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Swindon is a large town that is located in ceremonial County of Wiltshire. It is to the south-west of England, midway between Bristol 35 miles to the west and Reading 35 miles to East. London is 78 miles to East and Cardiff is 78 miles to West. According to 2011 census, it had a population of 185,609.
Under Town Development Act 1952 Swindon town expanded and this led to increases in population. From London Paddington to Bristol, Swindon railway station is located on the line. Since 1997 Swindon Borough Council is a unitary authority and independent of Wiltshire Council. People of Swindon are known as Swindonians. Bodleian Library’s Book Depository is located in Swindon that contains 153 miles of bookshelves. This has English Heritage National Monument Record Center. The Wider borough has headquarters of Honda car manufacturing plant and Nationwide Building Society.
About 14,000 men worked on the railway works at Swindon during the early 20th century. In 1900 Manchester Road was established. Two towns Old and New Swindon merged by 1900. The new city was named a Borough in 1900. By 1901, the population grew to 45,000 and by 1921 it reached 54,000.
Now the industry is much diverse than it was 50 years ago in Swindon. Primary employers are insurance, banking, building and car manufacturing (Honda). Other major companies in Swindon include engineering, food distribution and pharmaceuticals. Tourism is also flourishing in Swindon.
In 1964 Parade Shopping Precinct was built and town centre was pedestrianised in 1976. Brunel Centre was first established in 1978, and it was revamped in the 1990s. Later it was converted into Brunel Plaza and Brunel Arcade. In 1997 Great Western Designer Outlet Centre was opened. Greenbridge retail centre was opened in stages, between 1996 and 1999. In 1976 Oasis leisure centre was opened. in 1997 Swindon was made unitary authority. Park and Ride scheme started in the town during 1998. In 2000 Steam, Great Western Railway Museum was opened. In 2000 Bath University opened a branch in Swindon. In December 2002 Great Western Hospital was opened in Swindon. In 2008 new library was opened in Swindon. Now the population of Swindon is 185,000, and it has become one of the fastest growing towns in Europe.
The major employer in Swindon includes Honda car production plant located at former Vicker. Also Armstrongs Supermarine plane factory on old South Marston aerodrome. BMW/Mini present in Stratton, Dolby Labs, retailer W H Smith’s distribution centre and its headquarters and International engineering consultancy firm Halcrow. Intel company European Head Office is on the south side of Swindon. Various insurance and financial companies like Zurich Financial Services, RWE Generation UK plc and power, Nationwide Building Society, Arval the fleet and fuel card management company, Pharmaceutical companies like the United States based Catalent Pharma Solutions, Canada’s Patheon and Vygon Ltd, a French medical supplier have the UK based headquarter in this town. This city also had a head office of National Trust. Other employers in Swindon include National Research Councils, British Computer Society, Consumer goods supplier Reckitt Benckiser, TE Connectivity, Software Test Labs which is a Dynamic test consultancy. Software test Labs manages testing services company, and it is the branch of Becton Dickinson. UK Space Agency Headquarters are also located in Swindon.