Has Long­bridge lease ended?

MG Mo­tor re­mains tight-lipped on his­toric build­ings’ long-term fu­ture

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - THIS WEEK -

MG Mo­tor is re­fus­ing to con­firm or deny ru­mours that it has ter­mi­nated its lease at Long­bridge.

Sug­ges­tions that the Chi­nese owned com­pany has pulled the plug on its 22year lease, which has a six-month clause al­low­ing it to leave the premises, have been cir­cu­lat­ing for weeks.

In an at­tempt to ad­dress the con­cerns, site own­ers, St Modwens, has re­leased a state­ment say­ing: ‘Shang­hai Au­to­mo­tive (MG’s owner) re­mains a long-stand­ing ten­ant at Long­bridge on a 22-year lease. We are in reg­u­lar con­tact with the car man­u­fac­turer who has con­firmed that its mar­ket­ing, sales and af­ter­sales oper­a­tions will re­main at the plant.’

St Modwens has not, how­ever, stated whether or not oper­a­tions will re­main in the build­ings cur­rently be­ing used, or if the six-month clause al­low­ing MG to leave has been ac­ti­vated.

‘SA re­mains a long­stand­ing ten­ant at Long­bridge’ ST MODWENS

MG Mo­tor – which has al­ready qui­etly re­moved the word ‘UK’ from its name – has also yet to ad­dress or com­ment upon the is­sue of what will hap­pen to the price­less arte­facts that are still kept within Long­bridge. These in­clude Her­bert Austin’s orig­i­nal of­fice and pa­per­work, a se­lec­tion of ma­chine tools and a 20-25-strong col­lec­tion of var­i­ous pro­to­type and his­toric cars.

MG owns all of the as­sets con­tained within the fac­tory, but only rents the var­i­ous his­toric build­ings – in­clud­ing the glass-roofed Ele­phant House, the Krem­lin, Car Assem­bly Build­ing (CAB) 1 and CAB 2.

The fu­ture looks un­cer­tain for Long­bridge and (in­set) Her­bert Austin’s old of­fice.

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