Coalbrookdale foundry history to be impressed on buyers
Buyers of a former foundry will be made fully aware of its historical significance before any offer is accepted, its sellers have said.
Aga Rangemaster and Birmingham-based investment management company JLL said no quoting price would be released for the Coalbrookdale Foundry, which closed its doors for the final time last year.
But Ironbridge Gorge Ward member Nicola Lowery has warned that selling to a housing developer would be "very short sighted", and that the site needs to be preserved industrial .
A statement released by both companies said: "AGA Rangemaster reluctantly came to the decision last year that it could no longer continue manufacturing at the AGA foundry in Coalbrookdale. It is now looking at options for the future of the site.
"It is early days, as the site has only recently been listed for sale, but AGA Rangemaster and JLL are working closely with any potentially interested parties to make them aware of the historical significance of the site, as well as the constraints upon it and the opportunities it presents."
Details will be available to any interested buyers on request. Those who would like to know more should contact the marketing agents JLL.
Councillor Lowery said: "From speaking with members of the community since the closure, there has been a lot of discussion on what opportunities could exist for the future of this site, with the preference being for it to remain in industrial use.
"To use the site purely for residential purposes would personally be a very short-sighted, considering the heritage and archaeological significance of this site and would present many challenges in terms of the remediation work that would be required due to the commercial waste on this site such as ash, metal slag and residuals.
"Regardless, I hope the new buyer takes a very consultative approach to ensure the local community can contribute to shaping the future of this site to ensure a successful and positive use that not only recognises our history but provides a positive contribution to the local economy and future of our World Heritage Site.”
Councillor Lowery said that speaking JLL had been "encouraging".
"JLL has experience in the heritage sector and assists in site purchasing, disposal and support on planning applications therefore I hope will do the area justice in terms of appropriately promoting the potential of this significant site as part of the sale," she said.
"Currently the remaining assets, such as machinery and equipment on site are in the process of being sold, but from meeting with the owners they advise that the industrial buildings are being retained as part of sale, which is encouraging news to ensure the industrial potential is being promoted to investors."
It comes as West Mercia Police reveal that the now empty site became a target for thieves.
Intruders entered the site, possibly in the hopes of stealing cable, officers said.
Witnesses reported seeing a black coloured Ford Focus car in the area.
Anybody with more information should contact police on 101 citing police reference number 0628S 070118, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or at crimestoppers-uk.org.