Since closing 15 years ago with the loss of the plant’s remaining 6,000 jobs, the vacant 75-acre West Works has been a reminder of one of the most painful manufacturing collapses in the region’s post war economic history.
The investment deal between the WMCA and property developer St. Modwen, means the land can now be cleaned up, essential infrastructure provided and the site made ready for the construction of 350 new homes and almost 1 million sq ft of commercial floorspace, creating up to 5,000 jobs.
Andy Street said: “The closure of Longbridge’s MG Rover Plant in 2005 was one of the darkest days in the history of the West Midlands, and one that symbolised our region’s economic decline in what were supposed to be the country’s economic ‘boom’ years under Tony Blair.
“Having spent some time growing up in Northfield I know just how iconic the site is, and I know that for 15 years now people have waited for its regeneration to finally heal one of our biggest, and most painful, economic scars. That is why I am delighted that the WMCA has been able to step in and help unlock this major part of the site for development.
“Over the past four years one of the real strengths of the West Midlands has been using Government money to clean up derelict industrial land to pave the way for development, and industrial land doesn’t come much bigger or more iconic than the Longbridge West Works.
“Now instead of looking back over 15 years of pain, we can look forward to the thousands of new jobs, commercial premises, and hundreds of homes that will be coming to Longbridge.”
Gary Sambrook MP added "One of the first projects I spearheaded when getting elected was solving the legacy fo MG Rover. That means getting this remaining land back into use. When I met with St Modwen there was a black hole in the budget to be able to get their plans happening that's why I worked with them and Andy Street, the West Midlands Mayor, to secure government funding to achieve this."
Another part of the legacy is the liquidation which I am still working on and in close contact with the liquidators (PWC) and raising at a national level with the goverment"
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