Jewellery Quarter

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The Jewellery Quarter is an area of Birmingham, England. Situated in the south of the Hockley area of the city centre, there is a population of around 3,000 people in a 1.07-square-kilometre (264-acre) area.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom

The Jewellery Quarter is Europe's largest concentration of businesses involved in the jewellery trade, which produce 40% of all the jewellery made in the UK. It is also home to the world's largest Assay Office, which hallmarks around 12 million items a year. Historically the Jewellery Quarter has been the birthplace of many pioneering advancements in industrial technology.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom

As well as being an industrial area, the Jewellery Quarter has become a tourist attraction itself as many of the workshops retain their 19th century appearance. Birmingham City Council first recognised the importance of tourism in raising the profile of the Jewellery Quarter in the 1980s. Studies were commissioned on the industry and potential for tourism in the area.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom

These were put together into a strategy which included aims such as improving views in the area, established a museum and a trade centre to rival Germany and Italy. This was accepted, except the trade centre proposal. The first things to be implemented were the refurbishment Vyse Street car park and the improvement in street parking provisions. Former derelict sites were turned into surface car parks.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom

The existing street furniture was improved whilst necessary additions were made. To influence the quality of design for future shops, a shopfront design guide was prepared by the council for the area. There were also plans for an arcade and gateways into the Jewellery Quarter, but these were abandoned in the 1990s due to a lack of available finances.

Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham, United Kingdom

The city council also launched a series of initiatives aimed at promoting the Jewellery Quarter and raising the awareness of the location of the Quarter amongst the general public. Articles were published in local and national newspapers and magazines such as British Airways' own magazine Airtime. The council produced 200,000 leaflets in conjunction with Centro called How to find the Jewellery Quarter which were distributed through a range of outlets.

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