A housing and commercial property scheme described as " a great example of brownfield development " has started in Birmingham's historic Jewellery Quarter. Warwickshire-based Rainier Developments is creating a new home for Charles Green and Son, a family-run jewellery business established in 1824, along with one-and-two-bedroom apartments and other commercial space.
The development has been made possible thanks to a £ 6m funding deal from the West Midlands Combined Authority WMCA and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership GBSLEP.
Work has now started on creating a manufacturing studio, which will replace buildings from the 1960s, and the development is expected to be completed in the final quarter of next year.
A minimum of 20 per cent of the homes will be classed as affordable under the WMCA's regional definition of affordability, which is linked to real world local wages rather than property prices.
Andy Street, West Midlands Mayor and chair of the WMCA, said: " Brownfield first regeneration is imperative given the sites that we have in our region and this scheme is a great example of just that. It is helping a well-established company by creating modern and more appropriate business premises and at the same time creating much-needed housing, of which a proportion is affordable."
" It is using the space imaginatively, breathing new life into a brownfield site which will serve a very useful purpose for decades to come."
The WMCA is providing the loan through Frontier Development Capital Ltd (FDC), a fund manager working closely with property developers to arrange investments from the WMCA's Collective Investment Fund (CIF) and Revolving Investment Fund (RIF), while a further £720,000 of grant funding has been provided by the GBSLEP.
Richard Mees, chief executive of Rainier Developments, said: " This really is a scheme of partnership – a partnership between ourselves and Charles Green and Son, and then with the funders and authorities. We have all been working with the aim of achieving a positive future for Charles Green and Son, but also providing much needed homes. By their very nature, these sites are rarely straightforward and it takes that level of co-operation for them to work, so we are very pleased that work is now underway and I think it proves the power of local partnerships in the West Midlands."