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Call to save historic Birmingham cycle factory Belmont Works

The fire-damaged Belmont Works at Cardigan Street is scheduled for restoration as part of the Eastside Locks canalside development

The fire-damaged Belmont Works at Cardigan Street

City planners have pleaded for crumbling historic cycle factory building to be saved before it falls down.

The fire-damaged Belmont Works at Cardigan Street is one of Birmingham’s more attractive Victorian factory buildings but is scheduled for restoration as part of the Eastside Locks canalside development.

Now Birmingham’s planning committee have approved detailed designs for two office blocks – one five storey the other four – on the site as part of the canalside Eastside Locks development.

But planners have called on developer Goodman to shore up and begin restoration of the Belmont Works before it deteriorates any further.

The former factory was severely damaged in a fire in 2007 and has been a crumbling shell ever since. Goodman has previously committed to keep at least the attractive facade as part of a hotel development.

Coun Peter Douglas Osborn (Cons, Weoley) said that he welcomed office blocks and hoped that the arrival of HS2 would encourage swift development.

But he added: “The Belmont Works really does need immediate attention. It’s a beautiful building.”

He said that parts are already falling away and called on the developer to act.

Coun Paula Smith (Lib Dem, Hall Green) added: “We were told that the Belmont Works would be restored in the first tranche of development. It has not been. We need to do something quick and get it sorted.”

The Eastside Locks development will see shops, cafes, restaurants, offices, a hotel and flats built on the former industrial land off Curzon Street.

The Belmont Works, built in 1899, was the headquarters of the Eccles Rubber and Cycle Company and housed a rubber manufactory.

By 1918 it was occupied by the Co-operative Society, who used the premises to make underwear. In 1931 the factory made pianos, and by 1941 it was producing bedsteads.

Goodman development was not immediately available for comment.

 
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