US company Panattoni will take over the 370-acre Swindon site, which will be closed by the Japanese automaker in July. Honda said the shutdown, announced in 2019, was due to global changes in the auto industry and the need to launch electric vehicles. The company said the sale of the sprawling site delivered on its promise to leave a lasting legacy.
“From our engagement with Panattoni and initial discussions with the Swindon Borough Council, we are confident that the new owner will be able to move the development forward in a timely business time frame and generate exciting prospects for Swindon and the community at large. ”
After production ends on July 30, Honda will begin decommissioning the Swindon site, which will be handed over to new owners in spring 2022.
“We will be working closely with Honda and Swindon City Council, as well as the community and their representatives to regenerate the site. ”
Matthew Byrom, Managing Director of Panattoni UK, said: “The acquisition of the 370-acre Honda plant demonstrates our ability to work on a large scale.
“The redevelopment of this strategic job site will offer thousands of new opportunities in roles that underpin the functioning of the local and regional economy. ”
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Unite’s regional secretary for the Southwest, Steve Preddy, said the union “is cautiously welcoming” the sale.
He said: “It is of the utmost importance that all stakeholders, including local and national governments, Honda and Panattoni, ensure that manufacturers are encouraged to make the site their home.
“Swindon and the whole of the Southwest have a proud manufacturing heritage, particularly in industries like automotive and aerospace.
“Not only is high-quality manufacturing crucial to providing secure, well-paying jobs to our communities, it is also essential for tackling the climate emergency and achieving net zero.”
Honda has blamed transportation delays for some temporary production suspensions in recent months.