Author Archives: Kate

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: 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

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.”

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.