End of the road for part of Blackpool cars factory

Demolition of the old TVR buildings, Bristol Avenue, Bispham.
Demolition of the old TVR buildings, Bristol Avenue, Bispham.
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Part of Blackpool’s sports car making history is set to disappear as demolition teams take down part of the former TVR factory.

Workers have been pulling down part of the car plant at Bristol Road, Bispham, to clear the ground for redevelopment.

But the ice rink and a row of units on Bristol Avenue are still in business on the site of the factory which once produce the world-famous glass fibre-bodied sports cars.

The engineering works closed in closed in 2006 with the loss of around 250 jobs.

The building was at its height under the stewardship of TVR owner Peter Wheeler before he sold it to Nikolai Smolenski in July 2004, however the land remained in the ownership of the Wheeler trust.

MTJ Cars and Bulldogz Gym, which were in the now-derelict building both moved further along the road to join several businesses which renovate and repair TVR cars.

TVR enthusiast John Bailie said: “It is another part of Blackpool’s TVR history gone.

“It was sad when the factory closed almost 10 years ago and the fact that this building is going now is the loss of another part of the company’s physical presence in the town.

“The cars have an incredible following, the TVR Car Club is one of the biggest, and there are still companies in Blackpool working with TVR cars doing trims, maintenance and repairs.

“The name too is still going strong after Les Edgar bought the company and his team appear to be doing the right things although the chances of cars being made here again appear to be slim.”

Mike Thorne from MJT Cars, which carries out all types of car maintenance, MOTs and bodywork from the TVR buildings next door said the factory premises being pulled down were past their best.

He said: “We moved out of the old building in November, it is a bit sad because we had seven years there and put a lot of work in, with ramps and an MOT bay, but our new premises are much bigger and fully kitted out.

“We had outgrown the previous building and to be honest it was past its best.”