Businesses immortalised in iron after supporting heritage project

By James Pugh | Ironbridge | Business | Published:

The first plaques have been laid in Coalbrookdale to mark the support of businesses who have signed-up to a fundraising appeal to preserve the area’s heritage.

Phil Ward (Grainger and Worrall), Colin Mills (TMG), Kirsty Smallman (J & PR) Richard Hughes (Chrisbeon), John Poore, (Worshipful Co Builders Merchants), Dave Wauchope (McPhillips), Cassie Grillo (TMG) and Stuart Rea (FBC Manby Bowdler). Front L-R, Saffron Buckle (IGMT) and Clare White (Freyssinet)

The 1,000 Builders appeal is part of the Fund for the Future programme launched by the Ironbridge Gorge Museums Trust (IGMT) with the goal of getting 1,000 businesses to donate £1,000 and help to raise £1 million by a target deadline date of March 2021.

A total of £1 million needs to be raised to take advantage of full match funding in the form of a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. The money will be used to secure the stories, buildings and history of the Coalbrookdale site for future generations.

The first ‘builders’ gathered in Coalbrookdale to witness their very own iron plaque with business name etched on, created by Bridgnorth firm Grainger & Worrall, laid in an inaugural ceremony.

Karen Davies, of IGMT, said: “It was a very special occasion and we were proud to welcome our founder builders and mark their valuable support in this way.

“The plaques will be a lasting reminder of how these businesses have helped efforts to raise this mammoth total we are so keen to achieve.

“We were unable to have the initial plaques cast on-site at Blists Hill and I would like to thank Grainger & Worrall who stepped in and produced the plaques at their site in Bridgnorth, they did an excellent job and we were delighted that they have supported us in this way.”

Sales and marketing director for Grainger and Worrall, Phil Ward, said: “We work with some of the leading motorsport and automotive brands to engineer and manufacture the engine technology of tomorrow.

“As we continue to innovate and look to the future, it is a real privilege to be involved in helping the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust achieve their fundraising target which will enable them to preserve the heritage of the industrial revolution, and will hopefully inspire the next generation of engineers.”


Fundraisers at the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust are still keen to hear from other businesses who would like to take part in the 1,000 Builders Campaign and who would like their businesses to be associated with the birthplace of industry, further plaque laying events will be held regularly in the run up to the 2021 deadline.

“Whatever money we are able to raise by that time will be match funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund up to a maximum of £1 million – that’s an incredible potential of £2 million that could be available to us to help us carry out our vital charitable work carried out at our historic site in Coalbrookdale,” added Mrs Davies.

“We are clearly aiming to reach our £1million target but it is a major challenge in the timescales and that is why we are so keen to get our message across and get businesses to sign up to this appeal now.

“Coalbrookdale and the wider Ironbridge Gorge World Heritage Site holds an extremely important place in history, bringing with it an obligation to ensure we can maintain, preserve and safeguard this vital part of our heritage well into the future.”

To find out more about becoming one of the 1,000 builders visit or contact Saffron Buckle on

James Pugh

By James Pugh

Shropshire Star Business and Farming Editor.


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