For the bulk of the 20th Century the name ICI was synonymous with life for the communities on the banks of the Tees. The influence on the growth of the community is incalculable such was its influence.
ICI used the Billingham site to manufacture fertilisers in the 1920s and went on to produce plastics at Billingham in 1934. During World War II it manufactured Synthonia, a synthetic ammonia for explosives. The Wilton R&D site was built to support the plastics division with R&D and chemical engineering facilities. The ICI Billingham Division was split into the ICI Heavy Organic Chemicals Division and ICI Agricultural Division in the 1960s. From 1971 to 1988 ICI Physics and Radioisotopes Section operated a small General Atomics TRIGA Mark I nuclear reactor at its Billingham factory for the production of radioisotopes used in the manufacture of flow and level instruments, among other products.
As the 20th Century was drawing to a close there was a significant shift in the way global business was taking place and the role of the massive multinational companies was changing. During the 1990’s the ICI interest in Teesside was broken up and sold off and the company began to withdraw from our community.
To mark the significance of our area in the heritage of ICI it was decided to set up a significant endowment fund to support the communities most influenced and affected by the company over generations.
As a result there is a fund that provides grant support for these communities, a part of which is now delivered in partnership with Billingham Legacy Foundation.