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A historical hallmarking centre in Birmingham is moving out of the Victorian building where it has been based since 1877.

The Assay Office, on Newhall Street in the Jewellery Quarter, said its premises had become "too small" and was preventing it from expanding.

It will move to a purpose-built office off Icknield Street.

The Assay Office, founded in 1773, has a statutory duty to hallmark precious metals.

Staff say the new building will offer better facilities and will also enable wider public access to its resources, such as its private library and silver collection.

The office houses more than 5,000 books.

Marion Wilson, director, said: "We have been in this building for a very long time.

"It's too small and we have continually patched and extended it but it's actually constraining our business and preventing us from growing the way we need to."

Supervisor Roshan Knightingale said: "This is a lovely building and it's very sad.

"We have very good memories."

The operation will gradually move between now and the end of July.

The Assay Office is one of Birmingham's oldest institutions.

It was founded in 1773 and employs some 150 members of staff.

Watch the BBC Midlands Today report 


Courtesy of BBC



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