HONDA closing its plant employing 3,500 people could also throw up opportunities, according to one accountancy firm.

The car manufacturer made the shock announcement that the South Marston plant will close by 2021 yesterday.

Workers and unions reacted furiously and business groups and Swindon Borough Council have set up a task force to minimise the impact on local suppliers.

Richard Mathews, CEO of Swindon-based accountancy and law firm Optimum Professional Services, sees an opportunity for the wider business community in a Swindon without the presence of Honda.

“There will of course be uncertainty and concern among the Honda employees, and the associated businesses in the area that are suppliers,” said Richard.

“But hopefully this cloud has a silver lining. Longer term this could be an opportunity for Swindon. Currently, with little unemployment in the area, recruiting skilled professionals is proving difficult for other businesses.

“The Honda site itself should prove very attractive for other larger manufacturers, who will move into the town and offer employment.”