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Feb 2013

Contractor appointed at The School Yard as work starts onsite

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.