Ford's Brentwood HQ to relocate to Dunton

Image source, Local Democracy Reporting Service
Image caption,
Ford has had its UK headquarters in Brentwood for more than 50 years

Car giant Ford has announced plans to move its UK headquarters.

The company, which has been based in Warley, Essex, for more than 50 years, hopes to relocate staff to the Dunton Technical Centre and the Dagenham Diesel Centre.

A spokesman said Ford "did not anticipate any job losses as a direct result of this consolidation activity".

About 1,700 people work at the Eagle Way site which has been earmarked for 350 new homes.

The aim is to bring the company's main UK-based office activities together by the end of September 2019.

It remains subject to relevant board approvals and local authority reviews, the Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) said.

Image source, Geograph
Image caption,
The car giant says staff will be relocated to the Dunton Technical Centre, six miles away

Ford asked Brentwood Borough Council to include the site in its Local Development Plan (LDP), which was due to be decided at a council meeting on Thursday evening.

A company spokesman said the move would had been proposed "as part of an effort to improve our business fitness".

Councillor Louise McKinlay, the Conservative leader of Brentwood Borough Council, said it was "a straightforward commercial decision which we understand and respect".

"Ford is a historic and much-loved part of Essex's culture, and this will continue. We now look to the future for the site and what it can bring for our borough."

Councillor Gareth Barrett, leader of the Brentwood Labour Group, said the car giant's exit would be "a devastating loss" to the area.

"This is a site with real history and part of the cultural fabric of our town," he said.

"Hundreds of good jobs will be leaving. It's a dark day for Brentwood."

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