As the dust settles: what will happen to the Honda plant in Swindon? Car News

“I was a forklift driver and just got the payment,” he tells me. “I did a lot of work after that, and during this last lockdown I became a freelance van driver for Amazon. I’m worried about the wave of unskilled labor entering the market and the kind of jobs Panattoni will bring. Do we need more storage? “

A theme emerges here. Does the president of the local parish council have better news? I had contacted Colin McEwen the day before and we had arranged to meet near his home in the village of South Marston.

“The biggest employer in town is actually Nationwide, so closing Honda will just be a ripple effect,” he says. “It’s the opportunity that the closure represents that is important. For a long time, planners in Swindon have talked about building a high-tech science park on this side of Swindon, linked to Cambridge, Milton Keynes, Oxford and Bristol. It could focus on the old Honda site and move to Oxford and Newbury, but I’m afraid Panattoni will develop more warehouses with low-skilled, low-paying jobs.

My visit to Highworth, a town four miles away and the home of TS Tech, a maker of car seats it supplies to Honda, is equally disheartening – but for another reason. The company’s buildings dominate the Blackworth industrial area and its workers’ Honda Civics line the roads. While trying to find the reception building, I draw the attention of an employee through the fence. “We were made redundant in July,” he told me. “It wasn’t that long ago that we were making 400 seats a day, but when Honda announced it was shutting down we knew we would be next. I don’t know what to do.

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This notice was published: 2021-07-04 05:01:24

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