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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 15:28 GMT
Listing bid for Whittle factory
Sir Frank Whittle
The Rugby site where Whittle's jet engine was tested could be listed
A building where Warwickshire jet engine pioneer Sir Frank Whittle carried out tests could be listed to save it from the bulldozers.

A 70-acre site near Rugby rail station, off Boughton Road and Mill Road, is set to make way for hundreds of homes.

St Modwen, the developers, said it will work with campaigners to preserve the building on its site where Sir Frank worked leading up to World War II.

It said nothing will happen until the outcome of a bid to get it listed.

English Heritage told the BBC that its staff have visited the site and are checking the claims before forwarding the application to the government to make a decision.

Sir Frank first tested his prototype for the jet engine at the threatened site in Rugby, then part of the British Thomson-Houston (BTH) works, later known as AEI, then GEC and now Alstom.

His pioneering work was carried out in Rugby and later his Power Jets company was based in nearby Lutterworth and Whetstone in Leicestershire.

Sir Frank was born in Coventry and was educated in Leamington Spa. He died in the USA in 1996, aged 89.

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