Telford Aga foundry to close within weeks

Aga Rangemaster will close the doors at its historic foundry for the final time this month. It was announced back in May that the company was going to close its Coalbrookdale site.

 The AGA plant in Coalbrookdale
The AGA plant in Coalbrookdale

It has now been revealed that closure will be at the end of November.

Laura James, a spokeswoman for Aga Rangemaster said: “It is likely to be at the end of the month.” When it was announced, it was said that the move will impact on 35 jobs, although some foundry operators will move to other roles.

The closure represents a significant moment in the history of the Ironbridge Gorge, bringing to an end centuries of iron production on the site and removing the last major industrial name from what is widely known as the Cradle of Industry.

Councillor Nicola Lowery, ward member for The Gorge on Telford & Wrekin Council, said: “It will be an extremely sad day when the blazing light of the vibrant furnaces within the heart Aga site finally go out and the last ever casting is made.

“There is significant history to this site in terms of its industrial heritage.

“The foundry undertook the building of the world’s first cast iron bridge which has become the one of our most important historical assets locally known as the internationally renowned Iron Bridge.

“The foundry has very much been at the heart of the industrial revolution and our community for generations.

“I as the ward member and the borough council will continue to work closely with Aga to support in ensuring an appropriate future use and buyer is secured.

“The foundry in the heart of Coalbrookdale has a rich industrial history and I hope a buyer is secured with the vision to recognise the prestige and opportunity within this site to establish a revolutionary industrial use that realises our aspirations for the future and the achievements within our past.”

The company’s factory at Ketley will be kept open, with iron for the Aga ovens assembled there being sourced from other foundries across the UK and the EU which are not part of the Aga Rangemaster group.

Aga Rangemaster was sold to Illinois-based food services giant Middleby Corporation in 2015, in a deal worth about £129 million.

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