News: July 2012
Conservation Works start date?
Advert to tender for conservation works has gone out – contractors due to start on site in early January 2013.
News: June 2012:
We received the exciting news that we have been granted planning permission and listed building consent for the restoration scheme.
News: April 2012:
Additional English Heritage grant unlocks Heritage Lottery Funding
Thanks to an additional grant of £200,000 from English Heritage, which has just been confirmed, we will be able to start work in earnest – producing detailed designs and going out to tender for the works. After 12 years of working on this project this is the best news we could have! Thanks English Heritage!
A new team at the Newman Brothers Coffin Works
Conservation architects, Rodney Melville and Sons, have recently been appointed to take the Coffin Fitting Works project forward, together with a team of other highly skilled conservation experts. Stephen Oliver from the practise will be the lead architect and comes with an excellent track record having just completed work at J W Evans, the silversmithing factoryu in the Jewellery Quarter owned by English Heritage.
The team has just submitted the latest scheme for planning permission as the previous permission had expired. The new scheme, which is estimated at £1.2million, will allow the Trust to move into the building which represents the start of a new direction for the Trust, enabling us to work more closely with current supporters and hopefully new ones through events, activities and an interesting range of volunteering opportunities.
This will be the first phase of the project, which will in the long-term create a museum on-site and high quality workspaces. Once this first phase restoration is complete, the building will not just be home for the Trust but we plan to encourage other creative organisations and individuals to take space there. If you would be interested in taking space in 2014 – please let us know!
The 19th Century, Grade II-listed factory closed its doors in 1998, but its contents and equipment remained in the building leaving a remarkable time capsule of Victorian manufacturing. The company was famous for its high quality goods and is known to have produced coffin fittings for the likes of Sir Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain and Diana Princess of Wales.
In 2009 cuts in national public funding meant that regional development agency, Advantage West Midlands, which owned the site, had to pull out of funding a major project to restore the building as a museum. But a £150,000 grant from Birmingham City Council has allowed us to buy the building.
Cllr Timothy Huxtable, Birmingham’s Cabinet Member for Transportation and Regeneration, said:
“We are delighted to support the Coffin Works project as it forms a key aspect of Birmingham City Council’s wider plans to regenerate the Jewellery Quarter, as set out by the Big City Plan. 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.”
We want to involve local people in many aspects of the development; from training opportunities during the construction and participation in conservation activities on the wonderful contents; to arranging a programme of exciting events, mixing artistic performances with candlelit fundraising suppers.
Elizabeth Perkins, our former Director:
“The Coffin Works is a fine example of Birmingham’s rich production history and is something that the city can be proud of. With the help of City Council and other funding sources we want to restore the factory and take it into a new era. The new Coffin Works will provide an exciting space for local creatives and we hope it becomes a place that people associate with interesting, quirky activities and a very special history.”
Advantage West Midland’s former director of development Stuart Kirkwood :
“It is fitting that we should hand over the legacy of the Newman Brothers coffin works site to Birmingham Conservation Trust which is best placed to move this project on to a successful conclusion. We wish the trust every success in successfully developing this historic site.”
If you want to get involved please contact us.