The scheme has been 18 months in the design pipeline to ensure that it addresses the needs of the Assay Office as a secure, flexible facility.
The proposed new building will allow the business to continue to diversify and widen its range of services and innovative initiatives, as well as providing a new home for the Assay Office’s heritage collection to make it more readily accessible to members of the public.
The 55,000 sq ft building, designed by Glazzard Architects, occupies a landmark position at a key entrance to the Jewellery Quarter at Icknield Street and the designs for the high quality multi-use building have evolved in close co-operation with the planning department and conservation and local interest groups.
Chief Executive of The Birmingham Assay Office, Michael Allchin, says “This project is all about the future of The Assay Office. Our traditional hallmarking work needs a fit-for-purpose 21st Century facility and our other business activities are growing strongly.
This move is essential. We need to be able to carry out our work more productively and so need modern and efficient space. Add to that built-in security, reduced operating costs and much better working conditions for all our team, then it becomes the only way forward.”
“We are working closely with the City Council to progress our plans and are looking forward to opening our new building in 2014.”
Mark Wright of Trebor Developments, who are managing the development on behalf of The Birmingham Assay Office, says “This is a huge milestone to achieve in this key project for the City. The project brief has been highly complex to ensure that all of the Assay Office’s requirements can be successfully delivered. Feedback from our consultations has been really encouraging and now that the planning submission has been made and the land contracts signed, we can start to plan the construction phase.”
The Birmingham Assay Office has been located at its current premises in Newhall Street for 135 years and is a key employer in the Jewellery Quarter, with 120 employees based at the facility.