THE South Marston site of Honda’s Swindon manufacturing plant has been sold to a new owner.

The plant is set to close in July and the land it is built on will soon be owned by Panattoni, which has pledged to invest more than £700 million into the site to attract new employers and support existing ones.

The company is Europe’s largest developer of industrial and logistics facilities for big businesses which, in the UK, have included Amazon, TK Maxx, Sainsbury’s, the Co-op, and Marks and Spencer.

Panattoni is building a warehouse for Amazon at Symmetry Park in Swindon, though the development director confirmed to the Adver that the Honda site is a separate and unrelated to those plans.

The Japanese car maker bought the Highworth Road base in 1985. Bosses announced in 2019 that a restructuring of global manufacturing work would involve the shutdown of the factory which employs around 3,500 people and forms a key part of a large supply chain involving thousands of other workers around Swindon and further afield.

Honda will close the plant and leave Swindon at the end of the current model cycle of the Civic Hatchback and is arranging for assets to be sold.

Honda of the UK Manufacturing Jason Smith said: “We are pleased to have identified a capable new owner of the site.

“From our engagement with Panattoni and initial discussions with Swindon Borough Council, we are confident that the new owner can bring the development forward in a commercially timely fashion and generate exciting prospects for Swindon and the wider community.”

Following the end of production on July 30, Honda will immediately start decommissioning the Swindon site, which is expected to be legally handed over to Panattoni in Spring 2022, once the necessary consents have been obtained.

The new owners will start to regenerate and redevelop the 370-acre area later that year.

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