1. ITV Report

Grant to revive 200 year old iron and steelworks

A iron and steelworks closed for nearly twenty years is being revived after receiving an £800,000 National Lottery grant.

Brymbo Iron and Steel Works near Wrexham ceased operation in 1990.

It was built in the late 1790s by prominent industrialist and cast iron pioneer John ‘Iron Mad Jack’ Wilkinson, and started producing steel from 1884 onwards.

John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson pioneered the manufacture of cast iron. Credit: Heritage Lottery Fund

John ‘Iron Mad’ Wilkinson invented a precision boring machine that could bore canon and cast iron cylinders, like those used in steam engines.

He also improved the efficiency of blast furnaces, and led the early development of the world’s first metal single span bridge - the ‘Iron Bridge’ - in Shropshire.

19th century iron workers. Credit: Heritage Lottery Fund

In its heyday, Brymbo was at the centre of Britain’s engineering prowess. Its coal was medal winning and its iron and steel fuelled the expansion of steam and the railways. This project will regenerate Brymbo’s historic buildings and boost the local economy but it will also revive this powerful story and a sense of local pride in what was achieved here.

– Richard Bellamy, Head of HLF Wales