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Newman Brothers Coffin Works | by Birmingham Conservation Trust
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Newman Brothers Coffin Works

Newman Brothers Coffin Works, has just been bought by Birmingham Conservation Trust.

 

After nearly 10 years of progressing the Newman’s project this 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.

 

It means a change to these older and more costly plans. Now we intend to undertake a £1.2 million restoration to bring the building back into use with help from English Heritage, Heritage Lottery and Birmingham City Council funding. 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 Trust will move into the building and encourage other creative organisations and individuals to take space there.

 

The Heritage:

 

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.”

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Taken in April 2011