City’s Cus­tard Fac­tory bought by property firm

Birmingham Post - - NEWS - Zoe Cham­ber­lain Staff Re­porter

BIRM­ING­HAM’S fa­mous Cus­tard Fac­tory has been sold to a part­ner­ship of three young real es­tate de­vel­op­ers.

Former owner Lu­can Gray has sold his share in the fam­ily firm to Oval Real Es­tate, a pri­vately owned in­vest­ment and as­set man­age­ment com­pany in Lon­don.

The deal in­cludes Faze­ley Stu­dios and the ware­houses in Heath Mill Lane, Dig­beth. Benny Gray, Lu­can’s fa­ther, re­tains own­er­ship of the Zel­lig busi­ness cen­tre, while Lu­can is hold­ing on to The Big Peg in the Jew­ellery Quar­ter.

“We have bought Lu­can Gray’s hold­ings in Dig­beth,” said Nick Prior, co-founder of Oval Real Es­tate.

“That in­cludes the Cus­tard Fac­tory, Faze­ley Stu­dios and the ware­houses in Heath Mill Lane.

“We’re very ex­cited by it and are com­mit­ted to the long-term re­gen­er­a­tion of Dig­beth.

“We’re un­able to talk about what is go­ing to hap­pen there just yet other than to say we’ll be fol­low­ing on from the good work that Lu­can has done.

“It’s all very fresh and we’re still work­ing ev­ery­thing out.

“We still need to talk to staff and ten­ants.”

Oval Real Es­tate was formed in 2013 by char­tered sur­vey­ors James Craig and Nick Prior, and has gone on to buy and sell more than £600 mil­lion of UK com­mer­cial property. Ox­ford Univer­sity grad­u­ate Max Schofield joined the team in 2015.

Ru­mours of the sale be­gan cir­cu­lat- ing at the end of last week. One of the ten­ants at the Cus­tard Fac­tory, who did not wish to be named, said: “I’m see­ing it as good news. There’s not much re­tail here.

“If it’s some­one who un­der­stands re­tail, that would be good. It’s a good space but it needs a bit more ac­tiv­ity here.”

Some ten­ants knew noth­ing about the sale, whilst an­other anony­mous ten­ant said: “Ev­ery­one round here is talk­ing about it Ap­par­ently the new guys have got money to in­vest. That’s what the Cus­tard Fac­tory needs.”

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Left, the Cus­tard Fac­tory in Dig­beth, and, above, former owner Lu­can Gray

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