Manor House Update


Manor Farm FireLast year’s fire at Northfield’s Manor House was devastating news for everyone concerned about the heritage of our area.

Since then I have pressed Birmingham University for updates. You can see here a briefing I received from them last month shortly before Parliament was dissolved. This gives an outline of the work which is being carried out.

You will see that the damage is very extensive indeed and the University have concluded they have had no option but to take down substantial parts of the structure for safety reasons. Whilst obviously safety must be paramount, I am continuing to emphasise to the University the unique history of the Manor House and its importance to our area. Even where parts of the building do have to be taken down, I have urged them to do everything they can to preserve the materials taken down and to re-use them in reconstruction.

Although the Manor House will clearly never be the same again, the feedback I have had from people locally is that it should not be simply demolished and replaced by new buildings which erase the history. In other words, as much as possible of the Cadbury heritage must be preserved when choices are made about options for reconstruction.

I will continue to make representations to Birmingham University along these lines.

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Richard Burden

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I was Labour Member of Parliament for Birmingham Northfield between 1992 and 2019 and a former Shadow Transport Minister. I now chair Healthwatch in Birmingham and Solihull, and the West Midlands Board of Remembering Srebrenica. I also work as a public affairs consultant. I am an effective community advocate and stakeholder alliance builder with a passion for human rights. I am a trustee of the Balfour Project charity and of Citizens Advice Birmingham, and a former Chair of Medical Aid for Palestinians.

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