As an Assay Office employee, staunch Brummie and member of the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust, I could not have chosen anywhere other than the centre of the JQ, St Paul’s churchyard, for my photo shoot,” says Marion Wilson, who was appointed director of the new AnchorCert Academy last year.
Indeed, Assay Office Birmingham’s status as one of the city’s longest-serving institutions, at the heart of the Jewellery Quarter, is of huge importance to the whole team, and its heritage of 243 years underpins each and every business decision. This is borne out by the launch of its AnchorCert Academy, which now provides the trade and local community with a facility to inform, educate and inspire.
Marion has been busy laying strong foundations for the Academy over the past 12 months, with the overriding aim of developing it as a significant division of Assay Office Birmingham in its own right.
She also led the huge operation to relocate the institution’s private silver, library and archive collections – a valuable resource for designers, students, historians and researchers alike – to their new home. “The entire team embraced the move to our new building wholeheartedly.
It was a big, brave, but very necessary step, and the teamwork involved in achieving the move with no disruption to business was fantastic,” she recalls. “We said at the outset that the Assay Office is the people, not the building, and they have not let us down.”
Marion has therefore also invested time in recruiting a skilled team for the Academy, to help in achieving her vision for the business, and she is excited about the future. “The Academy is now established and we can really begin to develop it.
There is massive potential for collaboration, as well as scope for research, training, meeting room hire, events, exhibitions and much more.”