Property management company MetroPM has been appointed to look after a Grade II-listed residential building in a much sought-after suburb in Birmingham.
The firm, which has offices in Birmingham and Cheltenham, will be managing the Victorian building called The Institute, on Station Road, just off the bustling High Street in Harborne.
Erected in 1878 in a red-brick Gothic revival style, The Institute cost £4,500 to build and was paid for through public subscriptions as part of local efforts to promote the arts and education.
It was opened by the renowned Victorian actor Sir Henry Irving and acting as a theatre, with reading rooms, meeting spaces and rehearsal rooms.
The Institute became a local landmark, and notable performers during its 25-year run as an arts establishment reportedly included the poet Hilaire Belloc.
When it closed in 1910 it was taken over by the Masons and used as a Masonic Lodge, then as a base for the Chad Valley Toy Company before finally becoming an antiques centre.
The Institute was reborn in 2003 as an exclusive gated development for nine deluxe homes with private landscaped grounds, secure parking and a gated entrance.
Henry Arnold, property manager at MetroPM, said: “We are delighted and proud to have been appointed to this prestigious contract to manage The Institute.
“This unique building is located in the heart of Harborne village and is within walking distance of Harborne High Street.
“The Institute is a fabulous building that requires expert management to ensure its fabulous architecture is maintained as a special place to live for its residents.”
The contract came from the directors of The Harborne and Edgbaston Institute Management Company Ltd.
A spokesman for the company said: “We wished to appoint a company that was reactive and understood the needs of managing a gated community.
“Personal service was key to appointing a new managing agent, with named point of contacts, and we are now looking forward to working closely with MetroPM.”
MetroPM operates nationally and is responsible for the management of apartment developments across England.