THE HISTORIC contribution of Jaguar Land Rover’s Castle Bromwich plant has been recognised with a prestigious award.
The Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IME) marked its engineering importance as a factory which has been at the forefront of innovation, technology and high-quality manufacturing for nearly 80 years.
It was awarded an Engineering Heritage Award at a ceremony held on Friday, November 16.
The plant was a major contributor to the war effort through the manufacture of two of Britain’s most iconic aeroplanes, the IME says.
An estimated 11,989 Spitfires and around 305 Lancaster Bombers were produced at the site.
Spitfire P7350, currently the oldest airworthy Spitfire in the world, was built at Castle Bromwich, the IME added.
It says the plane, which flew in the Battle of Britain, is one of a number of Spitfires produced at Castle Bromwich which fly with the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.
A number of Jaguar models have been produced there, which have featured in James Bond films.
This was the 124th Engineering Heritage Award to be presented by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.
The awards, established in 1984, aim to promote artefacts, sites or landmarks of significant engineering importance – past and present.
Previous winners of Engineering Heritage Awards include Alan Turing’s Bombe at Bletchley Park, the E-Type Jaguar and Concorde.
The IME paid tribute to previous winner The Jaguar E-type, a direct descendant of the cars which won five Le Mans 24-hour races during the 1950s.
It says the E-type introduced breakthrough motor engineering technology such as the combined monocoque-spaceframe, which in later years was adopted by Formula One.
Chair of the engineering heritage committee and past president John Wood said: “For almost eight decades, the Castle Bromwich Assembly Plant has provided jobs for the local community, trained and developed engineers and has produced some of Britain’s most iconic aircraft and automobiles.
“This award also serves as an opportunity to recognise the contribution made by the women of Castle Bromwich and the surrounding areas who made up an estimated 40 per cent of the workforce producing these aircraft during the war.”