The sale for housing of the 42-acre Ford stamping site in Dagenham for brings to an end the 90-year history of vehicle manufacturing. Production ceased in 2013 but hope remained that production could be revitalised.
The purchase of the site for £26 million by Europa Capital and St Congar Land spells the death knell for future manufacturing. Another expensive housing estate, with 2650 units, will spring up.
The Ford Dagenham site has speculators licking their lips at the prospect of vast new housing within 20 minutes of central London; of course the housing will be unaffordable to local people. The demise of industry to be replaced with likely buy to let foreign investment epitomises the dilemma of how to rebuild industry.
Once the industrial base goes, once the actual land goes, then all that remains of Ford Dagenham and its vital role in trade union organisation and history is likely to be a tourist plaque on a street corner.