An exciting development in the transformation of Birmingham’s Victorian Lock-Up on Steelhouse Lane into a home for the region’s policing heritage happened this week with the appointment of a building company to complete the capital works. Trios has extensive building project experience and has been awarded a contract worth just over £1.2 million to make physical changes to the building to help transform it into a museum for the public. Trios will:
Replace the roof which is currently in poor condition and needs extensive work to make it weathertight and to meet modern fire safety requirements.
Create two new stairwells and an accessible lift to improve access to and around the building.
Remove modern additions such as partitions and a stairwell, and reinstate iron railings and balustrades to revert back to the original heritage features.
Refresh the mechanical and electrical facilities to make sure they are efficient and fit for purpose with the changing role of the building.
Trios will also look, where possible, to appoint local suppliers and employ local apprentices to help complete the work.
A large part of the money for the project comes from a £1m grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Once the building work is complete, work will then start on the historical displays. These displays will tell stories of prisoners and staff, including the real ‘peaky blinders’ who were incarcerated in the building and how the original ‘Lock-Up matrons’ from 1895 formed some of the very first ‘women in policing.’
It’s not all history however, there will also be space for the latest police messages and the museum team will use engagement opportunities to discuss current themes.
The museum will create new jobs for full and part-time staff as well as volunteering opportunities for local people.
Heritage Manager Corrine Brazier said: “We will make sure conservation and heritage is at the forefront of this building work. Trios are qualified and experienced professionals who will work towards the long term preservation of the Steelhouse Lane Lock-Up. Preserving the physical heritage of the building is equally as important as showcasing items from the museum collection."
David Jamieson, the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner said: “The museum at Steelhouse Lane is an exciting development funded by a National Lottery Heritage Fund grant.
“It will tell the history of policing in our region in an interactive way to appeal to all of our communities. It is a fantastic space, with the old Victorian Lock-Up and this critical new work will help this become a reality.
“The museum will be an excellent educational tool as well for children, schools and students.