its complete implementation. He estimated that, by 2050, 70 % of the population will be urbanised and said that the remaining 30% who will still live rurally will need transport of their own.

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