Our History

Tyseley Energy Park (TEP) is determined to drive industrial growth alongside the green technologies sector. This dedication and passion for innovation stems from its 300 year old history, a family business since its establishment in 1720, this future focused energy park sits on one of the UK’s oldest manufacturing sites, Webster and Horsfall.

Webster and Horsfall old works
Webster and Horsfall Old Works

Webster and Horsfall (WH) is renowned for their invention of patent steel wire that made the valve spring for internal combustion engines, deep cast mining and trans-Atlantic telegraph cables possible. The company was responsible for manufacturing the armoured coating of the first successful trans-Atlantic Telegraph Cable in 1866 and has been leading innovation in wire manufacturing ever since.

With regards to energy, WH generated their own power on their Hay Mill manufacturing site until 1945. Considered to once have been the largest power user in Birmingham, records show that power for the wire drawing machines in the late 1800’s was generated from a combination of a mill water wheel and steam drawing equipment. At one point there were 19 coal fired steam engines onsite before they placed an order for their first on site power station in 1906.In 1907 WH invested in electrical motors to replace the steam engines before an ever increasing demand in orders led to the decision to have the site powered by the national grid. Since 2016 the WH site which is now the home of TEP has been powered by renewable electricity from the 10 megawatt waste wood biomass plant. 

The renewable power produced by the TEP waste wood biomass plant has allowed WH manufacturing operation to reduce the price of its products, driving growth whilst at the same time work towards the companies’ sustainability goals.

Today Webster and Horsfall manufacture wires for the oil, gas and surgical industries on the same site where the Horsfall family shape the future of TEP. TEP will use the historical experiences gained by WH along with expertise from its academic, industrial and government partnerships to help Birmingham overcome the severe energy, business and social challenges it currently faces. These include electricity grid constraints, poor air quality, unemployment and having one of the worst cases of energy poverty in the UK. TEP will reduce emissions and stimulate growth by creating a platform to test and demonstrate new technologies. It will integrate low carbon technologies to develop the business models and infrastructure needed to support new approaches to clean energy.