Author Archives: Kate

Plans for the second phase of a £5.5 million development in a leafy Birmingham suburb have been unveiled after a city architect won a competition for the contract.

Developer EDG Property has submitted proposals for 12 homes as part of the wider scheme which will see the conversion of the prominent clock tower building in Harborne High Street.

City firm Bryant Priest Newman Architects was selected to draw up the blueprint for the £2.7 million work after winning a competition which saw more than a dozen different proposals submitted.

EDG Property managing director Neil Edginton said plans were submitted last week, and he hopes work will start early this year.

He said the competition was open-ended, but he was most taken by a fully residential scheme to complete work at the former Victorian school built in 1891.

He said: “It was an eye-opening process. When you are working there all the time, sometimes you can only see one angle.

“But bringing in fresh eyes meant they could look at it without any preconceived ideas.

“The brief was primarily residential, but we were open to other uses. But in the end we were won over by a scheme which is totally residential.”

Proposals from Bryant Priest Newman, which previously worked on the Bloc Hotel, Ruskin Glass Centre and Rhubarb in the Custard Factory, will see up to 12 apartments and houses built at the rear of the main square.

The development, which includes a Grade II listed building, recently used as an adult learning and community centre, is expected to be completed by 2015.

The competition was similar to one launched when Mr Edginton worked at The Cube, which resulted in its unique look, and resulted in five practices submitting various proposals for the space.

Mr Edginton added: “There was clearly some seriously amazing entries. The competition encouraged people to be creative and we wanted some fresh eyes.

“We gave them four weeks and had our design team working alongside them. Our quantity surveyors were costing it as they went along, so we knew it could actually be built in the realms of the commercial world.”

Meanwhile, Mr Edginton said progress was being made on the final two parts of the first phase.

He is in talks with “three or four” parties about replacing Metro Bar, which pulled out of the scheme, and expects to announce a new food school early this year.

For all commercial and residential enquiries at The School Yard, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or

(With thanks to Graeme Brown, Birmingham Post)




Local developers EDG Property have reached a major milestone at The School Yard scheme in Harborne as the first phase completes.

Marked with a celebratory, festive event held in the new central courtyard at the heart of the £5m development, Christmas cheer was the order of the day as local school children from The Blue Coat School performed carols by candlelight.

Playing on the scheme’s original use as a school, local glitterati, including Harborne residents, traders and business people were welcomed by the “headmaster” as they enjoyed the Christmas market atmosphere with mulled wine, stalls and more entertainment from a “flash mob” dance troupe.

With coffee emporium Urban Coffee Company and Birmingham’s first Prezzo restaurant now open for business, the developer has also confirmed the second phase of the scheme will start in the new year as well as hinting at two further lettings for the scheme, which includes the community food school.

Neil Edginton, EDG Property, said: “Slap bang in the middle of Harborne, this beautiful listed building had become something of an eyesore, shrouded in scaffolding and with an uncertain future. When we acquired the site in 2011, though it was loved by the local community, it was falling into disrepair.

“Fast forward less than two years and it’s fantastic to celebrate the completion of the first phase of its redevelopment by inviting our neighbours, friends and colleagues into The School Yard to kickstart the festive season with a mince pie and specially prepared “cofftail” or mulled wine.

The second phase comprises a small number of apartments and townhouses.  EDG Property launched a design competition earlier this autumn to find the architects who will design this second, new build phase and the final shortlist comprises two Birmingham based practices, Bryant Priest Newman and ADP.

Neil Edginton continued: “Our aim is to bring heritage and contemporary style together, and feedback has been phenomenal, particularly for the wonderful public courtyard at the heart of the development and the best bits of the listed building have now been restored and are back in use. We have added some contemporary touches, such as external feature lighting, and used high quality materials and finishes throughout that complement the distinct architectural style and highlight its features.”

The event celebrated success to date, which includes the first of Italian chain Prezzo’s Birmingham restaurants and the £30,000 restoration of the building’s original listed clock tower and the clock itself, which is now keeping time for the first time since the mid-80s.

One third of the residential properties have already been reserved off-plan by early registrants and a further release of homes is set for the new year. Interested parties are encouraged to register with EDG Property by calling 0121 654 9404 or via email – as sales will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

EDG Property is pleased to announce that Prezzo Harborne is now open at The School Yard!

This is the first Prezzo restaurant to open in Birmingham, now accessible off Harborne High Street in the Grade II Listed clock tower building.

This national brand is well known for its great tasting Italian food and stylish surroundings with many of the Prezzo restaurants recognised for their architectural value. The School Yard address now joins the Prezzo portfolio which includes restaurants in the old library in Newbury, the Mills Bakery in Plymouth and listed buildings in Salisbury, Romsey, Mayfair and Dorchester.

Whether you are looking for an intimate dinner or celebrating a special occasion this restaurant is perfect. Open Monday-Sunday 12noon-11pm, be sure to make a reservation on 0121 427 4240.

For all commercial and residential enquiries at The School Yard, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or

Creative juices are flowing this week at The School Yard following the launch of EDG Property’s architectural design competition for the new-build residential aspect of Harborne’s Clock Tower scheme.

The School Yard judging panel, having conducted a series of interviews, shortlisted five architectural practices of which three proceeded to second-round assessment and two have been invited to pitch for the design of Phase 2 of this landmark destination.

EDG Property was delighted to brief professional firms ADP and Bryant Priest Newman Architects who are now working towards mid-point interviews and then final concept presentations on 6th December.

The new-build residential block will accompany the existing Grade II Listed building and overlook the former school playground which is already open as a new public square.

The School Yard judging panel comprises of EDG Property Directors Neil Edginton and Mark Holden, Gareth Edwards of Faithful + Gould, Richard Twist of JRA, Matthew Woodhall of Curtins and Phil Brown of the Edgbaston & Harborne News.

Neil Edginton said “The level of interest in The School Yard and overwhelming support from the local community has made us even more determined to deliver a new building that Harborne can be proud of and moreover, one that we totally believe in.

We approached Birmingham-based firms who have a proven track record for professionalism and delivery but most importantly, know and love Harborne.  We are looking forward to welcoming on board a creative partner who complement the existing School Yard team.”

For all commercial and residential enquiries at The School Yard, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or

EDG Property has appointed GBR Phoenix Beard as Property Manager for Harborne’s mixed use scheme, The School Yard.

Catherine Gabriel who heads up Property Management at GBR Phoenix Beard said: “We are looking forward to working with Neil and the EDG Team to provide first class services for The School Yard.  This is a flagship scheme for Harborne and we are honoured to be on board.  Our priority will be to maintain the highest standards both for visitors and tenants alike and of course future residents, in keeping with such a well-appointed scheme.”

For all commercial and residential enquiries at The School Yard, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or