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Acquisition gives historic engineering site a new lease of life

L-r: Andy Heaton, Brett Downs & Bradley Wosahlo

A Tameside industrial site that once housed a historic engineering works has been acquired by a tenant company, BB Scaffolding, in a six-figure deal, part-funded by a loan from Mercia Fund Managers.

Dukinfield Iron Works – a two-acre site off Station Road – was formerly the headquarters of J Bown & Co, a world leader in the manufacture of pressure vessel components, which was founded in 1877 and run by six generations of the Bown family before it ceased trading in September 2017.

The site, which houses 16 buildings, was acquired in a private sale from the Bown family. The new owners, who have been actively promoting the site in the run-up to the sale, have already signed eight new tenants ranging from vehicle repairs and conversion firms to a recycled plastics manufacturer.

BB Scaffolding provides scaffolding and steel erection services for the chemicals and telecoms sectors. Founded by Brett Downs and Bradley Wosahlo in 2009, it currently employs 11 staff on the site. The acquisition will allow it to extend its yard area and generate income from tenant companies.

Brett Downs said: “We are pleased to take control of this historic site. As tenants for nine years, we saw the potential to provide cost-effective industrial premises close to the M60. The rapid take-up demonstrates the strong demand. The acquisition has not only helped secure the future of our own business but provided others with the space to grow and create new jobs in the area.”

Andy Heaton, Investment Manager with Mercia, said: “Dunkinfield Iron Works has been a centre of industry and employment for 140 years. The sale has given it a new lease of life and the BB Scaffolding team are committed to revitalising the site and giving a new generation of businesses the opportunity to expand.”

Paul Mak of Pomegranate Commercial Finance provided fundraising advice to BB Scaffolding.