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Iron being smelted within foundry

Our history

From a small steel fabrication shop overlooking Shropshire’s famous Wrekin hill to an industry-leading and innovative £50 million turnover company with more than 100 patents, we have come a long way during our history.

Here, you can find out more about our history and the development of iron, steel, and geotechnical products, as well as the time we supplied manhole covers to the 2012 London Summer Olympics and the famous Coronation Street cobbles.

Wrekin celebrates 40th birthday

Armadillo, the hardhat for your ironwork, is launched.

Wrekin launch Unite range of E600 manhole covers to meet CD534 requirements

Wrekin rebrands and launches a new website that reflects the business in the present day.

Working alongside Thames Water, Wrekin creates the UK's first commemorative access cover in support of the LGBTQ+ community.

The Unite range turns 20 – still with zero registered failures.

The ClickLift rapid manhole frame raising system is launched.

Wrekin is awarded the BRE LPCB certification.

Wrekin wins the Northumbrian Water framework.

Wrekin’s turnover reaches £40 million.

As part of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles’ iconic Abbey Road LP, Wrekin and Thames Water create a one-off, bespoke Unite manhole cover, installed a stone’s throw away from the world-famous zebra crossing near EMI’s North London recording studio.

Wrekin sells more than 1,350 tonnes of steel products – the same weight as 20 space shuttles; 22 million m2 of woven geotextile, which equates to more than 2,998 football pitches; and 22,000 tonnes of iron manhole covers – the same weight as two Eiffel Towers.

Steel products stock holding doubles from the 2016 position.

Wrekin’s turnover reaches £30 million.

Wrekin wins the Scottish Water framework as a sole supplier.

Wrekin steel access covers become specified suppliers to the Ministry of Defence.

Wrekin wins the Virgin Media contract to supply manhole covers and Virgin agrees to only install Unite covers with UniPak bedding mortar on London roads due to the quantity of traffic and longevity of the product.

Unite’s 15th birthday is celebrated with a visit from Conservative MP Michael Fabricant.

The Thames Water contract is extended for a fourth time and now includes the use of Wrekin’s UniPak bedding mortar, which ensures greater performance and an extended warranty.

Wrekin wins the Yorkshire Water framework.

Wrekin is jointly awarded the Anglian Water framework.

Wrekin is listed as one of the top 1,000 companies to inspire Britain by the London Stock Exchange Group, which celebrates the achievements of the UK’s most inspiring and fastest-growing small to medium enterprises. The list is published in conjunction with the Daily Telegraph and backed by business leaders, including then-Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne.

Wrekin wins the Southern Water framework.

In November, Wrekin is awarded the BS OHSAS 18001 international standard for occupational health and safety management.

Wrekin Products’ turnover reaches £20 million.

WWFE supplies manhole covers to the new Coronation Street at MediaCityUK.

The business moves to a new site in Lichfield and is renamed Wrekin Products Ltd, allowing the firm to invest more on additional staff, develop departments, bring stock to less locations, and take on bigger contracts.

WWFE wins the Scottish Water framework.

The business supplies over 150 manhole covers to the 2021 London Summer Olympics.

WWFE’s turnover reaches £12 million.

WWFE’s contract with Thames Water is extended for the third time after six successful years.

WWFE’s turnover reaches £10 million.

WWFE buys Wrekin Fabrications Ltd, another version of the original WWFE business that was set up by the previous bought-out owners.

The contract with Thames Water is extended after a successful four-year period.

The Highway manhole cover range is launched.

The CellTrack, Erosion Mat, ProtectaWeb products are launched.

WWFE’s E’GRID is specified on the A47 Thorney Bypass, Cambridge, which, at the time, was the largest geogrid project in Europe.

WWFE’s turnover reaches £8 million.

WWFE wins Severn Trent framework due to Unite’s longevity.

The TriStar manhole cover range is launched.

WWFE wins the Thames Water framework, which it still holds today, thanks to the Unite range’s longevity. Prior to specifying Unite manhole covers, Thames Water was registering more than 8,000 failures per year. To this day, Wrekin has not received one registered failure of a Unite manhole cover.

The E’GRID Geogrid range is introduced.

WWFE moves from being a specialist steel fabricator to offering the light range of domestic steel access covers, with more than 100 products in the range, including recessed trays and block paviour covers.

Stan and the family launch a management buyout of WWFE, including its Woodland Road property, in Burton-upon-Trent, which CIS moves out of.

WWFE turnover reaches £3.2 million.

The Unite range is launched to market.

WWFE’s turnover reaches £3 million.

The CIS Group, including WWFE, is sold to Tyco, with Stan remaining on the board.

WWFE registers patents for a universal beam structure and extended frame flange and begins developing products around these features.

The Unite range begins to be developed, which has been designed to overcome all the common manhole cover failure mechanisms.

The CIS Group is now turning over £14 million.

The CIS Street Furniture business leaves WWFE.

WWFE becomes European Supplier of the Year.

WWFE becomes the first company to receive the European Kitemark with an overseas foundry, which elevates its status as a quality steel product manufacturer.

CIS Group begins to develop iron manhole covers and other products that WWFE owns the intellectual property, manufacturing process, patterns, and patents on.

Stan makes key appointments within the business, expanding WWFE’s knowledge and experience of ductile and steel manhole covers.

WWFE, as part of CIS Group, begins selling geotechnical products, becoming a full-service iron, steel, and geotechnical business.

WWFE achieves the globally recognised ISO 9001 certification for the first time.

CIS purchases WWFE, which becomes part of the CIS Group, to diversify into fabricated steel, manhole covers, and specialist fabrications.

CIS Group purchases 20,000 sq ft of warehouse space and offices for 40 staff in Woodland Road, Burton-upon-Trent.

WWFE moves production to CIS Street Furniture’s premises in Ashbourne, Derbyshire – combining production into one facility.

Stan Turner – who had previously worked for a major manufacturer of water pipelines, valve fittings, and manhole covers – takes over pipeline engineering firm Cast Iron Services (CIS), which has a turnover of around £2-3million.

Stan sets up supporting businesses Associated Pipeline Products and CIS Street Furniture.

Based near Telford with views of the Wrekin hill, Wrekin Welding, Fabrication and Engineering Limited (WWFE) – a fabrication shop of steel products – is formed, manufacturing access covers, foundation structures, baggage handling, and conveyor belt systems.