Thieves ransack historic former Jewellery Quarter factory

Thieves ransack historic former Jewellery Quarter factory

A fine 'Arts and Crafts' era jewellery factory - due to be restored and turned into flats - has been ransacked for its original fixtures and fittings.

Birmingham-based Blackswan Property plans to create 147 apartments around the three-storey, Grade II*-listed former home of J Ashford & Son, in Great Hampton Street, in the Jewellery Quarter.

But in the last two weeks thieves have taken all of the fixtures and fittings - including furniture, light fittings, lamps, scales, door handles and even sinks.

Lucy Walker, from developer Blackswan Property, which is also based in the Jewellery Quarter, said: "It's the history of the building that makes this so sad.

"We were planning to retain all of the original features and incorporate them into the development.

"It's one of the oldest buildings in Great Hampton Street. Whoever did this forced entry to the building must have brought tools with them because they even unplumbed the sinks.

"Even all of the old beautiful signs, the light switches and door handles have gone. They have taken everything."

The firm said the thieves targeted the building some time in the last two weeks and probably did so in the day because there was currently no electricity.