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November 2014

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Homebuyers are wowed by the zinc factor BUSINESSES AND POLICE TEAM UP TO BEAT SHOP CRIME Safety first: (l to r) Brian Lee, Harborne Business Assoc; Mike Pearce and Liz Worrall of Waitrose; and Sergeant Scott Edwards, Harborne Neighbourhood Team

SHOPPERS and retailers can look forward to a safer and more secure High Street in Harborne thanks to the refurbishment of its Retail Radio Network security system. The 24 handsets provide shopkeepers with a radio link from shop to shop and direct to the local neighbourhood police team if they experience shop theft. The 20-year-old system had been in urgent need of an overhaul – and the

Harborne Business Association stepped in to help. It took over the management of the network and instigated a rolling programme of repairs with the help of committee member Brian Lee, a cab driver with TOA Taxis. The repairs are now complete and Sergeant Scott Edwards, of the Harborne neighborhood police team, said he was delighted at the re-launch of the network. “It’s crucial in combating retail crime

on the high street and we aim to work very closely with the Harborne Business Association as part of our ‘shop watch’ scheme," he said. The network’s base station is hosted at Waitrose. Duty manager Liz Worrall said: “It’s an invaluable system. It makes potential shoplifters think twice and if we experience an incident, we can warn other shops straight away.” Join the HBA / Page 4

By PHIL BROWN editor@hem-life.co.uk

P

EOPLE visiting the popular School Yard complex in Harborne High Street will see a striking piece of new architecture emerge on site in the months ahead. Work has started on phase two of the £5.5 million development the construction of 12 residential apartments and a townhouse. And the scene is set for the building to become almost as much a talking point as The Cube because the winning design by BPN Architects involves finishing the building in black zinc. All but one of the residential apartments, which ranged in price from £160,000 to £400,000, has been sold. The Cube and The School Yard are both developments by EDG Property - and managing director Neil Edginton has recently spent two weeks travelling around the country to scrutinise the finer details of similar zinc buildings in order to refine the Harborne design. “It’s not as radical as The Cube but it’s sure to get people talking,” said Neil. “It’s important to get the best possible finish you can and we've visited Stockport, Reading, Bath, Nottingham and Cambridge University to work out the best finishes. "We saw good examples and we saw bad and we learnt an awful lot. This building will be an amazing piece of architecture with a real wow factor. I'm sure some won't like it but it will get get people talking! And it will help to grow Harborne's reptutation as a great place to live, shop and dine out." Phase one work at The School

Yard saw the former Victorian Clock Tower, Grade II listed building intricately transformed into a 21st century haven for diners and coffee lovers. It officially opened in December 2014 and is now home to Boston Tea Party, Prezzo and Urban Coffee. The Harborne Food School will open in January 2015. Worcestershire-based Spectus Construction were awarded the £2.1 million build contract for phase two, which will be completed in 2015. "It's exciting seeing the School Yard becoming established as a place and as a brand," said Neil. "Nothing existed here and when you hear people saying 'I'll meet you at the School Yard' it gives you a really rewarding feeling as a developer."

A CGI of the School Yard residential development, finished in zinc.

School Yard Xmas

L

ive music, fine food, mulled wine and mulled coffee are some of the ingredients on the festive menu at The School Yard Square in Harborne every Tuesday and Wednesday evening in the run up to Christmas. Details / Page 9

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