Colors: Purple Color

Greater Birmingham’s manufacturing industry is booming compared to the rest of the UK. Forty per cent of manufacturers reported increased domestic sales in Q2, up from 33 per cent in Q1. That’s in contrast with British Chambers’ Q2 UK figures, where only 20 per cent reported increased domestic sales.

Over 500 small business owners from across the West Midlands filled Birmingham Town Hall to learn how to use social media to grow their business. Local businesses were given practical tips on how to use Facebook to reach new customers and improve their bottom line, as well as hearing first-hand experience from other successful businesses. Enterprise Nation were also on hand to offer 1:1 guidance and advice.  

National research tracking the actions of UK pension planners imminently affected by the April 6th pension reforms has unveiled 73% of those aged 55+ (and financially eligible) have chosen not to withdraw any funds since the freedoms became available. This is despite 60.4% of the same survey sample intending to do so in April, 2015 - before the reforms went live.

Following months of anticipation, the developers of the long awaited Grand Central Birmingham have announced that the doors will be opening to the public on Thursday, September 24, 2015. The city’s new £150 million premium retail and dining destination will see the arrival of one of the biggest John Lewis department stores in the UK and will coincide with the completion of the world-class Birmingham New Street station which will transform rail travel for millions of passengers using it every year.

More than one in five English local authorities expects to become part of a new combined authority, governed by an elected mayor, by 2020, according to a new report from PwC.  That figure has soared since before the general election when a mere 12% of local authority chief executives and leaders told PwC they expected to integrate into a new combined authority.

With the school summer holidays drawing closer, employers and parents are being reminded of the rules regarding the employment of children who are still of compulsory school age. Many children will be looking for ‘something to do’ during the summer break, while at the same time earning some extra money – but there are regulations which exist to safeguard the health and well-being of children while they are at work, and to make their first taste of work pleasant and rewarding.

Wolverhampton City Council has begun plans for a Goodyear taskforce to help employees who are expected to lose their jobs after the iconic city employer announced plans to close its plant. Goodyear revealed it intended to shut its Stafford Road site and end its 88-year association with Wolverhampton.

Conservative MEPs, including Consumer Spokesman and Internal Market Coordinator Daniel Dalton, have launched a campaign "The Digital Single Market - What's In It For Britain" to promote the UK's digital economy. The digital and tech sectors already support almost one and a half million jobs in the UK, and the e-commerce market in the UK is valued at over €100bn, the largest in the EU.

The first housing developer on the Bilston Urban Village site has been confirmed – and advanced works on the multi-million pound regeneration project are well underway.  Kier will begin work on 78 homes between Dudley Street and Carder Crescent in January as Wolverhampton City Council set about helping to deliver up to 500 homes on land south of the town centre and Black Country Route.