PLANS have been handed in for new work at the site of the former Ford factory in Southampton.

The Transit factory closed last July after four decades of production in the city.

The plant in Swaythling shut its doors for the last time after Ford decided to move production to Turkey.

Now, as part of its plans for a vehicle refurbishment centre on the site, the firm has submitted a planning application to Southampton City Council.

As previously reported, the firm has kept on 134 employees to work at the site in Swaythling, and at a new vehicle distribution centre in the docks, which is up and running.

For the refurbishment centre, the firm wants to use existing buildings at the site, while carrying out alterations and enlarging the vehicle storage area.

A decision on the plans is due by April 27.

Discussions are continuing about the future of the rest of the site, where decommissioning work is continuing.

A spokesman for Ford said: “Ford has conducted studies of the Southampton site covering areas such as environmental remediation, legal and planning matters and future potential uses of the site.

“Employees and contractors continue the work of decommissioning the plant and preparation for redeployment or reuse of equipment.

“It is expected that the site will be secured for employment usage and Ford is in discussions with local authorities and other key stakeholders on the options for their marketing and re-use.”

To mark the end of the plant, the firm donated three of the last Transit vans to roll off the production line to local organisations.

They were handed over to Naomi House, Cedar School and the city council for use by charities and community groups.