After nearly 135 years in its current home in Newhall Street, the wardens of the Assay Office have made the decision to leave its current Grade-II-listed Victorian premises (pictured) and find a larger, more suitable site elsewhere, citing a future secured by a recent surge in support for keeping hallmarking regulations as they are.
“The Government is currently questioning the need for hallmarking as part of its ‘Red Tape Challenge’,” said the Assay Office’s chairman, Kay Alexander, “and so far, the response has been an emphatic ‘keep it’; reinforcing our view that the British public and trade still respect and value the worth of statutory hallmarking as it protects both the consumer and the honest trader.
“The Birmingham Assay Office believes it has a long and solid future supporting the jewellery trade, both in the Birmingham Jewellery Quarter and throughout the world. As guardians of the Assay Office, we have a responsibility to ensure its continued commercial viability in order for it to survive and continue to protect the consumer and support the trade.
“Our objective is that by 2013 we will be ready to face the next 100 years in a new building that is cleaner, greener, more accessible to everyone, and which fully reflects our heritage, our status and our ambition.”