West Midlands Mayor breaks ground on Jewellery Quarter regeneration project

The restoration of the former J. Ashford & Son jewellery factory in Birmingham by Shaylor Group, Blackswan Property and Grainger Plc came under the spotlight when West Midlands Mayor Andy Street visited the site to learn about its rich history and exciting future.

The occasion was marked by a ground breaking ceremony at the Great Hampton Street site where the building works are taking place. Andy learned about the complex refurbishment of the listed building, taking place alongside the construction of two new apartment buildings.

Situated in the bustling Jewellery Quarter, the £28 million build-to-rent scheme – known as Gilders Yard – will create 156 new homes on behalf of the UK’s largest listed residential landlord Grainger. The development is being delivered by Birmingham-based developers Blackswan Property with Shaylor Group acting as principal contractor.

Hosted by Shaylor Group CEO Stephen Shaylor, Andy enjoyed a walkthrough of the project whilst learning of its rich history, joined by Grainger Director of Development Mark Woodrow, Blackswan Managing Director Marcus Hawley, and senior site management.

(L-R) Grainger’s Director of Developments Mark Woodrow, Shaylor Group CEO Stephen Shaylor, WM Mayor Andy Street and Blackswan MD Marcus Hawley

Shaylor Group CEO Stephen Shaylor said: “We are delighted to be working alongside Grainger and Blackswan to provide new and dynamic housing within the Jewellery Quarter. Shaylor Group has a wealth of experience in the residential sector, particularly with projects involving heritage aspects, and we are excited to be part of the next phase in the history of this iconic building.”

Grainger’s Director of Development Mark Woodrow said “It’s fantastic to see work starting on site at Gilder’s Yard which will create 156 brand-new, high quality homes, built specifically for the rental market. This is a key target city for Grainger and it was wonderful to welcome West Midlands Mayor, Andy Street, to share this important milestone with ourselves, Blackswan Property and Shaylor Group. We know Birmingham well, with an established local property management office, and we hope that this is the first of several new developments that we can help bring forward in the area.”

Blackswan Managing Director Marcus Hawley said: “It was great to welcome West Midlands Mayor Andy Street to Gilders Yard so that he could see first-hand the wonderful work taking place to create an exciting and attractive scheme which will give this part of the Jewellery Quarter a huge lift. Great Hampton Street is full of character and we hope Gilders Yard will act as a catalyst that brings this important street back to life.”

Andy Street said: “The success of the Jewellery Quarter as a thriving community is now beginning to spread into the neighbouring Gun Quarter and developments like Gilder’s Yard demonstrate this clearly.

“Driven by high-profile investments in the city – most notably HSBC and HS2 – residential development in the centre is increasing at an astonishing rate. What is being done here, incorporating the traditional heritage features of the site, is really special and I look forward to coming back to see the progress being made.”

The beginning of construction work on the site in Great Hampton Street follows a deal which saw the UK’s largest listed residential landlord, Grainger, agree to forward fund and acquire the private rented sector (PRS) development, known as Gilders Yard, from Blackswan.