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Taskforce says priority is to persuade Honda to stay

on .

Business secretary Greg ClarkBusiness secretary Greg ClarkThe task force assembled in the wake of Honda's decision to close its Swindon plant says its first priority is to persuade the car giant to stay in the town.

"Our first priority is to make the case to Honda that investment in vehicles of the future is best done in Swindon," said the task force in a statement.

"We are united in that mission. We have some of the best talent in the world and the government is already investing in future car manufacturing, batteries and electrification infrastructure to ensure the UK retains its world-leading edge."

More than 30 leaders from local and national government; local MPs Robert Buckland MP, Justin Tomlinson MP and James Gray MP, trade unions, workers from Honda UK, representatives from business groups and local civic leaders met on Wednesday to support the workers at Honda’s Swindon plant along with those working in the supply chain.

They agreed on the central importance of making the case for Swindon’s world-class production facility and its highly-skilled workers and for Honda’s continued investment in the plant.

Co-chaired by the government's business secretary Greg Clark, the leader of Swindon Council David Renard, and the chairman of Swindon Local Enterprise Partnership, John Mortimer, the task force jointly agreed the following:

"Our first priority is to make the case to Honda that investment in vehicles of the future is best done in Swindon. We are united in that mission. We have some of the best talent in the world and the government is already investing in future car manufacturing, batteries and electrification infrastructure to ensure the UK retains its world-leading edge.

"The Taskforce is also working to ensure that Swindon continues its record of attracting investment from advanced manufacturers, maintaining and creating highly-skilled jobs that offer fulfilling careers for many years to come."