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The original 150 year old clock which has marked time for Harborne residents since the late 1800s has been fully refurbished with ground-breaking horological technology as part of a £30,000 restoration programme.

Originally manufactured by John Smith and Sons of Derby (now known as Smith of Derby), the restoration of the clock at Harborne Clock Tower has been completed by the same firm. The works to the listed tower and the clocks are part of the £5m The School Yard scheme by EDG Property, which will see the redevelopment of the historic school building into restaurants and a new residential building.

The clock, which is positioned atop the landmark tower with four separate dials, has a flat-bed hour striking movement that drives the four dials through a double three legged gravity escapement. The work has the full restoration of the four dials as well as routine maintenance. The four clock faces have been modernised for the new century with illuminated backgrounds.

Neil Edginton, EDG Property, said: “The clock is an intrinsic part of our redevelopment of The School Yard scheme and of Harborne as a place. It is a real landmark so its careful restoration was of prime importance.  There is a lovely synergy in working with Smith of Derby after all these years and as we believe that the clock hasn’t struck the hour since the mid-1980s, we are delighted that it will once again mark time in Harborne village.”

The majority of the highly skilled works has been carried out in-situ, with some delicate restoration works to the clock faces completed at the Smith workshops in Derby. With all parts now reinstated, the clock will stay silent until the launch of the first phase of development at The School Yard which is scheduled for this autumn. This will mark the opening of the restaurants at the scheme, which include Metro Continental, Prezzo Group, Urban Coffee Company and community cookery school, Kitchen.

Keith Cotton, Smith of Derby, said: “It is a true privilege to bring a beautiful timepiece back into full working order, especially as it was our own firm that made and fitted the clock over 150 years ago. The restoration of the Harborne Clock Tower is respectful of its historic nature and aims to bring a community landmark back into use as well as ensuring that it will stand the test of time and continue to tick well into the next 150 years.”

Smith of Derby is well known for its expertise in conservation projects and also made and fitted the Grand Brasserie Clock at St Pancras Station, the Cathedral Clock at St Paul’s Cathedral and the Swiss Glockenspiel in Leicester Square.

Construction at The School Yard started last month and the commercial units are scheduled to be operational by Christmas. The boutique residential phase of the scheme comprises a number of apartments and two townhouses. Pre-launch interest levels have far exceeded expectations with pre-registered parties now being contacted to arrange priority appointments to reserve.

After much anticipation and huge demand, The School Yard residential plans will be unveiled to pre-registered parties at a priority event to be hosted next Tuesday.

To date, interested parties have been encouraged to register their interest in the luxury townhouses and boutique, 1, 2 and 3 bed apartments that make up the mix on Harborne’s historic clock tower scheme.

Next week’s event will take the form of private appointments with developer EDG Property. Architect’s indicative plans and specification, plus pricing, for this exclusive first release of properties will be available. Moreover, this will be the first opportunity to reserve a home at The School Yard.

Interest levels have been such that the event has now been extended, with appointments now being made in in to the evening.

Should you be interested in securing a home at The School Yard, be sure to register today with EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 to avoid disappointment. Alternatively please email

Birmingham success story Urban Coffee Company has signed a deal to take the last available commercial unit at EDG Property’s The School Yard development in Harborne.

This will be the third Urban Coffee outlet in the city, joining its Jewellery Quarter and Church Street sister venues. Urban Coffee Company has been at the forefront of a coffee-based revolution in the city, following the success of its first emporium on Church Street in the city centre.

This is the fourth and final signing secured at EDG Property’s mixed use scheme, alongside Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen.

Simon Jenner, director of Urban Coffee Company, said: “We have been looking to expand into the city’s popular suburbs for some time and finding a new home for our third coffee emporium at The School Yard is perfect.

“The combination of old and new architecture and modern design, at the heart of Harborne village fits with our brand identity, particularly as we like to think of our emporiums as being an urban version of a village hall and a major aim is to involve ourselves with the local community. Of course, we can’t wait to bring good coffee and our individual style to the good people of Harborne.”

Plans for the Harborne store, which will overlook the new public square at the heart of the scheme, include establishing a programme of events including film nights, knitting clubs and book clubs. Meanwhile, the Urban Coffee team is also planning further expansion and aims to open a further two emporiums in the next 18 months.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “The first quarter of this year has been great for progress at The School Yard – we are onsite with our construction team, we have recorded exceptionally high levels of pre-launch interest for the residential element and we have completed this final letting with Urban Coffee.

“The Urban Coffee offer is a perfect complement to the restaurant/ café scene in Harborne and we’re pleased to have attracted Simon and his team from the city to launch their first suburban store.”

Construction at The School Yard started this month and the commercial units are scheduled to be operational by Christmas. The residential phase of the scheme, which comprises a number of apartments and two townhouses, is yet to be launched to the market, but interested parties may pre-register with EDG Property for the first chance to secure a property.

Mark Holden, Director of EDG Property, has been honoured with the award of ‘Business Champion for Arts and Business’ at a ceremony held at Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. The award, sponsored by Jaguar Land Rover, recognises individuals from the private sector that have made a significant contribution to the arts.

Mark was nominated by mac Birmingham for his work. Dorothy Wilson MBE FRSA, Chief Executive, mac Birmingham commented; “Mark Holden has had a significant impact on the arts and heritage infrastructure in the Midlands, through involvement with a range of projects including Birmingham Hippodrome redevelopment; the refurbishment of mac Birmingham; advising on the deliverability of the new Library for Birmingham; the restoration of Birmingham Town Hall and Aston Hall. He is currently working with The Drum and the CBSO.

Mark’s commitment has gone above and beyond this by becoming a donor to mac’s Building Project appeal, continuing to act as an (unpaid) adviser and giving considerable amounts of personal time to mac as well as to other organisations to assist projects in their early stages – sharing his considerable knowledge and experience with project managers trying to find a way through property and construction minefields. As an expert adviser on lowering the environmental impact of buildings and services Mark is making a lasting difference to a number of organisations. His ability to make connections and help people help themselves is as significant as is his generosity in assisting organisations to realise value and improve performance through their Business, Property and Construction activities.”

Mark commented “This came out of the blue as a lovely surprise. I am privileged to have worked extensively in the Midlands arts and cultural sector.”

Developers at Harborne’s most exclusive scheme are inviting potential purchasers to register for an exclusive pre-launch appointment for the first chance to reserve a property at The School Yard.

Following a preview of the residential element of the mixed use scheme at international property expo MIPIM, high levels of pre-launch interest have already been logged. Those who have already priority registered have been invited to a one-on-one appointment in early April for the first chance to secure a property. The scheme offers the very best of village living, just three miles from the city centre and there is one last chance to priority register before the end of March.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “We have recorded excellent levels of pre-release interest for the properties at The School Yard and feedback from our exclusive preview at MIPIM was very positive. The attraction for purchasers is clear as they want to enjoy high specification living as well as taking advantage of the excellent location at the heart of the Harborne community.

“We have purposefully released limited information about properties at the scheme but we’re now inviting people who have registered to come for a private appointment with our team to find out more and have first choice of the homes. Priority registration before the end of the month really is the only way to ensure that you secure a property. Additionally, as we are still able to refine interior design specifications, early purchasers will have the chance to individualise their own living spaces working with our architect.”

There will be a mix of one and two bed apartments and two townhouses at The School Yard which will be located at the rear of the existing listed building in a contemporary new build overlooking the new public square. The two-bed and three-bed townhouses will have their own Zen gardens, while the apartments will benefit from secure access, a glazed atrium with lift access and all properties have allocated car-parking.

Mark Evans, Knight Frank, added: “The fundamentals of the property market have changed very little over the years – location and quality speak volumes and will always attract purchasers. Further good news is that findings of recent research by the RICS that report property sales have reached a 15-month high in the Midlands and growth is forecast to continue in the region. This is why such high levels of off-plan interest have been created at The School Yard.”

Construction at the mixed use scheme located on Harborne High Street started earlier this month, with local firm GF Tomlinson undertaking the first phase of activity which includes the refurbishment of the historical buildings to form new restaurant units and a new public square. This is programmed to complete later this summer so that fit-out can be completed and ensure that these new restaurants, which are let to Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen, are open in time for Christmas.

For more information or to priority register, please contact EDG Property on 0121 654 9404 or email