It is great news that following a landmark deal with Pfizer, the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine will be produced and bottled here in Swindon, securing £70 million worth of investment and 200 additional jobs for our town.
This is all because Thermo Fisher, which has a base on Kingfisher Drive, will become a production hub for worldwide supply of the vaccine. This all forms part of the UK’s efforts to boost our vaccine production capacity to secure and scale-up our ability to respond to this pandemic, as well as any future pandemics. I am particularly pleased because a decade ago, I helped persuade Patheon, which was later taken over by Thermo Fisher, who were considering closing their plant in Swindon, to stay on that very site as part of our life science economy.
Securing more investment and high-skilled jobs for Swindon has been a priority of mine since first being elected and I am pleased to see this substantial investment being made into our already strong life sciences sector.
In further good local news, I am delighted that The Harbour Project, Voluntary Action Swindon (VAS) and Threshold Housing Link have become the latest charities to benefit from my ‘Laptops for Local Schools and Charities’ campaign.
I began this campaign back in January where I called on local people and businesses to donate unused laptops so that these could be given a second lease of life and be used by children when home schooling during the pandemic.
My office was overwhelmed with generous offers of support, which is why I took the decision to extend the scheme so that local charities could also benefit from the donated laptops.
I am extremely grateful to businesses like Catalent who have donated laptops and to the brilliant teams at Excalibur and SP Computers who have stepped up at such a difficult time and repaired hundreds of devices.
If you have any unwanted devices which you would be happy to donate, please get in touch with me via email@example.com or 01793 533393.
Last Friday I had the opportunity to visit East Wichel Primary School and meet with pupils in Years 5 & 6. During the session we discussed how Parliament works, the environment and what is like being a Member of Parliament.
It was clear from my visit that the teachers and the support staff at this brilliant primary school are during a great job of nurturing the next generation – they are a real credit to the local community.
On Monday the Transport Secretary announced that he is launching a competition to find the town or city that will become home to the new rail body and the future capital of our railway industry.
As the birthplace of the Great Western Railway and being at the heart of Brunel’s magnificent railways vision, I cannot think of a better location than Swindon. That is why I be working closely with Swindon Borough Council and others to passionately put forward our town’s case to be made the home of Great British Railways.