Each month we talk to a new character in town to discuss living and working in the city. This month it’s Andrew Kay from Arkade Property
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF
I practised as a commercial and residential conveyancing solicitor for 15 years before leaving the law to found Arkade Property in 2001 with Beatriz Rose (a former client) with a view to providing an all round, ethical, estate agency business specialising in sales and lettings of residential and commercial property.
HOW DO YOU GET INTO TOWN?
A sore topic! Living in Wythall, the commute into Birmingham is a 20-mile round trip. Surprisingly, it is quicker to cycle – however, after hitting black ice and spending three days in Heartlands Hospital in February and after being knocked off by a car on a roundabout two weeks ago, I am having to reassess my commute in view of my current shortened life expectancy.
IS BRUM A GOOD PLACE TO WORK IN?
While my heart will always be in Burnley, the place of my birth and home to the magnificent Clarets, I love my adopted city. The development over the last decade has been innovative and exciting with buildings such as the Cube, the new library, Selfridges, Beetham Tower, etc. The professional community is surprisingly intimate here too.
Our new offices will be 50 metres from the Memorial Clock in the Jewellery Quarter and we are blessed with a plethora of lovely independent coffee shops. My favourite is the Pomegranate on Warstone Lane. The coffee is good and strong and the staff are always smiling.
If I take a client out, I am quite partial to the Drop Forge. The food is tasty and they have a drop forge! For the industrial historian with a penchant for gastronomy, this is the perfect place.
The Jewellery Quarter is full of nooks and crannies and history. Did you know that the All England Lawn Tennis Club paid 100 guineas for the men’s singles champion trophy, which was made by a Jewellery Quarter silversmith?
FAVOURITE PART OF THE CITY?
If I were young and single again I would choose to live on St Pauls Square – Birmingham’s Berkeley Square (but nicer). There is a perfect mixture of tranquility, class and cosmopolitan entertainment.
The best pub in the world, the Lord Clifden. It has a ‘proper pub’ feel and a secret garden. They make lovely coffee and I have been told that they serve alcohol too…
HOW CAN THE CITY BE MADE BETTER?
By Increasing the network of cycle lanes, paths and routes. The roads would be less congested, the inhabitants would be more sprightly – and I wouldn’t have as many accidents! Otherwise, Birmingham is pretty well perfect.