Link to the past as new £50m Stocksbridge development nears completion

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An ancestor of the man credited with inventing the paragon umbrella frame has been to visit the site of the new £50 million Fox Valley development in Stocksbridge - close to where Joseph Hayward came up with his famous invention.

The new shopping centre will open in June 2016 and the development team have worked closely with the Stocksbridge and District History Society to reflect the rich heritage of the site.

The 28 acre former steelworks site neighbours Tata Steel. It was here that Samuel Fox patented the paragon frame umbrella in the 1850’s which was invented by his friend and employee Joseph Hayward.

One of the new buildings at Fox Valley will be named Joseph Hayward House and his famous umbrella frame has inspired the architecture of the new coffee shop at the town centre development.

Philip Hayward, a former Stocksbridge steelworker is descended from Joseph’s brother William and paid a visit to the site earlier this month. Philip is the last member of the Hayward family to have worked at the steelworks, now 68 he retired in 2005.

He said: “It’s lovely for all the family to see that Joseph Hayward will be remembered in the name of one of the buildings. Joseph would have been my great, great, uncle on my father’s side.

“We’ve taken a great interest in the development since work started and it’s pleasing to see that the past is being remembered. It will be wonderful to have these shops and facilities in Stocksbridge once the work is completed.”

Head of Communications at Dransfield Properties, Amanda Holmes, said: “We are keen to keep that link with the past and the umbrella has even shaped some of the architecture at Fox Valley. This is a really special place with a unique history and it was lovely to have the opportunity to show one of Joseph Hayward’s ancestors how the site is changing and developing.”

As well as high spec office space the Fox Valley development will deliver around 32 new retail, café and restaurant units ranging from 635 to 16,000 sq. ft. A new 600 space town centre car park and landscaping are also part of the scheme - Fox Valley will open in June 2016.

For more information about Fox Valley visit Click here