HISTORIC rubber rolling machine the Iron Duke will return to Bradford on Avon in June - as long as the final £18,000 has come in.

The project to bring the first rubber rolling machine in Europe back to Bradford on Avon is on track after it was awarded a combined £73,500 grant by the Heritage Lottery Fund and the Arts Council’s PRISM fund.

Preparation work will start on March 19 on a new home for the machine in the Kingston Mills complex, and the unassembled machine, currently in Bristol’s industrial museum, will be brought to the town in June, before being completed in September.

Wiltshire Council and Bradford on Avon Town Council have also contributed to the £97,000 project.

Named after the Duke of Wellington, the 12ft, 16 tonne machine played a central part in the Avon Rubber Factory over 150 years ago.

Chris Dale, treasurer of the museum, said: “We are delighted to receive these grants. With our partners the Preservation Trust and BoaCan, we have been preparing this project for several years and it is wonderful to know that we now have the funds that will allow us to proceed.”

Schoolchildren will also be invited to take part in projects related to the Iron Duke to learn about its important place in the town’s history.