LABOUR says it could build a massive battery plant on the site of the Honda factory in South Marston.

The party claims it would set aside £2.3bn to build three battery plants in Swindon, Stoke and South Wales. The factories would supply electric cars.

Rebecca Long-Bailey, the shadow business secretary, will set out the plans at the Labour Party conference later today as she announces a “Green New Deal”.

"The sector is under siege from Brexit uncertainty and the government's lack of ambition on electrification," she will say, according to reports by the BBC.

"At the same time, we need to accelerate the shift away from fossil-powered cars if we are to tackle the climate emergency.

"Labour's support package will offer a lifeline for a new clean era of manufacturing."

Reacting to the news, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate for North Swindon Kate Linnegar told the Adver: “I think this is really exciting and good news bearing in mind we now realise and have had to accept there is a climate emergency.”

In a joint statement, Justin Tomlinson MP and Robert Buckland MP said: “Labour's announcement is vague on detail and it is vital than any option pursued for this key site is sustainable and workable.

!We are continuing to work with the LEP, Honda and the council to renew an important part of our local economy. This is a key employment site, not just for Swindon, but also the south west so we expect interest to be strong, building on the 12,000 new jobs created in Swindon since 2010.

"Governments can help stimulate new industries,  encouraging investment.

"As a covernment we are already investing £274m in battery technology, for which BMW Mini is already moving ahead on this. Swindon is also a hydrogen hub with leaders in this technology.

"Through the taskforce all options will continue to be explored, but they must be sustainable, realistic and industry led if we are to deliver the next generation of new jobs."