Swindon’s Festival of Tomorrow; Showcasing innovation, and inspiring the workforce of the future

Amy Drummond
Senior Communications Manager | Business West
19th January 2024

 Where can you find a giant interactive robotic snail, strawberry flavoured clouds, drones and exploding custard? The Festival of Tomorrow, which takes place next month in Swindon…

The festival, which attracted over 10,000 visitors last year, works with partners from academia, industry, libraries, museums, and the arts to create opportunities for everyone to grow our understanding of how science works, and how it can shape our choices in a changing world.

Business West is proud to sponsor the event, as part of our commitment to making the south-west the best place to live, learn and work.

We support many Economic Development activities in Swindon & Wiltshire, including The Swindon Futures Commission and contracts for delivery such as the Local Skills Improvement Plan, Swindon Mindful Employer Network; and via our Innovate UK Edge contract. 

The Festival of Tomorrow features a range of free half-term events for families and adults across Swindon venues. There is a two-day festival finale on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th, taking place once again at The Deanery CE Academy in Wichelstowe.

The finale will feature live shows, panel discussions, and hands-on activities. Visitors can race a hydrogen cell car, programme a robot vehicle, fly a drone and try out the latest e-sports gaming gear.

Managing Director, Phil Smith, said “This is a really exciting festival that has an impressive track record of engaging the community, and bringing different stakeholders together to explore innovation, and inspire the next generation. It is a great cultural asset for Swindon and really underlines its position, and heritage, as a centre for innovation.”

“I would urge other businesses to explore ways in which they can support the festival; whether it is visiting, spreading the word, sponsoring or volunteering. I hope the festival will continue to grow over the years.”

Dr Rod Hebden, founder and director of the festival, said “The importance of a science, engineering and technology workforce, and their skills in UK and global society has never been clearer, but there is still a shortage young people pursuing careers in these vital sectors.”

“In Swindon, science and technical employers are expected to become increasingly important, yet our young people have some of the lowest qualifications and access to Higher Education in England. We work to broaden the aspirations and opportunities of young people in Swindon and beyond.”

If you are interested in supporting, or attending the festival, you can find more information on the website

Image Credit; Festival of Tomorrow. The photo is of Luma, a 9m long robotic snail. You can meet Luma at STEAM Museum 

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