Colors: Purple Color

West Midlands MEP, Daniel Dalton hosted the successful launch of the West Midlands Brussels Network. The network is aiming to bring together a coherent set of voices from across the spectrum with over 40 people in attendance from the region’s leading businesses, stakeholders and international universities. It aims to emulate the German model, which has been very successful in co-ordinating different cultural and economic sectors to promote individual regions both in Europe and across the world.

The Student Loans Company has reported an increase in scam emails, targeting students’ last – and largest – loan instalment for the year. The Company has closed down a number of scam sites and are closely monitoring the new wave of phishing emails, which are being sent to students, sponsors and the general public.

Spring is traditionally a good time to sell your property, and with more properties coming to the market, here are a few simple improvements that can be made to increase the changes of a successful move.  Whether it’s with price or presentation, Lucy Blythe of Savills residential in the West Midlands gives us her dos and don’ts for selling at this time of year.

BCA Wolverhampton is a modern remarketing facility, with two auction lanes and undercover viewing for 300 vehicles.  The centre is located on the outskirts of Bilston with excellent access via J10 of the M6.  The centre is managed by Jim Wilson, who has been with BCA for nearly 30 years and formerly managed BCA’s Walsall and Birmingham centres. 

A new showhome has opened to the public at one of Bellway’s most popular sites in the West Midlands. The four-bedroom Belmont showhome was recently launched at Forest Oak, a development of 38 new homes being built on land off of Birmingham Road. The development is one of Bellway’s latest contributions to the regeneration of North Solihull and features properties ranging in size from one-bedroom apartments to five-bedroom houses.

Following the announcement by Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell that Labour will back new businesses through the creation of 'strategic entrepreneurial hubs' to provide support for over 20,000 extra entrepreneurs a year at an annual cost of £25 million, Black Country Chamber of Commerce President Adrian Wright said: “We very much support the creation of 20,000 new businesses but the Labour Party must not fall into the trap of wanting the state to provide what the private sector does best.

Commenting on the ministerial response to the Migration Advisory Committee’s Tier 2 review, Keith Bryan, CEO of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are very disappointed that the government has accepted the recommendation to introduce the Immigration Skills Charge, and other measures from the Migration Advisory Committee. These measures are bad news for business and will damage the UK’s reputation as a global business hub."

MPs in the House of Commons voted in favour of phase one of the HS2 rail link project, which will run between London and Birmingham. The legislation will now go to the House of Lords. High Speed UK (HSUK) experts, Colin Elliff and Quentin Macdonald, founders said: “It is deeply worrying that only one option for a high speed rail line has ever been presented to Parliament. There is no evidence that HS2, either with or without HS3, has ever been designed as a national network and there has been no consideration as to how the line will operate.

The Black Country Chamber Manufacturing Links Group met to listen to experts in manufacturing and in sales. During the meeting the group received the results from the Black Country Business Indicator for Q1 2016 which shows a significant recovery from Q4 2015 on UK and export sales and orders. Manufacturers are taking on more employees but are still struggling to find people with the appropriate skills.

Incoming police and crime commissioners must commit to do everything in their power to tackle fraud, Financial Fraud Action UK says, as it asks all candidates in next month’s elections to commit to a series of pledges to combat the crime. Financial Fraud Action UK is asking every candidate running in next month’s police and crime commissioner elections to make tackling financial fraud and cybercrime a priority if they are elected.

Four Manchester City players have experienced the Dream Job Swap, becoming racing drivers for a day and being tutored by some of Nissan's best GT Academy drivers. David Silva, Bacary Sagna, Fernando and Eliaquim Mangala got behind the wheel of Nissan's Juke NISMO RS and took to the track with professional motorsport drivers Jann Mardenborough, Miguel Faisca, Ricardo Sanchez, Lucas Ordóñez for a car control session. 

The British Safety Council has published the names of organisations shortlisted for the Sector Awards of the International Safety Awards 2016. The winners in each of nine Sector Award categories will be announced by Lynda Armstrong OBE, Chair of Trustees, and Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, at the International Safety Awards Gala Dinner that will take place at the Grosvenor House in London on Friday 6 May 2016.

Tesco has announced that it will invest £6 million over two years to help support British agriculture. The retailer has created the new Tesco Cheese Group (TCG), which will guarantee dairy farmers an above market price for the milk they produce for Tesco's British own-label Mild, Medium, Mature, Extra Mature, Red Leicester and Double Gloucester cheese. The move will deliver a fair and consistent pricing model for UK farmers, and will provide them with the security and ability to plan ahead for the future.

PwC welcomed the Prime Minister, David Cameron, to its Birmingham office on Tuesday 5th April. He spoke on the UK's position within the EU and hosted a question and answer session with hundreds of PwC employees. During his opening remarks to PwC staff, the Prime Minister stressed the importance of the EU referendum for a whole generation and said that a vote to leave would create a great deal of uncertainty for UK business for an extended period of time.

Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) has unveiled its biggest membership review for years – with exclusive new benefits to meet the needs of all its clients in the fast-changing business world. The region’s largest business support network hailed the introduction of the new look 21st century membership packages as a major turning point in the long and distinguished history of an organisation whose roots date back to the Napoleonic Wars.