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Sheffield Assay Office lay foundation for future

19 Jan 2008

Only a few weeks ago the site of the brand new headquarters for Sheffield Assay Office gave liittle indication of the shape of things to come. But work is moving ahead so well on the state-of-the art 33,000 sq. ft. facility that the foundation stone has been now been laid.
Assay Master Ashley Carson and members of his team gathered together to watch Colonel Roger Inman OBE lay the foundation stone, whilst around them the building is already rising up.
Colonel Inman is a former Chairman of the Assay Office (from 1988 to 1996) and, at the age of 93 has only just retired from the board of Guardians.
"Colonel Inman has seen many changes and significant developments in the Assay Office over the years" comments Ashely Carson. "Now, as we lay the foundation for yet another important stage in our growth which will see us have the most advanced hallmarking and analytical services in the country, it is an honour that Colonel Inman is here to mark the occasion".
Fittingly, the trowel used by Colonle Inman bears the proud mark of 'Made in Sheffield' and was chosen from the Spear and Jackson WHS Premier Range.

The 3 million pound building is due for completion in early summer, when the Sheffield Assay Office will move its entire operation from its current premises on Portobello Road.
Established in 1773, Sheffield Assay Office is one of Sheffield's oldest companies and 7 to 8 miilion items each year pass through it for hallmarking. But the need for more room has been driven by significant growth in the organisation's analytical services; Sheffield Assay Office carries out a range of cutting edge analytical tests which include jewellery testing, mercury screening - and a range of safety tests for products such as fashion accessories, toys and electrical goods. Demand for these services is high and the new premises will ensure that this side of the business has room to grow.
In addition to superb single storey production facilities, the new Sheffield Assay office will feature a two-storey building to incorporate its famous library and silver collection, plus extensive meeting, exhibition and training facilities.

Sheffield Assay Master Ashley Carson said, "This is an exciting time for us. When this building is complete, we will be the only Assay office to have all our production facilities on one floor. Our hallmarking and laser marking operations will be even more efficient and we will be able to integrate more of the latest technology to meet demand in growth areas such as metals and materials analysis."

As a stalwart supporter of all things Sheffield, (including Sheffield Wednesday!), Ashley Carson is dellighted that the contractor charged with helping to build the Assay Office's future is also a Sheffield company - HP Construction. "HP's tender was the most comprehensive and showed a clear understanding of what we need from this building" says Ashley "I'm very pleased to be able to work a local company".

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