New plans in for historic Belmont Works factory

Goodman lodges application to part-demolish and regenerate the former cycle plant which dates back to 1890s as part of Eastside Locks' vision.

A regeneration project in the Eastside area of Birmingham will bring back to life an "exemplar of industrial architecture" as a hub for small companies.

Reading-based developer Goodman has brought forward new plans to breathe life into the former Belmont Works building on the corner of Belmont Row and Cardigan Street next to the growing Birmingham City University (BCU) campus.

The project is the latest phase in the wholesale regeneration of the vacant site which will eventually be the first thing passengers on the HS2 train will see when they arrive into Birmingham.

This stage of the 'Eastside Locks' project would likely entail the demolition of two gable walls and the water tower, which is not an original feature, and the redevelopment and extension of the former Belmont Works which has fallen into a severe state of disrepair.

The aim is to create commercial office space covering around 21,250 sq ft aimed at small- and medium-sized companies and graduate enterprises associated with the nearby BCU campus and the wider design sector in Birmingham.

The building will also accommodate the marketing and management teams running the wider Eastside Locks development which also includes new office buildings 6 and 8 Cardigan Street, a hotel, leisure space, student halls of residence and public realm.

James Raven, Development Director with Goodman UK Business Parks, told the Post : "We are keen to put forward a scheme that retains the character of the original Belmont Works but at the same time creates accommodation which is fit for purpose for the modern, mixed-use working environment.

"We want this building to be at the heart of Eastside Locks and to begin to build on the success of our first phase, 6 Cardigan Street, by creating a different offer for modern office users and also to allow us to provide some amenity to the wider scheme."

Belmont Works is a grade A, locally listed Victorian factory built in 1899 as the headquarters of the Eccles rubber and cycle company.

Since then, it has been used for a variety of purposes including the manufacture of linen clothing, bedsteads and pianos and, more recently, as offices for the Co-operative Society from around the 1960s.

It was severely damaged by a fire in 2007 and the roof and south-eastern end of the façade have subsequently collapsed, leaving the building in a state of dereliction. Internally, little of the original fabric now remains, according to a design statement written by London-based architecture practice Aukett Swanke.

A previously approved project to redevelop the entire building and construct a hotel was no longer financially viable, it said.

"As one of three buildings that are to remain on the masterplan site from an earlier industrial age, the former Belmont Works positions itself as a significant architectural element of experimentation and exemplar of industrial architecture," the statement added.

Source: Birmingham Post


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