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Jewellery Quarter

Birmingham Jewellery Quarter

Although it is now a prime residential area for apartments to rent in Birmingham, for two centuries, the Jewellery Quarter existed as a trade and manufacturing area, concentrating on the jewellery trade. It has always been an area where people have lived and worked, with commercial properties, offices and residential properties side by side, creating a close community. Then, in the 1970s as the jewellery trade began to open its shops to the public, new commercial and residential development began to take place, revealing the Jewellery Quarter’s potential for providing apartments to let and other residential lettings in Birmingham.


Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter – Heritage and Regeneration

As leading estate agents in Birmingham, specialising in apartments to rent and other residential accommodation in the city centre, Maguire Jackson has a strong professional awareness of issues relating to local regeneration, promotion and cultural status. Birmingham city centre and the Jewellery Quarter in particular are currently the focus of several development plans that will raise the profile of the area as a major area for apartments to rent in Birmingham and as a wonderful place to live.


Jewellery Quarter Redevelopment Plans

In January 2008, it was announced that Birmingham City Council had approved plans for an ambitious £160m redevelopment of the Jewellery Quarter.

The result will be an exciting new live/work quarter with 700 new homes that will also have two hotels and a leisure space with restaurants and bars, situated in the Icknield Street/Camden Street/Carver Street area. Also included will be 2,274 sq m (24,470 sq ft) of retail space.

The new homes, which will undoubtedly include flats and apartments to rent, are welcomed by estate agents in Birmingham and especially by Maguire Jackson, as a fresh injection of interesting and varied properties to rent in the city.

The project, to be called ‘St Georges’, is timetabled for a summer 2008 start, with completion in 2012.

(‘Leisure Property Report’, 10th January 2008)


English Heritage Survey of the Jewellery Quarter

The Birmingham Jewellery Quarter has been the subject of a detailed historical survey by English Heritage, “Exploring the Past

to encourage, amongst other things, an informed, sympathetic approach to development and regeneration

The continuing vibrancy of trade in the area, including many of the traditional crafts such as tool-making and silverware as well as jewellery, was established by the English Heritage report, which also identified some of the very architecturally distinctive buildings that give the area its unique atmosphere. These buildings are for the main part still in use, if not for their original purpose then perhaps they have been renovated to provide luxury apartments to rent in Birmingham, which are typical of the area.

The Jewellery Quarter’s own Heritage Group agrees that workshops and warehouses on the edge of the Quarter may usefully be given a new lease of life as flats to rent or other accommodation that would increase the availability of accommodation in Birmingham city centre but, says Marie Haddleton their chairman, “ …the nucleus must be preserved for the jewellery trade”.

English Heritage is in wholehearted agreement and is working in partnership with Birmingham City Council and the Jewellery Quarter Association to ensure that the newly designated Urban Village is managed in such a way as to preserve its unique character. A conservation strategy will be developed that will keep alive the living and working traditions of the Jewellery Quarter, enabling it to survive and prosper in modern times whilst still providing apartments and flats to rent in Birmingham city centre that meet the needs of modern life.


Jewellery Quarter World Heritage Bid

An edition of the BBC programme, ‘Inside Out’ generated great excitement in the Jewellery Quarter when it was broadcast in November 2007. It featured a visit to the J. W. Evans factory in Albion Street by Bristol architect Niall Phillips who explained that the history of the Jewellery Quarter’s built environment and its rich inheritance of skills render it deserving of World Heritage Site status. Gaining World Heritage Site status can take years but the Director of Planning at Birmingham City Council put a proposal in support of the bid before Cabinet in January 2008. If such a coveted award is gained, it will enhance even more the market for residential lettings in Birmingham.

“Birmingham should celebrate its history and its quarters more. It must become more legible, permeable and accessible. It must make much better use of some key areas like Eastside, the Wholesale Markets, Digbeth, the Jewellery Quarter, Attwood Green. It should invest more in creativity and culture. It should flaunt the treasures it has. It needs a much better public realm, public art. It must be better lit and use water more. The city centre must feed the wider city.” Birmingham City Centre Masterplan: The Visioning Study, Professor Michael Parkinson CBE, European Institute for urban Affairs, Liverpool John Moores University, February 2007.




Philip Jackson

This forthcoming year ahead promises undoubted uncertainty in abundance early in the year, yet surprisingly increased opportunities for those taking a medium or longer term view on Birmingham, being a key UK City for the future.