The last button maker in Britain has begun work on its new West Midlands factory - after overcoming a series of obstacles from its local council and regeneration agency.
James Grove and Sons has been designing and manufacturing all kinds of clothing buttons on the same Black Country site for almost 150 years.
Work began on a new £1.6 million factory with a partial demolition of the old complex yesterday - three years after the original planning application was lodged.
The Halesowen company hit out at Black Country Futures, an arm of Black Country Investments and Dudley Council for failing to support its move.
Brian Blackham, project director at Groves, said: "We have had to fight every step of the way to get this new factory.
"We desperately needed a new one because our existing site dates back to 1862 and it had no foundations, a flat roof and was costly to heat; from an economic point of view we had to go.
" The fire brigade also refused to give us a safety certificate."
The firm, which employs 48 people, approached Black Country Investments for help.
"They said they would love to help and they wanted to give us the full amount of support, £500,000," said Mr Blackham.
"But after spending six months filling in the forms, they turned us down. They said they had got the maths wrong, and we got nothing at all."
The decision forced Groves to look at converting part of its land into houses and apartments to raise money for the new factory - but was blocked by Dudley Council. Mr Blackham said: "We planned to demolish half of our existing factory, carry on working in the other half, and build some property on the carpark and the vacant space.
"But we ran into all sorts of problems with the council. For example we were not allowed to sell the properties or lease them out before we had moved into the new factory."
Local firm A & H Construction will carry out a £3.3 million regeneration of the Halesowen plant, which includes the houses and flats, with Groves hoping to move in next spring.
Mr Blackham said: "It's a very exciting time for us. We are proud of our heritage and, in its field, are the largest manufacturers of real horn buttons in the world.
"As result we have created a significant amount of jobs and brought investment back into the local community.
"So when it came to the future of the factory and the regeneration needed to develop the company I was very disappointed to find a total lack of interest, from both the council and the development agencies."
A spokeswoman for Black Country Investments said: "Although it was unfortunate for the company at the time that the funding was turned down, it has been proved to be the right decision because they were able to proceed with the project anyway.
"The grants are available only for companies that cannot proceed with their plans without them."
Coun David Stanley, chairman of planning at Dudley Council, said: "The planning application was approved after we had a good look at the situation. I was very impressed with the company, and we have done everything we could to accommodate it."