New lease of life for Reliance Works

Conversion begins to bring soulful living spaces to Jewellery Quarter.

Work has begun to sensitively convert a Grade II listed building in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter into exclusive soulful living spaces for urban city dwellers.

The Reliance Works, located on Caroline Street, was formerly occupied by jewellery manufacturing firm Pickering and Mayell, who specialised in producing jewellery cases, window display fittings, and silver-plated products.

Reliance Works

It served as the hub for their jewellery-case-making plant for almost 100 years from 1913 until 2012, when the business merged with the Talbot group and eventually vacated the premises to relocate nearby.

The historic building dates to 1826 and consists of a pair of houses with rear workshops. It has a range of unique and original Georgian townhouse features including original signage, a decorative front door surround, and original timber beams and wooden-framed windows.

It will be converted into a mixture of townhouses, one bedroom and two bedroom apartments (nine apartments in total) with a new extension to the rear, and a small commercial unit on the ground floor after permission was secured by developers The Urban Project (part of the CityBlock Group) at the end of 2019.

Features within the apartments will include reclaimed timber flooring, exposed brickwork, walk-in wardrobes, high-spec kitchens and bathrooms, and access to private gardens and a communal courtyard.

The renovation and conversion work led by the Urban Project had been intended to begin earlier this year but has been pushed back due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It is now anticipated that the apartments and unit will be brought to the market in late 2021.

The Urban Project is working in partnership with BPN architects, Logmoor (main contractor), Harris Lamb (employer’s agent), and Maguire Jackson (sales agents), to bring the new homes to market.

Trevor Bargh of The Urban Project, said: “The Reliance Works building is a real gem in a famous and thriving part of Birmingham. It has been left in a serious state of disrepair for a long time and so we begin this work with a mixture of relief and excitement. Our intention is to retain the original character that makes the building so special, as we believe that the history of the building is crucial to its journey and its heritage should be respected.

“We fully intend to leverage our many years of expertise gained in property development to bring this building back to life with some truly original and much-needed new homes for the local market.”

The Urban Project is the residential arm of the CityBlock Group, a well established property company with interests in residential, commercial and student accommodation schemes. Reliance Works is The Urban Project’s first venture in Birmingham.