Former workers revisit Springfield to find out about £100m transformation
The University of Wolverhampton gave former brewery workers an exclusive tour of their old workplace to see how it is being transformed into an architecture and built environment super-campus.
The new Springfield development is a £100m project to transform the 12 acre, Grade II listed former brewery into an education hub for the built environment.
And the University welcomed 23 retired brewery workers for a visit to see the site and find out about how it is changing.
For many, it was the first time they had returned since Springfield closed in 1991 and a chance to reunite with old colleagues and friends, sharing stories and memories.
A fire destroyed much of the historic in 2004, the visitors were very pleased to see how original features were being retained and revived along with the new developments.
James Hewitt was the Brewery Manager at Springfield, following in the footsteps of his father Geoffrey, who had been head brewer. He said: “I loved working at Springfield; the people were lovely and the atmosphere of the whole place was really good. I very much enjoyed visiting the site and seeing the marvellous reconstruction that is occurring.”
Eddy Morgan, a former drayman who delivered the beer to all the pubs and outlet, remembers his years at Springfield as, “heavy work but lots of laughs and banter”.
He visited along with his brother and their wives – all of whom worked at Springfield: “It is great to see how the site is being developed,” he said.” I hope the young people who get to study at Springfield enjoy themselves as much as we did.”
The special guests received a tour of the site and information about how it is being developed, followed by a reception at the University.
Since its purchase in 2014, Springfield has been rejuvenated into a centre of excellence for construction and the built environment, delivering a skills pathway for construction education and training from the age of 14 to senior professionals.
University of Wolverhampton Vice-Chancellor, Professor Geoff Layer, said: “The vision for the Springfield Campus is to make it into a world leading hub for construction and the built environment. It is an integral part of our strategic investment, as well as acting as central part of our efforts to support economic growth and regeneration plans for Wolverhampton and the Black Country.”
The site was originally purchased in 1873 by William Butler to house his growing brewing business, with the Springfield Brewery opening in 1874 under the William Butler and Company name.
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