Ford Dagenham in pictures

Ford is to close its Dagenham stamping plant next year with the loss of up to 750 staff, the car giant confirmed today.

Up to 3,250 jobs will be safeguarded in the Dagenham engine plant, which will start to make new low carbon emission engines from 2016.

The announcement came on the day the country officially came out of a double-dip recession.

But it is the biggest blow to the Chequers Lane factory for a decade, after Ford pulled the plug on car production in Dagenham in 2002.

Here is a selection of photographs illustrating the story of the Dagenham factory, which opened during the Great Depression in 1931.