Colors: Purple Color

In Edinburgh the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, will announce a package of over 30 regulatory reforms to secure the UK’s place as the world’s foremost financial centre. The “Edinburgh Reforms” will build on the unparalleled strength of the UK’s financial services sector, taking advantage of the opportunities provided by the UK’s exit from the European Union to tailor regulations to suit the country’s needs.

Workers at the ASIRT charity in Birmingham have announced they will take strike action on 21 December in response to a range of issues with the management of the charity and a refusal to recognise their trade union of choice.

The striking workers, members of the United Voices of the World (UVW) union, are calling for the charity to stop the planned dissolution and instead keep providing vital services to the migrant and refugee communities in Birmingham.

Paperplanes, UK's leading programmatic direct mail marketing capability, today announced new business initiatives to reinforce the company's commitment to green business practices. The company is partnering with environmental organisation TeamTrees and promising a donation towards reforestry.

Teamtrees began as the most ambitious influencer of public crowdfunding, raising over $24 million by July 2022, and continuously raising to plant in new areas and projects around the globe.

The approach of a new year usually brings a frisson of excitement, with the promise of fresh starts and a business climate packed with people reinvigorated after the Christmas break. Yet with Chancellor Jeremy Hunt confirming that the UK economy has fallen into recession, many businesses are finding it tougher than usual to think positively as we head towards 2023.

The Bank of England’s expectation that the “prolonged” recession will last into the first half of 2024 certainly doesn’t help when it comes to being optimistic.

Midlands-based planning consultancy Marrons Planning is expanding its service lines and geography with the creation of a new Bristol-based architecture team as part of the consultancy’s growth strategy into the South West. To reflect its growing service offering including planning, master planning, architecture, urban design and socio-economics, the brand is also updating its name and going to market as ‘Marrons’.

HSBC says it will close 114 more branches in the UK from April, as customers using them have fallen significantly since the pandemic. The bank said it would try to redeploy affected staff but that about 100 would lose their jobs.

Banks have closed hundreds of branches in recent years as more people bank online and lenders cut costs. HSBC said it will invest tens of millions updating and improving its remaining 327 UK branches.

A trainee solicitor who showed drive and determination to pursue a career in law has been named ‘Apprentice of the Year’ at a regional awards ceremony.

Holly Moxon from Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors picked up the award at the 2022 in-Cumbria Business Awards which took place at The Halston in Carlisle. Holly was the first apprentice solicitor in Cumbria and is currently five years into a six-year apprenticeship with Cartmell Shepherd, which operates across Cumbria and Northumberland.

After her original plan to study law at university didn’t work out, she spotted an opening for an 18-month apprenticeship in business administration at the legal firm and identified it as an alternative way to get started in the industry. During her initial apprenticeship, she impressed the team with her positive attitude, enthusiasm and hard work which led to Cartmell Shepherd offering her a position as an apprentice solicitor.

Holly now uses her experience to inspire other young people to consider apprenticeships, giving career talks at local schools and events and acting as a mentor for those keen to follow a similar path. She said: “I think it’s important that young people are aware of alternative opportunities which are available.

“My apprenticeship allows me to combine work and study which means I can put into practice the theory I’ve learnt at university through practical, on-the-job experience. The team at Cartmell Shepherd are fantastic and have encouraged and supported me throughout my training.

“As part of my apprenticeship, I get to spend time in all of the firm’s departments which gives me a high quality understanding of different aspects of the profession.” Holly’s course involves one day of online study each week through a programme run by the BPP University in Manchester, with the other four days spent working at Cartmell Shepherd.

Managing Director of Cartmell Shepherd Solicitors, Peter Stafford, said: “Legal apprenticeships offer great opportunities to identify and nurture talent. Holly is a great asset to Cartmell Shepherd and we are delighted that her hard work, commitment and dedication have been recognised by winning this award.”

Now in its sixth year, the in-Cumbria Business Awards celebrate the achievements of Cumbria’s business community across 12 categories. Cartmell Shepherd recently launched a new training programme offering graduates a more flexible route to qualifying as a solicitor.

As part of the scheme, law graduates have the chance to work part-time as a paralegal for Cartmell Shepherd while studying for their Law Practice Course (LPC) professional qualification, gaining valuable, on-the-job experience.

Organisations across the region have officially been recognised by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) for their work in actively promoting the health and wellbeing of their staff.

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands and Dr Julie Nugent, the WMCA’s executive director for economic delivery, skills and communities, joined a virtual event this week in which 53 employers received accreditation for their work under the Thrive at Work scheme.

Tackling inflation, protecting public services and investing in infrastructure were at the heart of Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s visit to Birmingham today, where he met NHS staff working on the frontline and reiterated his commitment to a major new rail line.

The Chancellor visited Solihull Hospital, run by University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, where he saw the Minor Injuries Unit which is being remodelled and spoke to patients and students before leading a roundtable with doctors and nurses.

International multi-asset broker, Vantage (also known as Vantage Markets), has announced its participation and sponsorship of the Finance Magnates London Summit for the second year running, with a renewed push for ESG. This year, Vantage was accompanied by their partner NEOM McLaren Extreme E to exhibit the fully electric SUV vehicle - named ODYSSEY 21 - at Old Billingsgate in London, next to the outdoor gazebo.

Faced with the uncertainty of the coming months, it is more important than ever for businesses in Greater Birmingham to work together to overcome tough hurdles and seize opportunities, the annual meeting of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) was told today. 

Greg Lowson, in his first year as GBCC chairman following the retirement of David Waller, was speaking to members at the Edgbaston cricket stadium.

An innovative scheme set up by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to fund apprenticeship training for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) is within touching distance of its £40m target.

The region’s Apprenticeship Levy Transfer Scheme now stands at £39.6m and the WMCA has launched a fresh push to get even more SMEs to take advantage of it through its levy donor delivery partners.