ONE of the most famous names in the British steel industry has been revived and has relocated its head office to Church.
The original Walkersteel was built up by Blackburn brothers Jack and Fred Walker to become one of the largest steel stockists in the world.
Operating from a huge 55-acre site on the outskirts of Blackburn, the company was sold to British Steel in 1990 for £300M.
In 1999 Graham Walsh and his partner Howard Walker - Jack Walker's son, revived the Walkersteel name setting up headquarters in Knuzden.
Over the past five years the company has seen dramatic growth and as a result, has moved its headquarters and warehouse to larger 58,000 sq ft premises in Bridge Street, Church.
The company, which has a four-year deal to sponsor the Blackburn End at Rover's Ewood Park ground, currently employs 40 people many of who worked at the original company.
But chief executive Mr Walsh said they were in the process of recruiting around 10 more members of staff for roles in office administration, sales, as drivers and in the warehouse.
Mr Walsh said: "While we are nowhere near the size of the old business, we now sell more than 35,000 tonnes of steel per year and operate our own decoiling facility in Stoke-on- Trent.
"During 2007 it is anticipated that we will spend £500,000 on cutting facilities which will be installed in our new site in Church.
"It is envisaged that this will also increase the number of people employed within the business. We feel strongly about investing in the local area since the company name is synonymous with Lancashire and we hope this investment demonstrates this."
- WALKERSTEEL was originally founded as a small sheet metal business in Blackburn by Charles Walker.
It was taken over by his sons, brothers Jack - the former owner of Blackburn Rovers who died in 2000 - and Fred in 1950 and they concentrated on the surplus steel business, greatly increasing the annual turnover of the company.
By the late 1980s Walkersteel had grown so much it was one of the world's largest steel stockists, employing more than 3,000 staff in more than 60 locations.