Millions of pounds have been set aside by government to help companies in the Honda supply chain.

As councillors, union representatives and business leaders in the Honda Task Force met to discuss how to help keep the car manufacturer in Swindon, and how to support the companies that supply it, Business Secretary Greg Clark announced the fund called the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Levels programme, which will help companies which supply Honda to the tune of £16m.

It is designed to help small and medium-sized businesses, starting with those in the Honda's supply chain, which sell parts and tools to larger car makers.

Although Mr Clark was unable to attend the meeting himself, citing Brexit negotiations as keeping him away, the business secretary said: “All of us on the Honda Swindon Taskforce are determined to keep pressing the case for Honda to remain in the UK, while at the same time continuing to promote Swindon globally as a leading region for advanced manufacturers to invest in - with the expert companies in Honda’s supply chain a key part of Swindon’s offer.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity for local suppliers to meet task force representatives, as well as take part in a specialist session with my department and the Department for International Trade to identify opportunities to grow and compete here in the UK and overseas.

“In support of the Honda and UK wide automotive supply chain I’ve launched a new £16 million programme designed to specifically support SME businesses in the automotive supply chain.

"We design and manufacture world beating components and technology solutions and this new program will ensure our supply chain sector remains at the top of their game, both here in the UK and internationally, by keeping up with the latest technological developments, backed by dedicated support and advice to make the most of our supply chain expertise and specialisms.”