Community Projects

WEC Group is a community centred organisation and as such we accept projects from the local authorities, charities and associations every year, free of charge, to benefit the local community.

We use the opportunity to support the local town of Darwen and surrounding areas which have been home to our many achievements since our beginning in 1979.

We help train our apprentices who get involved in community projects all year round. By doing so, our apprentices can hone their new found skills while working on projects that benefit their town and bring pride to the local community.

Recent work includes:

Darwens Tower Jubilee Beacon

Our First Year Welding & Fabrication apprentices, Conrad and Declan have fabricated a historical beacon which was placed on Darwen’s Jubilee Tower and lit for the Platinum Jubilee Bank Holiday celebrations. The beacon was manufactured at WEC’s new Engineering Academy based in Blackburn.

The Jubilee beacon lighting event took place on Thursday 2nd June 2022 at the top of the newly refurbished Darwen tower, where thousands of spectators attended the momentous occasion.

From everyone at WEC we would like to express our biggest congratulations to HM Queen Elizabeth ll on celebrating her Platinum Jubilee. - Full story here

Apprentices Jubilee Beacon

Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Commemorative Hedge

WEC Group were delighted to officially unveil the new plaque for Ashleigh Primary School’s newly planted Queen’s Platinum Jubilee commemorative hedge.

The hedge was recently planted by some of the students in the school’s gardening group as part of their Jubilee celebrations.

The new stainless steel plaque was laser cut at our Darwen Headquarters and donated to the school, which is located only a few yards away. It explains the significance of this new hedge, which will hopefully be there for future generations to enjoy.

Darwen has been the cradle of our early successes and growth and we are proud to support local community projects such as this great initiative.

Apprentices Jubilee Beacon

Mill Hill St Peters FC Memorial Stand

Our apprentices have manufactured a new spectator stand for Mill Hill St Peters Football Club in memory of their late first team manager, Kieran Keigher.

34-year-old Kieran sadly passed away in April 2016 following a short battle with cancer. Our apprentices used their new skills to manufacture The Kieran Keigher stand, which has been extended from 9 metres to 18 metres to allow more people to use it. The panels were also laser cut in-house.

The stand has been donated to the club by WEC Group and will be used in his memory for many years to come.

LS Lowry Statue

Strictly Glitterball Trophy

East Lancashire Hospice hosted their Strictly Dance Showcase Final at Dunkenhalgh Hotel in Accrington and our apprentices Callum Campbell and Connor Rawes, along with Training & Development Manager Kris Mercer have fabricated the trophy for the final.

The trophy was donated to the hospice from the Group and a fantastic £600 has been added to our Corporate Challenge total in return.

WEC Group has been providing on-going support to the East Lancashire Hospice for several years because of the company's focus on supporting the local community and its residents.

Strictly Glitterball Trophy

LS Lowry Matchstick Man & Dog Statue

Our apprentices created a stunning statue in tribute to LS Lowry's iconic matchstick man and dog.

Stood on the seafront at Knott End-on-Sea in Lancashire, the stainless steel statue stands at just over 5ft and took our apprentices over 500 hours to complete. It celebrates Lowry's links with the village as depicted in his painting "The Jetty at Knott End".

The project was overseen by our architectural metalwork division m-tec, and was jointly funded by a Shaping your Neighbourhood grant and Preesall Town Council.

The sculpture forms part of a wider plan by Fleetwood's Charity School in Preesall to improve the area around the jetty and celebrate over Over Wyre's arts heritage. - Full story here

LS Lowry Statue

St. Cuthbert's Weathervane Restoration

St. Cuthbert's Church in Darwen has had a piece of its history restored thanks to our first year apprentices.

After the original weathervane was damaged on a storm, our apprentices spent four weeks working on the galvanised steel replica using traditional metalwork techniques including forming, MIG welding and oxy acetylene cutting - all of which they learned since studying at WEC Group Training Academy.

They also managed to restore the copper cockerel after they polished it back to its original state.

A spokeswoman for the Church said: "We are extremely grateful to WEC for its generosity in refabricating this historical weathervane at no cost to the church." - Full story here

Steel Ramp for Amputee Veteran

A Gulf war veteran confined to his home after losing a leg has regained his freedom thanks to WEC Group.

Dave Wild had the lower half of his left leg amputated after it became infected following complications after surgery. Dave was left devastated after being told it would take the council three months to measure and install a ramp at his home in Delphinium Way, Lower Darwen.

WEC Group stepped in and our apprentices made and fitted a steel ramp within 48 hours, installing it on D-Day.

Dave said: "I was really chuffed with it. Being trapped in here was like being in a posh prison, and I couldn't get anywhere. I could just go from the kitchen to the living room, and back. For it to be fitted on D-Day was quite poignant really." - Full story here

New Fence for Derwent Hall

People using the day care centre at a Darwen charity are now able to sit outside and enjoy the sun in safety after a new ornate fence was installed by WEC.

The fencing protects users of the charity's facility close to Darwen town centre and improves security at the day care centre, which was first opened in 1997.

WEC Group apprentices manufactured the metal fence in-house, which was then donated for free.

Derwent Hall centre manager Julie Brindle said she had wanted to put up the fencing for some time is delighted now it has been put in place. She said: "It has been an issue for us as people can't sit outside without a member of staff as they could get run over." - Full story here

Darwen Spitfire Memorial

The Darwen Spitfire Memorial sculpture was manufactured by WEC Group Training Academy apprentices and donated to the town to act as a reminder of the sacrificies Darweners made during WW1.

The replica measures in at one twelfth of the size of a real Spitfire, and has a 3.8m / 12 ft. 9 ins wingspan.

Our apprentices strived to have the feature ready for the 10th November in time for the Remembrance Day service. The unveiling attracted a huge audience and the memorial now stands at 'The Green' in Darwen Town centre. - Full story here

Darwen Tower Dome

Darwen's Jubilee Tower lost its fibreglass dome and weathervane during winds of up to 80mph in 2010.

The new tower dome which was manufactured by our first year apprentices cost WEC Group more than £35,000 to make. Once complete, it was donated to the people of Darwen, free of charge, by WEC Group founder and Managing Director Stephen Hartley.

The 900kg dome was successfully installed by helicopter in 2012, attracting a large audience including TV crews and local media. - Full story here

Hoddlesden Reservoir Bridge

Members of Darwen Loyals Angling Club spent two years making improvements to Hoddlesden Reservoir to make it a better and more attracive place for Anglers.

WEC Group donated a brand new, 10 metre bridge that was fully manufactured by our apprentices in-house to replace the old wooden one that had severely rotted.

It also features intricate laser cut designs with the Darwen Loyals Angling Club such as the logo and information.

Pupils from Darwen Vale High School also helped to design it and came to see the finished bridge once it had been installed.

The new bridge was part of a two year project to improve the resorvoir and make it a much more appealing place to visit.

AFC Darwen Dugouts

We are proud sponsors of local football team AFC Darwen and our Commercial Director, Wayne Wild is the Chairman.

As part of the sponsorship deal, WEC Group Training Academy apprentices manufactured and provided new dugouts for the WEC Group Anchor Ground.

The new dugouts now take pride of place on the halfway line on the Howarth Timber Stand side.