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Heritage centre planned for Ford’s Dagenham site

Published 04 September 2017

Plans to create a new Heritage Centre at the Ford’s Dagenham site are underway. Barking and Dagenham Council are to recruit an architect for the centre, which is set to cost between £5m and £8m.

The scheme is currently in the early stages, with plans yet to gain approval for Heritage Lottery Funding. It’s part of a move to convert the former car factory into 3000 homes.

The brief says, ‘The new centre will celebrate the industrial achievements of the area, act as a cultural centre, community resource and social facility within the proposed housing development in which it will be located, and as a visitor destination.’

And that means it could be used to store some of Ford’s 120-strong heritage collection, which is currently based in leaky shed on the Thames-side site.

Ford Dagenham (1)

Ford’s Dagenham plant opened in 1931. At its peak it employed 40,000 people and featured its own hospital, port, power station, and foundry – producing more than 10 million vehicles and 37 million engines.

The first car to roll off the production line was a Model AA truck, while the site is perhaps best known for its production of every generation of Cortina. Car production stopped in 2002, but the site went on to become one of Ford's global centres of excellence for diesel engine production.

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