Colors: Purple Color

Travellers across the Midlands will soon be able to book flights to Orlando – thanks to a new codeshare agreement between Virgin Atlantic and Europe’s leading regional airline, Flybe. From April 2 customers will be able to book tickets through Virgin Atlantic to travel from 18 UK and European airports served by Flybe, and connect onto their Virgin Atlantic flight at Manchester, Glasgow and London Gatwick airport.

MedicAnimal has announced a new partnership with Cats Protection, the UK’s leading feline welfare charity. MedicAnimal will be donating a percentage of orders on pet care products to Cats Protection when customers use the relevant code at checkout. Donation options start at 1 per cent on a first order and increase up to 5 per cent for customers who order 6 or more times.

A Digbeth-based motorcycle manufacturing start-up is the latest business to benefit from investment by Birmingham City Council. Mutt Motorcycles has received the financial boost from the council’s £5 million Creative Fund, which is managed by Finance Birmingham. Alongside investment from Ascension Ventures and two angel investors, the funding will be used to regenerate an underused warehouse and archway space at the Custard Factory, where Mutt Motorcycles has secured a leasing agreement.

A staggering 67% of people in the West Midlands fear it will be impossible for future generations to have a home to settle down in, new research by housing and homelessness charity Shelter reveals. The Ipsos MORI survey, commissioned by Shelter and British Gas as part of a new study into the meaning of home in Great Britain today, exposes alarming social trends caused by the current housing shortage.

Ovivo has become the first business to sign up for the top grade office space on offer at i10. The worldwide expert in water treatment will soon occupy the 11,000 sq ft second floor of the £10.6 million city centre development, which was only completed in December. Ovivo opted for i10 as opposed to a number of other options in Telford, Staffordshire and elsewhere in the Midlands, after deciding to relocate its UK headquarters from Wednesfield as part of expansion plans.

Birmingham business leaders have accused the Chancellor of shunning the West Midlands in his Budget – and warned the region would not be relegated to ‘second best.’ Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce went on the attack after George Osborne made no mention of the Midlands Engine in his Budget Day speech – despite announcing significant investment in the Northern Powerhouse.

Leading Midlands Wealth Management and Financial Planning firm, Cooper Parry Wealth has expanded its service offering in the West Midlands with the launch of a new wealth management team. This follows the merger of PKF Cooper Parry with established West Midlands accountants Clement Keys at the turn of the year. The new team, which will be headed-up by chief executive Stephen Jones, will be based at the firm’s Edgbaston offices.

The parliamentary committee for the Policing and Crime Bill heard from the leader of the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) that there is no appetite among firefighters or the public for a police takeover of the fire and rescue service. Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary, told the committee: “It’s no secret that we don’t support this shift….there is no appetite among firefighters and there is no public appetite for it."

UK grandparents are Super Generous (‘Super G’) when it comes to giving money to their grandchildren, with £6.4bn gifted in the past year to those under 18 years, according to new research from Orbis Access. On average, grandparents said they gave all their grandchildren a total of £547 in financial gifts over the past year, or £209 per grandchild. Among the gifts given are cash, contributions to hobbies, school fees and savings and investments made on their behalf.

A council worker became a life saver when she came to a rescue of a service user who had become unwell. City of Wolverhampton Council Housing Outreach Officer Andrea Smart became concerned when she rang one of her regular clients to arrange a home visit. She thought something didn’t seem “quite right” while speaking to the 60-year-old woman on the phone. The service user said she was okay, but Andrea wasn’t convinced and asked if she could call round to see her.

Responding to surveys that suggest as few as 3% of manufacturers and 28% of service sector leaders understand the implications of EU reforms on their own businesses, Keith Bryan, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is clear that with the referendum imminent, many private sector leaders do not have enough information to assess the impact on their business of either staying in or leaving the EU.

Despite UK house prices hitting near record levels, it’s still possible to find a bargain on the property market. Research has found some of the cheapest properties currently for sale in the UK, that are literally the price of a new car. How about a property for the price of a Ford Fiesta? In Preston, there is a flat for sale in Ribbleton for just £15,000. A new Ford Fiesta Titanium will set you back £15,295.

The West Brom is a significant step closer to completing the move to its prestigious new headquarters. Contractors have formally handed over the 70,000 sq ft premises at Providence Place in West Bromwich town centre, a step referred to as ‘practical completion’. Work to equip and furnish the building has now begun and colleagues will relocate from the West Brom’s current office on High Street on a phased basis across the next eight weeks.