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14th Jun, 2021

Longbridge campaigners' anger as Lord Austin's office is 'ripped out and moved to Gaydon with no consultation'

Tristan Harris 11th May, 2021 Updated: 11th May, 2021

THE ORGANISER of the Pride of Longbridge has hit out at MG UK after she said ‘an important piece of the area’s motoring history was ripped out from its home without any consultation’.

Gemma Cartwright MBE, whose petition has 1,400 signatures, is furious the action was taken to strip Lord Austin’s office from MG in Lowhill Lane and transfer it to Gaydon.

She said: “We have had plenty of support from St Modwen – they have been brilliant and we expect the same support from MG when it comes to Longbridge’s heritage.

“So much time and effort has been spent in restoring the office and maintaining it – it doesn’t make sense.

“Longbridge was where Lord Austin chose to build his empire from so it should have remained here.

“You wouldn’t ever get anyone ripping Cadbury’s out of Bournville and this is the same principle.”

Northfield MP Gary Sambrook, whose constituency covers the former MG Rover plant, said “This is incredibly sad news.

“This office is an important piece of our local history and it should have remained at the centre of Longbridge.

“We are currently seeing the largest regeneration of Longbridge in a lifetime and it would have only been right for this office to have remained here, while we shape our future, with a careful eye on the past.”

As well as preserving the history for large numbers of visitors each year, Lord Austin’s office was a useful community tool to teach children and young people about the area’s proud motoring past and school trips to it were also organised.

Lord Austin founded the Austin Motor Company which led to decades of car production of in the city with many different models.

Motor manufacturing later continued under the name MG Rover and the factory also supported efforts in both the First World War and Second World War, with the latter seeing the plant specialising in producing aircraft and aircraft parts.

The Standard has contacted MG UK and is awaiting comment.

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