Eastleigh MP Mike Thornton's comments today on news about Ford’s UK restructuring plans, including the closure of their plant at Swaythling.
Mr Thornton said, "It will be a sad day next Friday when such an historic part of the local economy finally closes its doors on vehicle production. Despite many of the Plant's employees gaining further employment inside and outside Ford, in the tough circumstances surrounding the Plant’s closure my thoughts are with the families affected, and the uncertainty and pain caused by this over the past few months.
"The challenge now is two-fold: to ensure that businesses and employees affected by the closure continue to receive proper support, like the crucial £500,000 Ford Impact Fund set up with help from the government's Regional Growth Fund; and to make good use of the Ford Plant site in Swaythling. I think local people want to see the site used effectively, to help the local economy grow and create jobs.
"Locally there are good reasons to be optimistic: Eastleigh has an outstanding record of attracting pioneering engineering and advanced manufacturing companies, and this trend has continued with the recent investment and 731 new jobs at GE Aviation, SPI Lasers and Fianium. Our local economy is showing good signs of recovery, with the number claiming Job Seekers Allowance in Eastleigh down 11% over the last year. We now have to help drive this recovery."