Historic Newman Brothers coffin works in Birmingham bought by Trust
An historic Birmingham coffin works has been given a lifeline after it was bought by a local conservation trust.
An attempt to revive the 19th century Grade II* listed Newman Brothers building in the Jewellery Quarter failed when regional development agency Advantage West Midlands pulled funding last year.
The factory, which was built in 1894 and made coffin fittings for Winston Churchill, Neville Chamberlain and Princess Diana has been bought by the Birmingham Conservation Trust, which had been working with AWM on the project.
Restoration was yet to begin and the upcoming works have been described as “interim” only to bring the building back into use.
The trust’s director Elizabeth Perkins said it could be four years before a full programme of works could be paid for and until then the site would only open for events such as this weekend’s National Heritage Open Days.
The purchase was secured with £150,000 from the city council and the “light touch” revamp could begin next summer. Funding for this consists of £200,000 from English Heritage and an additional £90,000 from the council.
A bid has also been made for £500,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Once complete it should bring the building back into use by the end of next year when the trust, which was involved in conserving Birmingham’s last surviving courtyard of back-to-backs, plans to move in.