Terni is the principal industrial city of Umbria. Manufacturing companies were first attracted by the water power available from the River Nera. Woollen mills were built in the 1860s, followed by electro-chemical plants and linoleum factories. Stafano Breda opened the first steelworks, which by the 1890s employed over 3,000 workers and ThyssenKrupp still operates a large plant in the town. Engineering companies also became established in Terni, and were particularly concerned with the manufacture of armaments. In consequence the town suffered severely from bombing during the Second World War. In recent years the basis of the local economy has changed and many of the traditional heavy industrial concerns have closed down.
The workshops of the Bosco engineering company, an extensive range of red brick buildings, were adapted in 1997 as the headquarters of the Centro Multimediale di Terni, a public company that provides vocational training in electronic and print media and in the cinema and television production. It is regarded as one of the outstanding examples of the adaptive re-use of an industrial building in Italy.