Swindon is a large town in Wiltshire, south west England, with a fast-growing population of around 220,000 in its urban area in 2021, making Swindon one of the largest towns in the UK to be without city status. Swindon is also historically known for its railway-town heritage and links with the British railway system in which it played a central part during the 19th and 20th centuries.
Swindon is now known for being a regional centre for business, and is home to many technological and pharmaceutical companies, aswell as having national headquarters for international companies Nationwide, Intel, and Zurich. The town is also a regional retail and leisure hub of which it boasts several facilities.
Swindon continues to be an economically attractive town, with an ever-growing private,knowledge-intensive sector. This is aided by the town’s central location, in close proximity to other regional powerhouses such as Reading, Bristol, and Oxford.
The town has always suffered with a poorer reputation and outlook from those living outside Swindon, particularly regarding the town centre, of which has suffered due to several decades of under-investment and a failing to compete against neighbouring towns and cities, of which have benefited from inward investment. However, as of 2021, several regeneration projects are underway in the town centre, including a £30m upgrade to the town’s major bus station and central business district. A further £80m is being invested in creating a new cultural quarter on a large brownfield site adjacent to the existing central bus station, known as Kimmerfields.
As mentioned, Swindon also has a strong railway heritage and was home to the extensive Great Western Railway works in the 19th Century, the site of which is still standing today as a designer outlet shopping centre. This introduction of industry led to a boom in the town’s population and ultimately led Swindon to become the larger town it is these days. (https://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/Swindon)