Colors: Purple Color

A charity which supports the life-saving work of babies and children suffering from some of the most severe immune conditions, today launches its biggest ever fundraising appeal – ‘Bubbles for the Bubble’. The Bubble Foundation UK works in partnership with the Children’s Bone Marrow Transplant Unit, and supports families from across the world out of its base at the Great North Children’s Hospital, Newcastle.

West Midlands companies with ambitions of going global or that want to expand their international reach are invited to a series of events during Export Week this November. Tickets are already being snapped up for the UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Export Week events, which run from November  9 to 13 and aim to offer advice on how to build contacts in new markets and boost export sales.

Work is under way to demolish four underused maisonette blocks in Shard End to make way for 12 new family homes built by Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT), Birmingham City Council’s award-winning house-building programme. The three-storey maisonette blocks, built in 1955, have been in low demand and are considered to be economically unviable to refurbish.

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) West Midlands is running a masterclass on German culture and language for businesses that are looking to export to this European giant. In 2014, exports of goods to Germany from the West Midlands were worth £2.6 billion, up five per cent on the previous year, making it the region’s third largest export market.

England may have crashed out of the Rugby World Cup, but the West Midlands continues to fly the flag for the sport that was invented in the region. UK Trade and Investment (UKTI), which has hosted a number of exporting events in the region to mark the fact that two of the games were held at Aston Villa Football Club, has supported the production of a short film to celebrate the region’s connections to the game.

The key winner of the 12th Solihull Chamber awards is Melanie Palmer, who is the director of the town’s Business Improvement District (BID). Melanie was named ‘Solihull Business Person of the Year’ at the awards, which took place at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole last Friday.

City of Wolverhampton Council picked up a ‘Highly Commended’ honour at the Federation of Small Businesses Local Authority Small Business Friendly Awards on Friday. The Black Country GOLD initiative was recognised in the Best ‘Small Business Friendly’ Programme or Campaign category at the Edgbaston ceremony. The scheme has been led by Wolverhampton in partnership with Dudley, Sandwell and Walsall councils, and the University of Wolverhampton.

Green Party deputy leader Amelia Womack has said her party will aim for women to make up at least 50 per cent of its candidates at next year’s London Assembly, Welsh Assembly and local council elections. Her comments came in response to Sex and Power, a report from the ‘Counting Women In’ coalition that showed 37 per cent of Green Party candidates at this year’s general election were women – more than any other political party.

A plan to regenerate the Snow Hill and Colmore areas of the city centre and replicate the success of London’s Canary Wharf is set to be adopted. The Snow Hill masterplan is a £600 million scheme aimed at transforming the business district and bringing in further investment from global business, professional and financial services firms. The 20-year plan provides a framework to create 10,000 new jobs, generate over 200,000 sqm of new office space and boost the economy by more than £600 million a year.