Old school build­ing gets new lease of life

Black Country Bugle - - NEWS - By GAVIN JONES

AN his­toric Wil­len­hall land­mark fea­tur­ing an iconic clock tower has been given a new lease of life af­ter years stand­ing empty.

The for­mer Lit­tle Lon­don School has been trans­formed into the new head­quar­ters of a busi­ness that has been based in the town for nearly 150 years.

Since clos­ing more than a decade ago the build­ing has un­der­gone a com­plete re­fur­bish­ment and will be for­mally re­opened later this month as part of a multi-mil­lion pound de­vel­op­ment pro­ject by Wedge Group Gal­va­niz­ing Ltd., who have their roots in Wil­len­hall.

Records show that John Wedge was run­ning a gal­va­niz­ing busi­ness in the town as early as 1869.

The com­pany has been based at its cur­rent site, in Stafford Street, since 1876, but is now re­lo­cat­ing to the nearby site of the for­mer school.

The iconic clock tower has been re­fur­bished and pro­tected as part of the re­de­vel­op­ment, which will house of­fices and fa­cil­i­ties for around twenty staff.

The work has been car­ried out un­der the ‘Con­sid­er­ate Con­trac­tors’ scheme, with con­trac­tors min­imis­ing dis­tur­bance on the lo­cal com­mu­nity.

Chris Wool­ridge, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Wedge Group, said: “We’re very much look­ing for­ward to open­ing our new head­quar­ters on the very street where the foun­da­tions of our busi­ness be­gan.

“We’re also thrilled to have re­stored the clock tower, which is of great sig­nif­i­cance to res­i­dents of the town.

“Our in­vest­ment will see this his­toric site, which has been derelict for more than a decade, given a brand new lease of life and the op­por­tu­nity to be a revered land­mark in the com­mu­nity once again.

“Next year, we’ll cel­e­brate 150 years since John Wedge be­gan a gal­va­niz­ing op­er­a­tion in Wil­len­hall and what bet­ter way to do that than by con­tin­u­ing his legacy in new head­quar­ters.”

Wolver­hamp­ton ar­chi­tects Tweedale are be­hind the de­sign.

The for­mer school is about to take on a new lease of life

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