The future of the Birmingham Assay Office has been safeguarded following a Jewellery Quarter land deal with the city council.
Council property officials agreed to sell a site off Icknield Street to enable the 340-year-old business to build modern offices and remain in Birmingham.
The sale, at an undisclosed price, means that the Assay Office will scrap plans to relocate to Redditch, saving 150 jobs.
Members of the cabinet property sub-committee heard that the Assay Office’s existing five-storey premises, dating back to 1877, were unsuitable for a modern business and hampered future growth plans.
A cabinet report added: “The layout and configuration of the current Victorian building over five levels imposes significant operational constraints upon the efficiency and effectiveness of its services.
“The building is no longer fit for purpose and therefore the Assay Office is looking to relocate to new premises that marry operational efficiency and flexibility with the organisation’s heritage and status.”
The Birmingham Assay Office was established by an Act of Parliament in 1773 and has been in its current premises at the corner of Newhall Street and Charlotte Street in the Jewellery Quarter since 1877.
Operations now extend far beyond traditional hallmarking of gold and silver, making it the largest assay office in the world.
The new site, bounded by Icknield Street, Pope Street and Moreton Street, will be leased to the Assay Office by the city council.
The Assay Office says it will build a new “state of the art” building and sell its old headquarters.
Cabinet property sub-committee member Coun Randal Brew (Con Northfield) said: “I am delighted that we can keep the Assay Office in Birmingham. It is very important for the city and this is a major achievement.”