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£16m fund to help supply chains hit by car factory closures

Honda suppliers will be among the first to be helped.

Suppliers to Honda in Swindon will be among the first to be helped (PA)
Suppliers to Honda in Swindon will be among the first to be helped (PA)

A £16 million programme is being launched to help automotive suppliers, such as those affected by the planned closure of Honda’s car factory.

The move was announced by Business Secretary Greg Clark as he chaired a meeting of a task force set up to try to save the Swindon plant.

Support will be offered to small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) across the country, starting with those in the Honda supply chain, who sell to the automotive sector.

Suppliers will be given advice on how to evolve their products and processes, training for specialist staff, or help on accessing business loans.

Mr Clark said: “All of us on the Honda task force are determined to keep pressing the case for Honda to remain in the UK, while at the same time continuing to promote Swindon globally as a leading region for advanced manufacturers to invest in – with the expert companies in Honda’s supply chain a key part of Swindon’s offer.

“Today’s meeting was an opportunity for local suppliers to meet task force representatives, as well as take part in a specialist session with my department and the Department for International Trade to identify opportunities to grow and compete here in the UK and overseas.

“In support of the Honda and UK-wide automotive supply chain I’ve launched a new £16 million programme designed to specifically support SME businesses in the automotive supply chain.

“We design and manufacture world-beating components and technology solutions and this new program will ensure our supply chain sector remains at the top of their game, both here in the UK and internationally, by keeping up with the latest technological developments, backed by dedicated support and advice to make the most of our supply chain expertise and specialisms.”

Unite regional officer Alan Tomala said: “Honda Swindon supports over 12,500 jobs in the supply chain across the UK, so this support is obviously welcome.

“We remain firm of the belief that Honda Swindon and its world-class workforce can have a viable future and will continue to work with the Government and other stakeholders to put a compelling package together to persuade Honda to stay in the UK.”

PA

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