Two studies are being launched into options for the 152-hectare Honda site in Swindon.

The car maker will close the plant in July 2021 and now Swindon and Wiltshire LEP has launched one joint study with Highways England into infrastructure issues around more intensified employment at the former airfield while LEP funding has been made available for another about energy use on the site.

The infrastructure study, costing £170,000, will look at how to improve roads if the site was to accommodate up to 8,000 job – double the number employed by Honda at its peak.

The energy study, for which £80,000 has been made available, will look at renewable energy through the national grid and the possibility of on-site generation.

The LEP says the work could help both to de-risk the site and fat-track it through the planning process.

Chief executive Paddy Bradley said: “We are keen to support Honda in its aim to sell the site to enable a new future use as part of its Swindon legacy.

“We can make a tangible contribution to that process by funding two studies, the output of which will be important information for potential buyers of the site.

“The potential intensification of employment and land use on  the site means we need to ensure the risk to transport infrastructure and capacity is mitigated at the earliest opportunity.

“We are also pleased to announce the study into renewable energy options for the site which are commercially viable and support our own ambitions for clean economic growth in line with our emerging Local Industrial Strategy.”

Image by krzyszkk, CC BY 3.0,

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