Cast iron cookware developed at Netherton Foundry near Ironbridge
Backing onto the Severn Valley Railway in south east Shropshire sits a company specialising in the production of slow cookers and tagines, where handles are lovingly made by a Shropshire craftsman from local oak and the iron cast in neighbouring Dudley, resulting in truly local products.
The original product development took place at Blists Hill Victorian Town Museum within the site’s original cast ironworks at Ironbridge, which was home to the Industrial Revolution.
In recent discussions with Claire Cox, Shropshire Council’s investment officer, who works with companies looking to relocate into the area, Neil Currie of the Netherton Foundry (www.netherton-foundry.co.uk) remarked that “The product development cost us two pints of mild and a pork pie!”, succinctly describing a process that in other areas of the world could have taken a longer amount of time and considerably more money.
Owners Neil and Sue Currie are keen to explore linkages with other local manufacturers who can add further value to their products and the new ranges the company has planned. This also includes the food that will be cooked in the cast iron slow cookers and tagines, with a strong desire to promote recipes using local ingredients to add greater provenance to their range of products.
When asked about why they chose Shropshire for their business, the answer is simple – the infrastructure exists; the couriers come, the Internet works, but the main appeal is the quality of life they enjoy and how conducive this is to their creative process.
Their customers, particularly their international ones, are also appreciative and at times a little jealous of the surroundings Netherton Foundry enjoys. Many take the opportunity for a holiday in Shropshire when they visit; discovering the Severn Valley Railway, the gastronomic delights of Ludlow and the town of Much Wenlock with its Olympic connections, all within easy reach.
Since its launch in September 2011 the company is seeing large amounts of interest in their products from both retailers and customers, who are attracted by the story of the product, its durability and, as one of their leading retailers and a cook shop trendsetter, describes “its strokability!”
Mike Owen, Shropshire Council’s Cabinet member for economic growth and prosperity, said:
“Netherton Foundry is a great example of a growing business based in Shropshire, who has created a great product in great surroundings. Our county has a great deal to offer businesses, including its central location, whilst also providing a great place to live.”
Businesses interested in relocating or expanding their business in Shropshire should call Claire Cox, Investment Officer at Shropshire Council on 01743 252274 or email firstname.lastname@example.org . They can also find out more about the benefits of Shropshire at www.investinshropshire.com.
Netherton Foundry are based at the Netherton Workshops, which are run by Shropshire Council, who own a number of commercial properties around the county. These are predominately within its market towns and suit start-up and growing businesses, and are competitive priced and available on easy in, easy out terms. For further details businesses can call Jane Ayres on 01743 252315 or email email@example.com.