PLANS have been drawn up to build a pocket park commemorating car manufacturer MG’s rich history in Abingdon.

The park’s main feature will be a statue of the iconic car, together with information boards explaining the town’s links with the world famous manufacturer and paving stones with the MG logo and in its octagonal shape.

Abingdon Town Council has developed the plans, which have yet to be costed, and will build on a third of an acre of land it owns at the corner where Marcham Road meets Drayton Road, not far from where the original factory was, in Cemetery Road.

The company was founded by William Morris (later Lord Nuffield) and Cecil Kimber in 1924. Production of the predominantly two-seater sports car was based at the Abingdon factory until its closure in 1980.

The public relations officer at the MG Car Club, which is based opposite the former factory, Chris Seaward, said: “This is fantastic news and we’ve always said we’ve been keeping the memory of MG burning on our own.

“We’ve got people from all over the world who visit Abingdon in homage to MG and they are pleased to see the club, but are left dissapointed there’s not more to see.

“A lot of people in the town either worked at the factory, or are the sons or daughters of people who did, and they are desperate for something to mark MG’s rich history with the town.”

The leader of the council, Lesley Legge, said it was able to press ahead with the park plan because a traffic-easing scheme proposed at the site had been scrapped.

She said: “This is something we’ve wanted to do for a long time. The company is very much part of Abingdon’s history and dear to so many people’s hearts.

“The land was going to be used to widen the road, but that was cancelled and there was also another plan to have a topiary MG on a roundabout, and that was also shelved.

“The crowning feature of the park will be a big sculpture or statue of an MG and we’re going to talk to enthusiasts and clubs from all over the world to find some sponsorship.”

She added that funding would be drawn from the council’s already agreed amenities budget.

Tree planting has already begun and it is hoped other features can be gradually installed in time for autumn. A date has not been set for the statue.

*The news came after Frontline, a company which refurbishes and builds parts for MGs, moved to Steventon from Devon last month. Sales director Ed Braclik said: “We needed to expand and it just seemed right to bring MG back to its spiritual home.”