The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire Edition 61: June/July 2022 - Page 11

Visit the SWLEP online at : www . swlep . co . uk

Inward investment success for our area

The Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership ( SWLEP ) has a number of priorities to achieve within its delivery plan and a key one is to improve the range and depth of businesses across Swindon and Wiltshire . In addition to the support offered by the Growth Hub , the SWLEP also works to attract investment into the region from overseas .
Phil Clement together with Melody Thompson from the SWLEP and colleagues from Swindon and Wiltshire Councils , work closely with businesses throughout the region as well as the international business community , highlighting the expertise and facilities that Swindon and Wiltshire have to offer .
The Swindon and Wiltshire Inward Investment programme was funded by £ 250,000 from the European Union ( EU ) and £ 345,328 in the form of cash and staff time from Swindon and Wiltshire LEP , Swindon Borough and Wiltshire Councils . The programme ran from 2018 until 2021 . The aim of the project was to focus on SMEs operating in countries outside the EU , providing support to enable them to open an operation in our area . The programme was set a target by the UK Government of attracting two SMEs to our area and this target was achieved , including the prospect of creating sixty new jobs against a programme target of ten . The legacy material from the programme includes :
• dedicated web site www . investinswindonandwiltshire . com
• new Investment Prospectus showcasing key development sites
• video to promote the Business Cyber Centre
• new promotional material for Science Museum Group at Wroughton
• database of contacts from a range of defence , manufacturing , cyber and life sciences companies across the world
There was additional activity responding to interests prompted by contacts in the Department of International Trade ( DIT ) and in business-to-business links . The DIT applies set criteria to describe foreign direct investment ( FDI ) wins and from 2018 to 2021 , the department recorded 44 FDI wins in our area . In total the FDI wins are scheduled to create up to 651 jobs .
The businesses came from a range of countries and sectors . For example , 32 per cent are IT companies , 23 per cent life sciences firms with 48 per cent of all the FDI wins coming from the US . The work has so far focused on Life Sciences , Digital Technology and Cyber Security together with Advanced Manufacturing .
As detailed in a previous edition of The Business Exchange , Porton Science Park is now one of only six Department for International Trade ( DIT ) Life Sciences Opportunity Zones nationwide . Work continues to engage overseas businesses in the Life Sciences sector , particularly those involved within the niche areas of bio defence and infectious disease control .
Inward investment is susceptible to many political and economic factors and we do expect a dip in subsequent years . The FDI results for the area are particularly good , however , in comparison with the rest of the South West and the UK overall . The demand for industrial and distribution units remains high and figures in general for 2021 / 2022 continue to be positive .
Find out more about the Inward Investment Programme at : www . investinswindonandwiltshire . com