Jewellery Quarter Heritage – Mission Statement
The Heritage of the world-famous Jewellery Quarter is under threat.
English Heritage said “It’s not only the buildings that are at risk, but the way the Jewellers work” and we couldn’t agree more! We probably can’t stop this erosion completely, but at least we can slow it down and replace lost trades with similar, newer concepts, (such as Designer-Makers) and fit these into appropriate listed buildings, bringing the buildings back to life for what they were originally intended for.
The main people behind Jewellery Quarter Heritage are Marie and Mark Haddleton have worked in the Jewellery Quarter for over 30 years (Marie served on the Birmingham Conservation Advisory Committee for many years, representing the Jewellery Quarter), and they are occasionally sought out to help with pre-planning guidance, to guide architects and developers through the complicated Jewellery Quarter Conservation and Management Plan and Design Guide.
Jewellery Quarter Heritage aims to bring the Jewellery Quarter’s Heritage, Industry and Listed Buildings to the fore in a number of ways and helping to convert empty buildings back to affordable workshops, is high on the list of priorities. At the moment there are three such schemes about to start!
That is not all, ‘Jewellery Quarter Heritage’ is already involved with local schools on projects including the restoration of a smallish garden known as the ‘Crimean War Memorial Garden’ situated locally at Sandpits, working with Birmingham City Council. The project is due to start in the Spring of 2013 under the City Council’s Park Ranger supervision. A commemorative information plate will be erected on the site and the garden maintained.
We have been working with all the local museums, ‘Friends of the Cemeteries’, as well as the charitable institutions in the area, with a future goal to create a ‘Made in The Jewellery Quarter Museum’, featuring everything ‘made’ in the Quarter from its rich industrial past, along with encouraging other museums to locate to the area. (Some of the empty buildings are ideal for such small museums).
‘Jewellery Quarter Heritage’ comprises of ‘supporters’ at different levels, including friends and volunteers plus paid-for membership with silver, gold, and platinum levels. The website keeps them informed on the masses of local history our researchers keep uncovering, as well as a newsletter for members, and a quarterly magazine will soon be launched called ‘Historic Jewellery Quarter’ to help raise funds for projects, and provide an invaluable history of the area for future generations.
Also we will look at increasing the number of blue plaques; there are around 200 listed buildings and only eight blue plaques in the area, along with many other ideas that the growing army of volunteers want to be involved with.