New mixed-use scheme proposed for former Jewellery Quarter factory

The former NC Reading factory in the Jewellery Quarter

A former factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter is set to undergo refurbishment for a mixed-use commercial and residential scheme.

The building, at 32-35 Hall Street, is a former workshop and factory for NC Reading & Co, which was a chain-maker and jeweller. The building was constructed between 1900-01 to relocate the expanding business from nearby Warstone Lane. It was occupied by NC Reading until 1982, at which point the company moved to Ward Street.

The building, which was Grade II listed in 2004, is typical of many of the workshops in the area, with showrooms and offices at the front and the workshops located at the rear of the premises.

The proposals are to refurbish the building, involving the conversion of the ground floor into an area for six small start-up businesses, with the first and second floors being converted for residential use with six flats.

This will involve limited demolition so the listed character of the building is unharmed. However, a small lean-to structure within the courtyard at the rear of the building is set to be removed so the yard can be opened up for communal use.

A large, later-added shop front is proposed to be removed and replaced by a move traditional-style shop frontage. The remainder of the frontage is to be repaired, with no alterations.

The interior of the building has been much changed over the years to accommodate the changing needs of the former business. The new proposals seek to make minor adjustments to this and it is felt the changes will not affect the character of the building.