General - - MG Rover - September 2016. | Industrial Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk

General - MG Rover - September 2016.


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
First report & first Industrial explore.

Opened in 1905, by the late 1960s Longbridge employed around 25,000 workers.
A wide variety of products have been produced at the site during its history, although the core product has been cars, most notably the original two door Mini.
During the Second World War the main plant produced munitions and tank parts, while the nearby East Works of Austin Aero Ltd. at Cofton Hackett, produced several types of aeroplane such as the Short Stirling and the Hawker hurricane.

Originally a printing factory built on green fields the site has had a variety of private owners, as well as a period of state ownership.

Production was massively scaled back after MG Rover collapsed in 2005 - meaning that the factory has been almost entirely unused over the past decade.

History Timeline.

  • November 4, 1905: Berkshire-born engineer Herbert Austin discovers a small derelict printing works at Longbridge, while driving round Birmingham looking for a site on which to set up a car-making business. He buys it, friends come forward with financial help and the Austin Motor Company is born.

  • March 1906: The first Austin car is produced, priced £650.

  • 1908: Nearly 1,000 workers are employed at the Longbridge car plant.

  • February 1914: The Austin Motor Company is changed to public ownership.

  • First World War (1914-18): Munitions, not cars, are produced at Longbridge. Eight million shells, 650 guns, 2,000 aeroplanes, 2,500 aero engines and 2,000 trucks are produced.

  • By 1917: The factory has trebled in size. The number of employees, many of them women, rises to more than 22,000 during the peak years of production during the war.

  • Second World War (1939-45): Car production is largely abandoned and armour-piercing ammunition, steel boxes, jerry cans, mines, depth charges and helmets produced. Parts for tanks are produced, plus nearly 3,000 planes.

  • 1956: Austin is combined with the Morris Motor Company to become BMC.

  • 1970s: Production at the factory is crippled by strikes with which Derek Robinson, or 'Red Robbo' as he was dubbed by the media, became synonymous.

  • 1980s: Longbridge produces models such as the Austin Metro and Rover 200-series which helps to keep BL, now called the Austin Rover Group, afloat.

  • May 2000: Factory sold to the Phoenix Consortium in a management buyout. Financial commentators claim the plant is not modern enough and will run out of money within a few years.

  • April 2005: The Phoenix Consortium put MG Rover group into administration and the factory's 6,000 workers are asked to go home. Later that month the MG Rover group goes into receivership.

  • July 2005: Chinese automobile corporation Nanjing Automotive buys MG Rover with the hope of re-starting car production at Longbridge by 2007.

  • July 2006: Nanjing Automotive announces plans to start limited production of the MGF sports car at the factory and that around 250 workers could initially be employed on the project.

  • Since the collapse of MG Rover in 2005 part of the site has been redeveloped for commercial and residential usage. The remaining 69 acres of the site are leased by SAIC

Anyway, enough of that... more can be found online.

Our Visit:

We originally went on our way to find the Longbridge tunnels that run under the MG Rover plant back in June 2016, but since we couldn't find an entrance, we went on a further adventure and found ourselves inside the production line in pitch black, with nothing but a crappy phone torch to guide us & walking through stagnant water without our wellingtons on.
We started wandering through, not knowing what was still left, and me being a female and some of the site still in use, I got scared that security would find us and we decided to go back another time with our torches, cameras and something to keep our feet dry!
When we arrived, our original found entrance was locked... so, we ducked and dived around to avoid the CCTV camera.

We was in, cameras out their bags and into our hands...

I hope you all enjoy the images of the adventure with @Nate














The handsome partner in crime ;)





Into the gents toilets for a quick stop before the long walk down the production line, for the peeling paint lovers :p









Lovely view from the rooftop to finish off.


Thanks for reading :)
Last edited by a moderator:


28DL Full Member
Great photos your return trip payed off well. I see mr callow donated 3p a week to charity. I suppose every little helps.


Super Moderator
Staff member
Indeed, good work.

Amazing there is so much left, the closure seems like ancient history now! (as does exploring it first time around)


28DL Full Member
28DL Full Member
If rumours are true then even some of the current used part of the site will be going soon too as production has officially ceased at longbridge by MG UK now.

I think a time will come where only the design and technical centre will be based there.

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