The heir to the throne was particularly interested in the plant's sustainability and apprenticeship schemes.

Prince Charles paid a visit to Pirelli's factory is Carlisle this week as the facility marked its 50th year of operation.

The Prince Of Wales was joined by HM Trade Commissioner for Europe, Andrew Mitchell, the Ambassador of Italy in the United Kingdom, Raffaele Trombetta, the Executive Vice-Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Pirelli, Marco Tronchetti Provera and a number of senior Pirelli officials for the visit.

"It was a great honour to welcome His Royal Highness to our factory in Carlisle during this important anniversary year, and so celebrate the enduring and fruitful relationship between Pirelli and the United Kingdom," said Provera. "It will be a day that we will all long remember."

Prince Charles visits Pirelli's Carlisle factory

His Royal Highness showed particular interest in Pirelli's apprenticeship scheme, along with the company's commitment to sustainability issues – two issues close to the Prince's heart.

The Carlisle factory has been recognised as a leader in a car components sector in the Auto Components Sector on the Dow Jones Sustainability Index and this year it was also included on the CDP Climate A list for its efforts as well.

Pirelli's Carlisle factory has a particular focus on premium and prestige products, as well as those for SUVs. It provides tyres for both the domestic and international markets.

Across both Carlisle and Pirelli's UK base in Burton-on-Trent, Pirelli employs more than 1,300 people.

Gallery: Prince Charles visits Pirelli's Carlisle factory