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Last Updated: Monday, 12 February 2007, 18:17 GMT
New life for old coffin factory
Newman's coffin factory
The derelict factory featured in the first BBC Restoration series in 2003
A plan to turn an historic coffin factory in Birmingham into a visitor attraction has been given the go-ahead.

A 3.4m scheme is under way to secure the future of the Newman Brothers coffin works in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, which closed in 1999.

The three-storey Grade II listed building in Fleet Street dates from 1892 and once employed 100 people making coffin fittings and shrouds.

Advantage West Midlands bought it in 2002 and is putting up half the money.

Five commercial units will also be created to the rear of the works.

At the time of its closure - brought about by a change in fashion towards cremations rather than burials and by cheaper overseas manufacturing - it was one of only three remaining coffin furniture manufacturers in England.

The family-run factory's wares graced the funerals of many distinguished people over the company's 100-year history including those of Churchill, Chamberlain and Diana, Princess of Wales.

Advantage West Midlands bought and preserved the site on behalf of Birmingham Conservation Trust and, in 2003, it featured on the BBC's first 'Restoration' series.




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