New Futures for Birmingham`s Historic Buildings

Thank you….. you’ve changed our future.

Posted September 8th, 2010 by Birmingham Conservation Trust with 6 Comments

Coffin fitting made by Newman Brothers. Photo by tim ellis

We have some utterly brilliant news.  Birmingham Conservation Trust  now owns Newman Brother’s Coffin Works.  In the past we were working on the project through the previous owners, Advantage West Midlands.

We have bought the building from AWM with support from Birmingham City Council.

Big Changes

This means a major change to the future of the Trust and the building. We are talking to funders about a light touch project to turn  the building into work space, a new home for us and a place where volunteers and others can learn, work, meet.   It will also have the potential to evolve into the long planned for museum. You can read a little more about this news here.

Thank You

We have so many people to thank and a favour to ask of you (scan to the bottom for that)

First thanks to you lot, our supporters, who wrote to, nagged and cajoled Advantage West Midlands this time last year.  Dozens of you wrote, e-mailed and called the organisation once the news came out that funding had been withdrawn. I’m not sure we made out ourselves popular, but it eventually helped us settle into talking to AWM about the future of the building and negotiating this purchase.

Which also means thank you to Advantage West Midlands – for working through the last year to find a way to shift ownership of the building from themselves to the one organisation best positioned to make the most of it’s potential and protect it, us. Stuart Kirkwood of AWM said “We wish the trust every success in successfully developing this historic site.” – Thank you Stuart and thanks for helping to put us in a position where we can shape a new future for the Trust and the Coffin Works.

We have to give a huge thanks to Birmingham City Council for appreciating the importance of the building, the project and helping us with the purchase.  Cllr Tim Huxtable is clear about the value: “The project sits alongside other key initiatives including the £1.5 million Golden Square on Vyse Street and will help transform this important historic area of the city.”

What about that favour?

Last year you were wonderfully quick to join us in lobbying AWM to do something about Newman Brothers.  Now we’d like you to take a moment to do the same in reverse.  This time please say thanks.

If you can spare a few moments  to e-mail  Mick Laverty, the Chief executive at AWM – just a short note would be lovely.  One that says thanks for making it possible for Birmingham Conservation trust to buy the building.

Here is the e-mail address:

You might want to copy us in.

After all it’s only polite.

(image thanks to Tim Ellis)

6 Responses to “Thank you….. you’ve changed our future.”

  1. Hannah Severn September 15, 2010

    Brilliant news!


  2. Neil Lewis September 9, 2010

    Well done!!! I was utterly disgusted when I visited the coffin works last year at the funding being withdrawn. I was luck enough to have a couple of photo’s that I took used on the BCT website. I got involved by emailing the people I could to make a difference, but never expected to see this change of ownership!!!
    Well done to all that were involved, and take credit for it when you can!! You deserve big thanks for what you have done!!


  3. Brian Simpson September 9, 2010

    Fantastic news! As a resident of the Jewellery Quarter I’m delighted that the Birmingham Conservation Trust has secured the future coffin works. It is a unique historical resource which is a real asset to the cultural heritage of Birmingham! Thanks to AWM, BCC and the Birmingham Conservation Trust for making it possible. Looking forward to being able to support the project as it moves forward …


  4. "Birmingham Conservation Trust now owns Newman Brother’s Coffin Works. In the past we were working on…" - Birmingham: It's Not Shit September 9, 2010

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  5. Rosie September 9, 2010

    Yay! Congratulations and well done everyone. This is great news. And thank you AWM.


    • Nick Booth September 9, 2010

      Thank you Rosie for your volunteer help.


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