Wiltshire

Swindon Honda closure date 'set in stone'

Honda production line Image copyright Shutterstock
Image caption Honda announced it was closing its factory in Swindon last February

Honda will be closing its factory in Swindon in July next year, a date that has been "set in stone".

It announced it was shutting the site with the loss of 3,500 jobs due to global changes in the car industry and the need to launch electric vehicles.

The National Honda Taskforce met with local authorities for "clarity", which business secretary Andrea Leadsom said is now "very clear".

Honda said it is "undertaking a strategic review" of the site.

Mrs Leadsom, who chaired meeting with the task force, came out impressed by its focus, the Local Democracy Reporting Service said.

"The final departure date of July 2021 is set in stone which gives clarity to everyone there and it allows clarity on what else could be done on the site," she said.

'Diversify'

A Honda spokesperson said: "Honda is currently undertaking a strategic review of the Swindon site, which includes looking into viable options for future ownership."

Paddy Bradley, the director of the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, said he "could not divulge the detail of the report" his team made as it is covered by a non-disclosure agreement, but characterised it as looking to "diversify the use of the site".

"Honda has been very clear that the vast majority of its staff will still be employed making cars right up until July 2021."

Redundancy packages have been given to staff facing job losses.

There are an estimated 15,000 direct Honda employees and workers in the supply chain.

The 380 acre site, a former airfield, is privately owned by the Japanese motor giant, although Swindon Borough Council has zoned it for industrial use and not housing.

However, this does not prevent it from being sold to a housing developer.

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