THE world's second richest man has been invited to build a factory in Swindon.

Elon Musk, who owns Tesla and SpaceX, is worth an estimated £126bn and sits second to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in the battle of the billionaires.

Councillor Dale Heenan tweeted Mr Musk last night about the soon-to-be-vacant Honda site at South Marston, while borough leader David Renard has penned a letter setting out why a base in Swindon would be a good move for Tesla.

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Addressed to Mr Musk at Tesla Inc's base in Deer Creek Road, Palo Alto, California, here is Coun Renard's letter in full...

Dear Mr Musk,

We have read several times in the UK media that Tesla is considering investing in a manufacturing site in the UK. If this is the case I would like to draw your attention to the large site in Swindon, currently occupied by Honda of the UK Manufacturing until the plant closes in July 2021.

The prime site is wholly owned by the Honda Group and is set aside for employment land, with fantastic road access and a rail head, which links directly to the London line. The total site area is 1.52km sq and over 50% of the site is currently free from construction. It had three access points, although this could be reviewed depending on the end use. The council is modelling potential transport requirements based on likely site-use scenarios, but ultimately road access to two motorways and two major ports is a huge benefit.

Perhaps the biggest selling point is the 5,000-strong workforce from the Honda-owned companies and suppliers, which I'm reliably informed are extremely productive. In fact, they contribute to a statistic of which I am immensely proud: "Swindon has the third highest GDP per job in the UK" - so Swindon's workforce is the third most productive. Local and national partners are working with Honda and suppliers' staff to help them transition efficiently into new employment when the plant closes, so we make sure that we hold on to this impressive title.

If I can help to make an introduction to our colleagues at Honda, or help in any other way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Coun David Renard

Leader, Swindon Borough Council