THE future of Honda in the UK was one of the subjects of a cross-party parliamentary field trip to the car-builder's South Marston plant yesterday.

MPs and peers from the House of Commons and House of Lords visited Honda of the UK Manufacturing Ltd site as part of a cross-party delegation led by the Industry and Parliament Trust (IPT).

This visit was part of a programme aimed at furthering parliamentarians’ knowledge of the manufacturing sector.

A spokesman for IPT said: "The plant is Honda’s flagship production facility in Europe, currently employing a workforce of around 4,000 and between 2016 and 2017 took on 600 new people as a result of a recent £200mn investment.

"The visit emphasised why Swindon was chosen as the location for Honda’s UK production site as well as providing insight into day-to-day operations at the factory."

Parliamentarians met with various members at the factory for a question and answer session covering topics such as skills, apprenticeships, and education, as well as training and the environmental performance of the factory. As part of the visit they were given a tour of the fully integrated car manufacturing facility – from casting and engine assembly through to welding and final assembly.

The spokesman added: "The visit enabled all visiting parliamentarians to gain insight into the opportunities and challenges that Honda faces in Europe, in particular Honda’s production process and will assist them with their roles and committees in Parliament."

MP Rebecca Pow said: “It was most informative to see first-hand the hydrogen fuelling station and the Clarity car, and to speak with the employees working across manufacturing, skills, and exports about both the day-to-day and long term challenges of their work.”

Louise Hanson, head of business operations at Honda said: “Our Swindon factory is a key part of Honda's highly integrated European regional operations. We were delighted to have the opportunity to discuss our business and the future of Honda of the UK Manufacturing with a cross-party of parliamentarians."