Developers at Harborne’s flagship mixed use scheme have appointed the main contractor to start construction of the £5.5m project. Midlands headquartered GF Tomlinson will start onsite next month and will coordinate the first phase of the construction programme at EDG Property’s The School Yard.

Enabling works are already complete at the scheme which is located on Harborne High Street, while the main construction process is split into two phases. The first phase will see the complex refurbishment of the existing buildings which were built in 1891 and originally housed Harborne Heath Road Board School. The second phase of the development is a limited number of executive apartments, which will be launched at the international property event MIPIM in March.

The plans are to create three new restaurant units at the front of the building, which will open onto the High Street. These are let to Prezzo Group, Metro Continental and community cookery school Kitchen, which will be fitted out with specially designed learning and cooking spaces. Internal fit out is scheduled to take place later this summer with the expectation that the restaurants will be trading by Christmas.

Neil Edginton, director of EDG Property, said: “At the heart of our development is a beautiful Victorian building which reflects the architectural typology and materials of the time that it was built. It is our job to bring it back into use as well as adding thoughtful contemporary new build elements so that it can again play an important role in the Harborne community.

“GF Tomlinson has won the contract because of their proven track record in sympathetically delivering complex refurbishments and for their work to listed structures.”

The appointment of GF Tomlinson completes the project team, which also includes local architects K4, M&E engineers Jonathan Richards Associates, structural engineers Curtins and acousticians JRA Acoustics.

Ivor Roberts, managing director of GF Tomlinson (Birmingham), said: “We will be using our specialist experience in working with listed and historical buildings to maximum effect on The School Yard, as well as our ability to operate within constrained sites adjacent to public highways. We know how important it is to tightly manage the construction process and to quickly and efficiently deliver on site, while maintaining the architectural vision of the project. As a Midlands business, we are extremely pleased to play our part in contributing to regenerating a local facility.”

The historical Victorian features of the Grade II listed building are being retained and restored; while the second phase of works will see the addition of a new contemporary building at the rear of the old school playground, wrapping around a central courtyard and will include the residential element of the scheme.

Following a remarkable 8 years developing The Cube in Birmingham, in December 2012 Neil Edginton’s Aruna Project LLP sold the commercial elements of The Cube to EPISO3, a fund managed by London headquartered Tristan Capital Partners.

Neil will be staying at The Cube though, despite the sale, as his EDG Property is working closely with Tristan Capital Partners to asset manage the building.

The Cube’s tenants already include the likes of Marco Pierre White, Adee Phelan, Rodizio Rico, Hotel Indigo, The Law Society, Highways Agency and theclub&spa. And, with many awards already under its belt, such as the RIBA Midlands Award, BCO 2011, ICE 2011, ISE 2011, Rose Design 2011, CIPR Pride 2011 and BCIA 2011, there’s no doubt that The Cube is an amazing addition to the Birmingham landscape.

Ben Newman of Tristan said “We’ve got some really exciting ideas for what is already a great building and are pleased to be working closely with Neil and drawing on his knowledge of the local market.”

The residential elements of The Cube have been retained by Aruna Project and Neil will continue to manage the sales of any remaining apartments.

Neil commented “The Cube has been a really interesting and challenging project and I am proud to have achieved our original ambition of creating a building that would stand tall on the architectural world stage.  I’m delighted to be staying involved with The Cube and am sure that EDG Property can continue to add value to the asset.  I look forward to working with the Tristan team and making many more exciting announcements for the City and for The Cube.”


EDG Property was established in 2010 as a Property, Development & Construction consultancy operating across the UK and working with leading financial institutions in the work out and disposal of challenging assets.

Tristan Capital Partners is an employee-owned investment management boutique specialising in public and private market real estate investment strategies across the UK and Continental Europe.

Tristan is the Portfolio Manager for Curzon Capital Partners III and for the private equity funds European Property Investors, LP , European Property Investors Special Opportunities, LP and EPISO 3 LP. Its pan-European real estate funds include core-plus and value-added/opportunistic strategies with total assets under management of €3.5 Billion. Tristan’s headquarters are in London and it has offices in Luxembourg, Milan, Paris, Stockholm, Dusseldorf and Warsaw. 

Please check out the new Tristan web-app – available for download at

As this year’s Midlands Property Quiz Chair, Neil Edginton of EDG Property is proud to announce that an incredible £34,000 was raised on the night, twice the amount of last year, for charities Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Lionheart.

Compered by property professional John Griffiths, the annual black tie event saw Aston Villa’s Holte Suite transformed into a glamorous Monte Carlo set with Williams F1 race cars, a casino and cocktails. John was accompanied by special guest Ed James of Heart Breakfast who hosted the Music Round.

Fidelis Navas of Birmingham Children’s Hospital said “I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone for raising money for our Paediatric Intensive Care Unit.  The unit treats over 4000 children every year, from across the UK.

Since 2005 the Midlands Property Quiz has raised an incredible amount for Birmingham Children’s Hospital. We cannot thank you enough for the difference you have made to the lives of thousands of sick children.”

Neil concluded, “I am delighted that the event was such a success.  Many thanks to our main sponsors Santander, Faithful & Gould and Ellis Clowes and to all those that donated the fantastic auction prizes, such as Hollywood Monster’s 40ft motor yacht.”