Pride of Longbridge


Yesterday former MG Rover employees, MG Rover and Austin enthusiasts, community groups and the new MG car company all came together in Cofton Park to celebrate our pride in Longbridge.

Pride of Longbridge was a wonderful day. A celebration of why the name was synonymous with the motor industry throughout the 20th Century. It was great to see Austin, MG and Rover enthusiasts swopping stories with the people who made the cars that they drive. I don’t think there is any other factory in the UK that has such an atmosphere around it.

Saturday was also a day to celebrate the future that is being built. This was the week that the new MG6 rolled off the production line. The new Bournville College is taking shape on site and the Innovation Centre – developed by Advantage West Midlands – continues to be successful.

But the area still needs long term, investment by government. We’ve always known that and the need hasn’t gone away just because the government has decided to slash spending.

The Conservative-led government’s decision to scrap Advantage West Midlands is bad news for this area, as is its refusal of support for Longbridge in the first round of allocations from the Regional Growth Fund (RGF). I hope we can persuade them to show a different approach as we approach phase two of the RGF.

Update – 18 April 2011

Today I joined Angela Eagle, Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, and local Labour candidate Andy Cartwright in Longbridge to highlight the importance of maintaining the investment that the last Labour government started.

The Conservative-led government has scrapped the regional development agency AWM and turned down a Longbridge bid to the Regional Growth Fund – leading to a shortage in funding. We must not allow them to threaten the regeneration of Longbridge.

Read what the Birmingham Post said online here

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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