National award for Coffin Works

Recognition for Birmingham museum

At the Historic England Angel Awards ceremony at London’s Palace Theatre on Monday, hosted by Andrew Lloyd Webber and historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes, Birmingham’s newest museum, Newman Brothers Coffin Works, came away with the top People’s Favourite’Award, presented by Dame Esther Rantzen.

This is the latest of several awards for the museum that is already rated number one of 27 museums in Birmingham on TripAdvisor, and has received two West Midlands RICS Awards – best restoration project and best tourism and leisure project.

At a ceremony on Friday evening, the Lord Mayor of Birmingham will unveil a Birmingham Civic Society Renaissance Award for Birmingham Conservation Trust’s rescue of the old Newman Brothers Coffin Works, and its transformation into the highly-acclaimed new museum.

Simon Buteux, Director of Birmingham Conservation Trust, said: “Fifteen years of hard work, fundraising and a £2 million refurbishment have paid off. Birmingham Conservation Trust, working with a team of dedicated volunteers, have given the factory a new lease of life and preserved a unique and special slice of Birmingham’s history for the city. The semi-derelict grade II* listed industrial building, left at the end of the 1990s when the factory closed, now has a very bright and sustainable future as both a highly-rated ‘time-capsule’ museum, an events venue, and six commercial units.

“It is of course brilliant to win the national Angel Award but we are just as proud of the local recognition given to us by Birmingham Civic Society. The unveiling of the Civic Society plaque tomorrow will be followed by a party, where we will be saying thank you to everybody who has supported us through the hard times as well as the good times – our funders, including the Heritage Lottery Fund and Historic England, the professional team who delivered the project, but most of all the volunteers who made it all possible and continue to do so by running the museum day to day.”

Suzanne Carter, Development Officer at Birmingham Conservation Trust, added: “We are so proud of our museum, and we asked the people of Birmingham to get behind our Bring it Back for Brum campaign to win the coveted Angel Award for the city. We did! Thank you so much everybody who voted for us”