EDG Property is delighted to have secured an exciting Food School for The School Yard with Government advisory and businesswoman, Shaleen Meelu.

Cooking classes and support for food entrepreneurs will be on offer at Harborne Food School. The school will have a training room and a demonstration area where Ms Meelu plans to bring in chefs and farmers to give talks on food-related issues and a private dining area, which can be hired out for corporate events.

The deal means The School Yard, at Grade II Listed Clock Tower, is now fully let with Boston Tea Party recently taking the only other available space.

Ms Meelu has formed a community interest company and is backed by former PwC director Robert Smith.

She said: “The school will have a private dining room, but I also want to have a local deli, with three or four empty shelves for people who come to the food school – so we can support enterprise through the school.

“There will also be a training space. I do public health and nutrition training across the UK, so it will be an opportunity to work with people from this city.”

The school will offer basic skills classes, masterclasses including Scandanavian, South American and Middle Eastern cuisine, help for food entrepreneurs and weight management programmes.

Ms Meelu, who attended Hill Crest School in Selly Oak before studying at Imperial College London, said first and foremost the new school will aim to meet growing demand for cookery classes of varying skill, on the back of a food renaissance in the city.

She will be assisted by her sister, Kativa, who is responsible for the Berlin division of Kitchensurfing, which is behind popular street food events and private dinners.

The 39-year-old has worked with the likes of Kelloggs, Sandwell PCT and the Department of Health and advised the Government on health and nutrition issues.

As a nutrition consultancy, the school will offer help to create healthier menus, support people with conditions like diabetes and heart disease and fight obesity.

She said: “At the moment people are reprimanding members of the public for giving their children rubbish, but families need help in making the right food choices – and they want that help.

“We are not giving them that help at the moment. Our aim is to educate and support people.”

“We want things that people are interested in,” she added. “People are saying they want to do a Thai cooking course, but the training is a bit basic.

“In general there are a lot of people that have basic cooking skills but want to learn more.”

Ms Meelu has been working with Professor Janice Thompson, an expert in the field of public health, nutrition and exercise at the University of Birmingham to build up plans for the school.

She will be bidding for public sector contracts and grant funding, like the Big Lottery, for specific contracts, like working with people on issues like diabetes or heart disease.

She said Birmingham’s ethnic diversity meant that it was an ideal test bed for food issues

Neil Edginton, EDG Managing Director, said: “This does more than I originally hoped for from the food school. It is as diverse as the city it lives in. The partnerships which Shaleen is forming are with key Birmingham networks, including hospitals, colleges, local doctors’ surgeries and more. It is not only a food school, there is also a focus on the preventative and general food health.

“Shaleen has got good links through her work with the Government and assistance from a former partner at PwC to make sure it is sustainable.”

(With thanks to Graeme Brown, Birmingham Post)

EDG Property is releasing The School Yard’s next phase of apartments to the market at an exclusive appointment-only VIP event on the 2nd April 2014.

The Harborne residential scheme comprises of a contemporary zinc building, designed by award winning architects Bryant Priest Newman that complements the Grade II Listed clock tower building.

The first release of highly specified homes at The School Yard sold out at an off-plan preview event and interest levels are high for the handful of remaining apartments. Guide prices start at around £150,000 and availability is limited.

This is rare opportunity to buy a property in the centre of popular Harborne Village, with the High Street and city centre on your doorstep, yet with the privacy and comfort of a private setting.

Appointments are strictly first come first served. Please contact Andy Butts of Centrick to secure yours: andy.butts@centrickproperty.co.uk or T: 0121 347 6116.

Boston Tea Party (BTP) is pleased to announce the opening of a new café-bar at The School Yard in Harborne.

The opening is scheduled for late June 2014 and will seat around 100 guests inside, with a further 50 outside in a private walled garden at the Grade II listed landmark, The School Yard.   The new opening will create a further 20 jobs and the BTP team is now recruiting at jobs@bostonteaparty.co.uk

The School Yard is already home to national restaurant group Prezzo and Urban Coffee Company and developers EDG Property is rumored to be announcing a new food school at the clock tower scheme shortly.   This will see the development’s commercial units fully let.

Sam Roberts, Managing Director of BTP, said “Following the opening of our existing café-bar in Birmingham city centre in 2012, our customers have been suggesting we look at the surrounding areas too. We’ve been searching for suitable locations and buildings, and Harborne fitted the bill perfectly. The School Yard is a great scheme with bags of character and enables us to have an outside seating area, which we were very keen on. We hope it will be a space for the locals to come and enjoy anything from a coffee, bite to eat to a craft ale or glass of wine.”

EDG Property Managing Director Neil Edginton said “This is another great name for Harborne and shows yet further confidence in Birmingham generally.   Boston Tea Party is a great brand and adds strength to the mix of operators already open.   This will be the fifteenth site for Boston Tea Party and the first to have extended opening hours, from 7am to 11pm.   We are really proud of The School Yard and are now extremely focused on the new contemporary residential building at the scheme, which will start on site in the coming months.”