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Birmingham Assay office is prestigious appointment for GVA

wantspacegotspace.co.uk - Birmingham Assay office is prestigious appointment for GVAIndependent property consultant GVA has been appointed as selling agent for the current Birmingham Assay Office following its recent decision to relocate to a new bespoke facility within the Jewellery Quarter.

The multi-disciplinary team beat strong competition from other national property agents to secure this unique and prestigious instruction following a competitive tender process. The instruction will require GVA to dispose of the freehold interest in the existing site which comprises a Grade II Listed building and associated car park situated in a prime area of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

Now one of only four Assay offices in the UK, the Birmingham Assay Office was established in the city in 1773 by an Act of Parliament, following substantial growth in the silver industry within the city during the 18th Century.

The Assay Office, which has occupied its current premises on Newhall Street for 135 years, employs some 150 members of staff who test, verify and hallmark several million articles each year.

Charles Toogood, Director, GVA, said: “The disposal of this building is without question one of the most interesting projects that we have been instructed on in the city centre in recent years.  While the Assay Office’s new facility is a more suitable fit for a growing and successful organisation, this building has substantial historical significance to both Birmingham and the Jewellery Quarter.

“We are currently undertaking the necessary due diligence and preparing a comprehensive sales pack with a view to commencing marketing in the coming months”.

Hallmarking of precious metals – including gold, silver, palladium and platinum – is still a legal requirement in the UK. The hallmark applied to each item by the Assay Office guarantees the fineness of the precious metal, protecting both the consumer and the trade form unfair competition.

In addition to hallmarking, the Assay Office has invested heavily to develop its facilities in order to offer a number of additional services in recent years and now provides expert opinion on every aspect of the precious metal, jewellery and gemstone trade.

Michael Allchin, Chief Executive and Assay Master of the Assay Office, said: “The continued expansion of the thriving UK jewellery market has been a significant driver of growth in recent years and while it has a great historical importance, the building on Newhall Street simply doesn’t offer the flexibility that we need in order to meet the demands of our business. 

“It was clear that with their outstanding track record both in the city and the wider region, the team from GVA were the right people to look after the selection of a suitable developer to take on this greatly loved building on Newhall Street.

“I am confident that GVA will find an appropriate purchaser who will ensure that as a site of significance to Birmingham, its legacy will be maintained while the building finds a suitable alternative use.”

The Assay Office will relocate to a new purpose-built headquarters on Icknield Street in the Jewellery Quarter in 2015, allowing the business to continue to diversify and widen its range of services. The new building will also be home to the Assay Office’s heritage collection, making it more readily accessible to members of the public.

Posted by The Editor (wantspacegotspace) on 19th August 2013

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