The redevelopment of Longbridge – historic home of MG Rover and Austin – continues.
Site owners St Modwen recently received permission to build a £20million leisure complex on the land which once built many of Britain’s favourite classics.
Longbridge built its last car, a “completely knocked down” (CKD) MG3, in July 2016. Production formally ended there in October of that year, with the loss of 25 jobs.
Earlier this year, our sister title Classic Car Buyer looked into the possibility of getting Historic England to designate some of the significant buildings in Longbridge before the site was completely redeveloped. Previous attempts were submitted (and eventually rejected) in 2007, and several iconic buildings, including the former “Round House” styling studio and Austin Exhibition Hall (now MG Conference Centre) are still in use and are likely to remain so for the foreseeable future.
Car Assembly Building 2 (CAB2), was emptied of half-completed cars and flattened in February 2017. Concern remains among enthusiasts about the former Austin administration block, known informally as the “Kremlin”. Having stood empty since November 2016, its future remains uncertain; current site tenants Shanghai Automotive (MG Motor UK, SAIC UK and SAIC Motor Technical Centre) work in other areas of Longbridge. Having invested in environmental testing facilities, Shanghai currently has a 22-year lease in place, “with commitments to its marketing, sales and aftersales operations,” Classic Car Buyer reported in February.
Commenting on the latest Longbridge development work to the Bromsgrove Advertiser, St. Modwen Development Director Chris Newsome said: “We have worked with local authorities to create a plan for the leisure scheme that best suit the needs of the community at Longbridge and will keep the public informed as these plans progress.”