The Newman Brothers Coffin Fitting Works was built as a factory in 1899. The company fabricated coffins until 2001 when it closed its operation due to globalization and the company's inability to upgrade its machinery and infrastructure. The building is approximately 12,000 s.f. in size and is masonry walled and timber framed building featuring a large rear courtyard. The factory is located at the south end of the Jewellery Quarter of Birmingham, one of the several notable historic industrial areas in the city.
The Birmingham Conservation Trust acquired the building in 2010 and is interested in restoring the facade facing Fleet Street, restoring parts of the front section of the building as a heritage museum, and adapting the rest of the building for a small business incubator.
The building project has the following objectives:
1. Adapts the factory into an innovation-based headquarters building for a digital company (I, e: a building for Google, Apple or Wolfram).
2. A design that conforms to English Heritage's Standards for Conservation and meet internationally accepted environmental and sustainability criteria.
3. Reintroduce the factory back to the street life found on Fleet Street in Birmingham by opening the courtyard to the public.