A listed property group has acquired a development site in the Jewellery Quarter for £28 million.

Grainger, which is based in London and Newcastle, has bought the former home of Ashfords enamelling and jewellery factory, in Great Hampton Street.

Planning permission was awarded earlier this year to turn the industrial site into 156 one- and two-bedroom apartments, commercial units, 47 parking spaces and 28 cycle spaces.

Former Ashfords factory which will be converted into flats
Former Ashfords factory which will be converted into flats

The apartments will be available to rent only and called Gilder's Yard.

Residential landlord Grainger will forward fund the development which will be carried out by the seller, Jewellery Quarter-based Blackswan Property, with Aldridge-based construction group Shaylor as lead contractor.

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Grainger's chief executive Helen Gordon said: "We are pleased to announce our latest investment in one of our key target locations which will deliver 156 new, high-quality, purpose-built rental homes, building on our existing portfolio in the area and leveraging off our operational platform."

The project will involve some demolition work and also the renovation and use of the three-storey, Grade II*-listed building at 16-18 Great Hampton Street which was constructed in 1912 and was once home to J Ashford & Son.

CGI of how the new flats will look
CGI of how the new flats will look

It was designed by Arthur McKewan - the man behind city's oldest swimming pool, Woodcock Street Baths - and is considered a notable example of the 'Birmingham Arts and Crafts' style of architecture.

The building was most recently occupied by Frost Electroplating before it moved to a new purpose-built home in Kings Norton in 2014.

The development site fronts onto Great Hampton Street and neighbouring Harford Street and Barr Street and counts popular pubs The Church and The Lord Clifden, Tesco Express and The University of Law among its neighbours.