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The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne visited The Birmingham Assay Office at the start of a full day of engagements in the City.

Michael Allchin, CEO & Assay Master with The Chancellor of The Exchequer, The Rt. Hon. George Osborne, MP

He was in Birmingham to launch the Birmingham Enterprise Zone.  (The Enterprise Zone initiative will support areas around the country by offering incentives to both new and expanding businesses)  The Chancellor remarked that for too long the UK had relied on London to generate growth in the country and the government were now looking to help the regions grow.

Faye Grove, Hand Hallmarker explains the hallmarking process to The Chancellor

Faye was very impressed with Mr Osborne's marking ability and he was offered a twilight shift.  He remarked that he may be able to do some weekends........


Mr Osbornes' visit was timely as The Birmingham Assay Office is itself on the move and has recently received a welcome boost as plans for the new building for The Birmingham Assay Office took another step forward when Birmingham City Council approved a £1.2m grant from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).



Russell Clinton, melter, explains the gold melting process to The Chancellor

The King of Wishful Thinking........

Dr Ben Halmshaw, Senior Analytical Chemist showing Mr Osborne the recently expanded chemical laboratory

The new Birmingham Assay Office site is in an Enterprise Zone on the edge of the Quarter, and will create an impressive new “gateway” which is expected to kick start more investment in the unique Jewellery Quarter area.

Plan of The New Birmingham Assay Office Building

The Chancellor seemed to  thoroughly enjoy stepping out of London to visit the Shires and would have been delighted to see that Industry and Intelligence are alive and thriving in the region. 

The Chancellor meets with the media in The Wardens Dining Room at The Birmingham Assay Office

The Birmingham Assay Office is the Largest Assay Office in the World and is home to World leading experts in their field of science, metallurgy and gemmology.  The Birmingham Assay Office celebrates its 240th anniversary this year and since 1773 it has been at the heart of the jewellery quarter and the City of Birmingham.




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