Closing Swindon will see Honda axe 3,500 jobs but site redevelopment should offset the hit on the town

Closing Swindon will see Honda axe 3,500 jobs but site redevelopment should offset the hit on the town

Honda of the UK Manufacturing on Friday (26 March) announced it had entered into a contract for sale of its Swindon site. Originally purchased by the Japanese car manufacturer in 1985, the site will be sold to Panattoni, Europe's largest developer of new build industrial and logistics facilities.

In 2019, Honda Motor announced a restructuring of its global automobile manufacturing operations, which included the cessation of production at the UK plant in July 2021, at the end of the current model cycle of the Civic Hatchback. Following the closure announcement, Honda committed to leaving the site in a responsible way, with a sustainable legacy for Swindon.

Jason Smith, director at Honda of the UK Manufacturing, said: "We are pleased to have identified a capable new owner of the site. From our engagement with Panattoni and initial discussions with Swindon Borough Council, we are confident that the new owner can bring the development forward in a commercially timely fashion and generate exciting prospects for Swindon and the wider community."

Following the end of production on 30 July 2021, Honda will immediately commence decommissioning of the Swindon site. The site is anticipated to be legally handed over in Spring 2022, and once the necessary consents have been obtained, Panattoni will start regeneration and redevelopment shortly thereafter.

James Watson, development director for Panattoni, said: "Panattoni is committing to invest over GBP700m into the site to attract new employers and provide for existing businesses looking to expand in Swindon. We will be working very closely with Honda and Swindon Borough Council, along with the community and its representatives to regenerate the site."

Matthew Byrom, managing director of Panattoni UK, said: "The re-development of this strategic employment site will deliver thousands of new opportunities in roles which underpin the operation of the local and regional economy."

Honda will assess opportunities for small sections at the edge of the site that are not required for Panattoni development to be utilised by the neighbouring communities.