Wienerberger has recently sold the former site of its Baggeridge Brickworks to national housebuilder David Wilson Homes – a move that is set to bring 350 new jobs to the area.
The sale came after the site had to be closed, following the expiration of the nearby clay deposits located 1.5 miles away in Himley in 2008. The site’s assets have since been relocated and the land it once occupied has been released for redevelopment, which, once complete, will host 181 luxury new homes.
Since the 1930s the factory at Baggeridge had been involved in the creation of solid, non-perforated, wire-cut and stock facing and engineering bricks until the original source of Etruria marl expired and substitute material had to be supplied from the aforementioned site in Himley from 1968.
In the ensuing 50 years the local colliery shale diminished, triggering a shift in product direction. The possibilities availed by the change in material led to bricks having to be fired at 1150 degrees celsius - causing the quality of bricks to improve and ultimately being known as red engineering bricks.
By the time the material reserves totally expired in 2008, the site manufactured a range of products including facing and engineering bricks, special shaped bricks, paver systems and sculptured brickwork.
Harald Schwarzmayr, managing director at Wienerberger, said: “The redevelopment of the Baggeridge Brickworks is a truly amazing feat. From the 1930s, until 2008, the site produced some of the UK’s finest bricks. However, when the local clay deposits were exhausted it was time for the land to be made available for a new purpose.
“Obviously it was sad to see such a historic brick works disappear, but the creation of David Wilson Homes’ Baggeridge Village is a fitting tribute to the industry.”