This project involved the repair and conservation of the Newman Brothers Coffin Fittings Factory located in Birmingham’s illustrious Jewellery Quarter.
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.
The conundrum facing Birmingham Conservation Trust was finding a financially viable solution to turn an old, derelict and inefficient building into a self-supporting endeavour, capable of avoiding the renowned “heritage deficit” pitfall. The proposition therefore is to breathe new life into the factory by creating modern, lettable office spaces within the upper floors, whilst turning the historic lower levels into a museum attraction to celebrate this unique part of Birmingham’s industrial heritage.
The project was largely funded by both the Heritage Lottery Fund and English Heritage, and Greenwood Projects worked with additional funders to monitor cashflow, cost forecasts and change control. In addition, Greenwoods produced a detailed Schedule of Works and will be responsible for handling all financial aspects of the project throughout the construction period which commenced summer 2013.
Birmingham Conservation Trust