Forward Swindon to be brought in-house

Plans to bring Swindon Borough Council’s regeneration company in-house so it can work even more closely with the local authority’s Economy team have been announced following a Forward Swindon Limited (FSL) Board meeting last Friday (12 Oct).

FSL has made good progress on a number of key town centre regeneration projects over the last few years but, after being co-located alongside the Council’s Economy team at the start of this year, a decision has been made to integrate both teams so they can continue to build on the work that is currently being carried out.

Now is seen as the ideal time to merge both teams as FSL’s Chief Executive Simon Bridgen is leaving the company to take up another position elsewhere.

Councillor Dale Heenan, Swindon Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for the Town Centre, said: “This is a crucial point in Swindon’s history with major multi-million pound regeneration schemes, which have been planned for years, a matter of months away from starting on the ground.

“Forward Swindon has provided the foundation for this work during difficult economic and political times, and the staff have been working well side-by-side with the Council’s Economy team for a number of months.

“I believe Simon’s departure makes this the ideal time to create one team that will be responsible for getting these major projects over the line. One team that will be held to account.

“As the new cabinet member for town centre regeneration, I am determined that residents and businesses in Swindon start to see visible signs of progress in the very near future, and I believe this is a step in the right direction.”

James Lockhart, chairman of FSL, said: “We would like to wish Simon all the very best in his new role and thank him for his hard work in progressing a number of Swindon’s regeneration projects.

“FSL has helped to breathe new life into a number of derelict sites within the town centre and the Carriage Works, Falcon House, Kimmerfields and Aspen House have all moved forward thanks to the expertise within the team. I’m sure the team will continue their good work within the Council.”