car on production line in honda factory, swindon
Business secretary Andrea Leadsom* held the latest meeting of the Honda Swindon Taskforce in the town yesterday (Monday) – and announced that millions of pounds of government funding would be pouring into the town.

The Honda Swindon Taskforce bought together civic leaders, local partners and MPs, Honda, Unite the Union, sector representatives and government officials to discuss support for employees affected by Honda’s decision and how best to stimulate more economic growth in Swindon.

"Honda’s decision to close manufacturing operations in Swindon was a significant blow to the local community.  Since it was set up, the Honda Taskforce has worked hard to support the workforce and the supply chain, as well as to find a positive way forward for developing the site," said Mrs Leadsome.

"We are clear that Swindon remains a vital location for advanced manufacturers to invest – in large part thanks to the skills of the dedicated local workforce."

The Taskforce reviewed support work undertaken to date and discussed future priorities and work going forward, including:

  • announcing that Swindon will benefit from the £3.6 billion Towns Fund supporting an initial 100 Town Deals across England;
  • announcing that Swindon Borough Council will benefit from the £1 billion Future High Street Fund;
  • a new Institute of Technology for Swindon delivering higher technical education in STEM subjects including digital, engineering and manufacturing, health and life sciences; and
  • the £16 million supply chain programme, designed to raise workforce capability and increase the productivity of the UK’s automotive supply chain, that is available to Honda suppliers.
The Honda Steering Group that supports the Taskforce also continues to meet, focusing on helping to mitigate impacts on the Swindon workforce as well as those operating within the supply chain.

*Andrea Leadsome was business secretary at the time of the meeting, but was removed from the post by prime minister Boris Johnson in a cabinet reshuffle three days later