Honda employees looking to start their own businesses could be housed at Swindon Borough Council’s Workshed facility.

The hugely-successful renovation of part of the old Great Western Railway carriageworks building has seen a number of new and small digital companies move in to take advantage of low rents, scalable and adaptable space and good connectivity.

The council’s cabinet member for economy and place Oliver Donachie said it could be used by people from the car manufacturing plant who want to set up their own firms.

He said: “We want to be able to use the Workshed as an incubator for new companies set up by staff at Honda.”

That’s the latest in a number of initiatives set up by the council and the Swindon & Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, Honda, and voluntary groups.

Money set aside by the council to support workers has been used to bring in EU funding from the European Structural and Investment Funds SME Competitiveness Programme, which will provide start-up support as well as support to companies in the Honda supply chain.

Teams at Euclid Street and Wiltshire Council are talking to Honda, companies in its supply chains and others who might need staff with those skills.

Coun Donachie, a member of the Honda Steering Group, said: “Twelve months on and the signs remain positive that Swindon is well-placed to rebound from the disappointment of car production ending at the Honda plant next year.

“Ranked eighth in the latest Good Growth for Cities index, Swindon is lucky to have a diverse, growing economy and over the past year, BMW, Nationwide and Zurich have announced fresh investments in their operations here.

“The Honda factory will continue to turn out hundreds of new vehicles on a daily basis until July 2021, so the pace and nature of our support needs to dovetail with the company’s timescales.

“I know that Honda has invested significantly in providing wellbeing support for its workforce, along with training and development and financial planning advice. The company has put aside a substantial amount of money to meet workforce redundancy costs. The Steering Group continues to reach out to Honda’s supply chain to support their goal of identifying potential new customers for when the factory eventually closes.”