Historic Willenhall school to become company HQ

A historic Willenhall school with an iconic clock tower has been turned into the new headquarters of Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd, which has been based in the West Midlands town for nearly 150 years.

The former Little London School on Stafford Street closed more than a decade ago but has been refurbished by Wedge Group Galvanizing Ltd as part of a multi-million pound development project. The clock tower has been refurbished and protected as part of the redevelopment.

Tweedale was responsible for the new office design.

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 will provide a contemporary, first class working environment, and will give the building a new life for many years to come.”

Wedge Group is the largest hot-dip galvanizing organisation in the UK with 14 plants around the country, and has its roots in Willenhall, with records showing John Wedge to be running a galvanizing business in the town as early as 1869.

Its managing director Chris Woolridge 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.”