A South Yorkshire company which is keeping traditional metal-working skills alive has found its products in the spotlight at the Tower of London and appearing on Game of Thrones.
Nigel Tyas Ironworks has just supplied a giant chandelier to the Tower and curtain poles for the set of the Sky Television fantasy drama.
In the last few months the company, based at Bullhouse Mill, near Penistone, has also made chandeliers for a Covent Garden restaurant, a top Scottish hotel and several churches; as well curtain poles and light fittings for a luxury log cabin holiday park near Inverness.
Products also grace the homes of TV personalities and filmstars, and in the past wall lights and fireside irons had a cameo role on TV soap Emmerdale.
Run by husband and wife team Nigel Tyas and Elizabeth Stocker, the company, which still makes ironwork in the traditional way, is backed by business support programme Enterprising Barnsley.
Nigel said: “It’s amazing where our products end up. Our biggest markets are people restoring old properties, self-build projects and churches, but we never know what order is going to come in next.”
A large consignment of curtain poles and light fittings has just been dispatched to Australia and other orders have gone to Switzerland, France, Sweden, Denmark and even the Falklands.
Enterprising Barnsley, which is run by Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council, is advising Nigel Tyas Ironworks on how to increase exports, as well as looking at marketing in the UK.
The company, which was set up in 2000 after Nigel lost his job as an engineering blacksmith, started off in a tiny garage in Penistone and has grown gradually over the years. It now employs nine people.
Most of the products are traditional, but Nigel has just designed a new range of more modern wall lights.
“We are traditional in the way we make things here,” said Nigel. “But we also have to keep up to date with products. And we have to keep up to date with marketing techniques, which is why it is so useful to have support from Enterprising Barnsley.”
Enterprising Barnsley is supported financially by the European Union and has attracted £2,259,511 investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of Europe’s support for the region’s economic development, through the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme. It offers a wide range of free business support to small and medium-sized businesses of all sizes with growth potential.