FIFTY years after tyre giant Pirelli opened the doors of its Carlisle factory, staff have been celebrating the milestone anniversary.

As the factory continues to expand and grow despite Brexit - as the recent jobs boost revealed in The Cumberland News highlighted - we’ve scoured through our extensive archive to pick out the moments that defined Pirelli’s half a century legacy.

It was the edition of The Cumberland News released on January 31 1969 that told the story of the £2.25m plant producing its first batch of tyres that week. Manned by only 60 workers, the staff were trained via tape-recorded messages. It was also announced that a £500,000 extension would begin next winter.

In August of that year plans were announced for a £2.2m expansion that would increase tyre output by 300 per cent. The expansion was a response to increased demand for Cinturato tyres.

The Dalston Road-based plant was hit by a fire in April 1991, which saw three-quarters of a tonne of molten rubber go up in flames. No one was injured.

In June of that year, staff were taken to a tyre factory in Italy to experience new equipment.

Seven years later an application was submitted that would bring 200 new jobs to the Pirelli tyre factory in Carlisle.

Managers at the plant wanted to build an 82,000sq ft extension which would boost production by 50 per cent. Planning was approved but funding was pulled by bosses in Italy.

However, in June of 2001 Pirelli invested nearly £11m in extending its Carlisle factory, in an 40,000sq ft extension carried out in two phases.

June of the following year saw 50 new jobs created at the factory, as the company was given the go ahead for a massive new warehouse. The £5m warehouse was opened two years later after a speedy seven-month build. The 120,000 sq ft distribution centre was roughly the size of three supermarkets.

In August 2005 Pirelli were given the go-ahead to build a giant 400ft wind turbine at their factory, which would cost £1.5m. However, this ambition to be more environmentally-friendly was dealt a blow two years later, when tests discovered Carlisle was not as windy as first thought.

While it was a story of positivity for decades, there came a blow three years later, when 60 manufacturing jobs were lost at the site. Pirelli blamed the redundancies on foreign competition and lost orders and sales.

A further 20 jobs were axed in November 2008, followed by more redundancies in March and April 2009.

Two years later came a turning point for the city factory though, with news it was to receive a major share of a £4m investment.

Nearly 40 jobs were created at the factory three years later, following a further £20m cash injection.

In May 2013 Pirelli applied to extend the warehouse at its Carlisle tyre factory, adding a 44,229sq ft extension housing four loading bays.

In October plans for two further extensions to its tyre factory were unveiled, which brought a further 45,000sq ft extension to the site.

The Chinese-owned manufacturer also confirmed four years later that planning approval had been received for a single storey building to be constructed on on the site, measuring 80m (262.5ft) long and 28m (91.9ft) wide.

Last month The Cumberland News confirmed the firm had submitted two planning applications - the first of which has already been approved - which will bring almost 40 new jobs to the factory.