The South Marston Honda site in
Swindon has been sold to the Panattoni Group, Europe’s largest developer of new build industrial and
Pledging £700 million of future investment, the
Group, which is also building a warehouse for Amazon at Swindon’s Symmetry Park,
says it hopes to attract new employers and provide for existing businesses
looking to expand in Swindon.
According to Business West, Panattoni intends to
bring the 370-acre site into operational use on a fast timescale, with jobs
created during a repurposing period and then when the site becomes operational
Phil Smith, Managing Director of Business West, said,
“This brings us to the next stage in the formal end of an era for Honda’s
involvement in Swindon but opens up a new chapter for the town. The past two
years since the first announcement of closure in February 2019 have been a
period of considerable uncertainty for both workers and Swindon itself, so this
is good news and puts an end to much speculation and concern that the site
would lie empty.
“We are very glad that the site will be retained for
employment use and it appears that the number of jobs created will be equal or
greater than currently employed by Honda. It is also encouraging that the
turnaround into its new use will be quick. It will be a boost for economic
recovery in the region over the next two years.”
Susie Kemp, Chief Executive of Swindon Borough Council,
also welcomed the news. She said, “The new opportunities outlined by Panattoni
will be a major step in Swindon’s rejuvenation following Honda’s exit.
“Their investment offers a significant boost to
the local economy and we are excited by the prospect of this redevelopment
creating thousands of jobs for Swindon and the surrounding area.
“We already have a strong working relationship
with Panattoni following their recent development of the adjacent site,
Symmetry Park, and look forward to working with them over the next year.”
The Honda facility is set to close at the end of
July after which the site will be fully decommissioned.
Jason Smith, Director at Honda of the UK
Manufacturing, said, “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.”
James Watson, Development Director for Panattoni,
said, “Panattoni is committing to invest over £700 million into the site to
attract new employers and provide for existing businesses looking to expand in
Swindon. We will be working very closely with Honda and Swindon Borough
Council, along with the community and its representatives to regenerate the
Paddy Bradley, CEO of Swindon and Wiltshire Local
Enterprise Partnership, added, “The sale of the site is an exciting step
forward for securing economic opportunities for the local economy.
“Confirmation of the future of the site
provides a major boost to the local economy and will provide certainty,
especially in the current uncertain times the whole country faces.
“This decision is great news for jobs and the
Local Enterprise Partnership very much welcomes Panattoni’s commitment to the
growth of the local economy.”
Completion on the exchange is expected in Spring
2022. The new owners will start to regenerate and redevelop the site later that
year subject to planning consent.