North Swindon MP Justin Tomlinson said there was cautious optimism for Swindon's post-Honda future.

He said: "Honda has been a longstanding and excellent employer. Many of my friends have worked there for a long time and have mixed emotions about the closure.

"We all hoped for Honda to have remained and Swindon was proud to be their European home but market forces worked against us.

"There's cautious optimism. Honda gave such a long notice which provided plenty of time for workers to get other options in place, and do additional training.

"They are hardworking, loyal, diverse and highly-skilled which is recognised by other employers.

"It's a credit to Swindon's economy and Swindon Borough Council that the site has been snapped up by Panattoni, it shows that Swindon is open for business.

"Honda used a relatively small proportion of the site. Panattoni anticipate up to 7,000 people being employed.

"Robert [Buckland] and I have spoken to Panattoni and they are already drawing up building specs. Time and time again, Swindon has seen major changes in its economy but is always best-placed to create jobs for current and future generations."