A historic Willenhall school with an iconic clock tower has been transformed into the new headquarters of a business which has been based in the town for nearly 150 years.
The former Little London School on Stafford Street closed more than a decade ago but has undergone a complete refurbishment and will be reopened in October by Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd as part of a multi million pound development project.
The organisation, which is the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK operating 14 plants across the country, has its roots in Willenhall with records showing John Wedge to be galvanizing in the town as early as 1869.
The company has been based at its current site in Stafford Street since 1876. It will now relocate across the road to the renovated school which originally opened in 1883 as Central School. It later became Little London School but was closed in 2007.
As part of the building’s redevelopment into modern offices, the iconic clock tower has been refurbished and protected. The work has been carried out under the “Considerate Contractors” scheme, with contractors minimising any disturbance on the local community.
Chris Woolridge, Managing Director of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, said: “We are very much looking forward to opening our new headquarters on the very street where the foundations of our business began, and are thrilled to have restored the clock tower which is of great significance to the 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, once again, be a revered landmark in the local community. Next year, we will celebrate 150 years since John Wedge began galvanizing in Willenhall and what better way to do that than by continuing his legacy in our new headquarters!”
"Wolverhampton architects, Tweedale, is behind the design. Its Director of Architecture, Michael Bates, said: “This has been a fantastic project to be involved with because of the challenge of creating a design that complements and enhances elements of the existing locally listed building in a conservation area; respecting its history and key features. The design provides a contemporary, first class working environment, and will give the building a new life for many years to come.”