Members of GMI Construction Group’s Birmingham-based team restoring the locks at Cambrian Wharf

Volunteers from GMI Construction Group have put something back into the community by helping the charity, Canal & River Trust, on a project in the heart of Birmingham.

The eight employees spent a day restoring metalwork on locks at Cambrian Wharf, part of the Birmingham and Fazeley Canal.

Some of the GMI team took time out from HBD’s £32 million canalside Setl residential development in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter, with others from the Cofton Centre project, a £20 million industrial construction development at Longbridge.

They spent seven hours cleaning down the metal work on locks and preparing the surfaces and repainting them.


The work was very labour intensive and involved stripping off the rust and flaking paint using wire brushes and scrapers down to a sound base and painting them with corrosive resistant while paint.

Andy Bruce, GMI Construction, divisional director, said: “GMI has a proud record of putting something back into the communities in which it works.

“The canal network is a historic and much-loved feature of the Birmingham landscape, and we were delighted to help keep it in tiptop condition.”

Tara Sexton, corporate volunteer leader at the Canal & River Trust, said: “The GMI volunteers’ hard work is to be commended. Their contribution in helping to care for our canals in Birmingham is very much appreciated.

“The Canal & River Trust could not achieve as much as it does without local people and businesses being prepared to volunteer their time to support us in the work that we do.”

Cambrian Wharf was first developed in 1769 and was originally part of the Main Line Canal. This has been reduced to a basin at the top of Farmers Bridge Flight Locks. Originally built among farm fields, it remains a central feature in the now urban landscape of the Birmingham & Fazeley Canal.

Setl will feature 101 apartments across six storeys along with 2,350 sq. ft of ground floor commercial space, designed to attract independent restaurants, leisure operators and other business that will provide essential amenities. It also will encompass a host of amenities, including a courtyard, workspace, lounge, gym, and rooftop garden.

The 154,000 sq. ft industrial/logistics unit being built at The Cofton Centre, a 35-acre estate by the old MG Rover factory forms part of the largest regeneration in the West Midlands.

GMI Construction Group works with new and established customers, such as St Modwen, HBD, Graftongate and St James Securities, in multiple sectors, including residential, industrial/logistics, commercial, hotel and residential.