Colors: Blue Color

Craig Cooper has been announced as Birmingham City Council’s new permanent Strategic Director of City Operations. The appointment marks a return to the city for Craig, who spearheaded the council’s role in the hugely successful Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, for which he was the authority’s Programme Director.

The Games were an amazing success for the city, with over five million visitors attracted to Birmingham during the unforgettable fortnight of the event, which projected the city to a global media audience, kickstarted an investment programme worth £700million+ for north west Birmingham and acted as the launchpad for a Golden Decade of Opportunity.

The people of Perry Barr are being given the chance to work with artists to create a mosaic for display at Perry Barr railway station.

Local people and community groups will be able to create mini masterpieces on tiles by pressing tools or items of their choosing into the clay. The soft tiles will then be processed and fired and finally carefully assembled to create a mosaic depicting a Perry Barr railway station sign.

Passengers planning on using the West Coast main line this Easter are being advised to travel either side of the bank holiday with major improvements to a railway junction in Watford closing Euston for four days. Network Rail is investing £10.8m to upgrade track and overhead lines on the West Coast South route to improve future journeys between London and Crewe. The main focus for engineers will be the final phase to overhaul Watford junction which first began three years ago. The £15m project has seen track and signalling systems remodelled so more trains can run on the route into the capital in future.

Rail passengers travelling on the Cross City line between Birmingham and Lichfield this Easter are being advised to check before they travel during major work to replace a railway bridge.

Network Rail is investing £4m to upgrade the structure which takes the Sutton Park freight line over the Cross City line in Sutton Coldfield. The essential work will keep freight moving across the Midlands and mean more reliable journeys for passengers on both important rail routes in future.

The English Cities Fund (ECF), the joint venture between nationwide placemaker, Muse, Legal & General, one of the UK’s leading financial services groups and major global investor, and Homes England, has signed a memorandum of understanding with City of Wolverhampton Council.

After joining forces on a Wolverhampton panel session at leading property forum MIPIM last week, ECF will work closely with the local authority to identify future regeneration opportunities.

Because many American Muslims trace their ancestry to other corners of the globe, Ramadan traditions in the United States are diverse. Immigrants often recall their first Ramadan in the United States as a time they learned new customs. 

Rizwan Jaka, born in Chicago and a member of the All Dulles Area Muslim Society (ADAMS) in the Washington area, notes that many fellow congregants are immigrants or have an international heritage like his — he has roots in India, Pakistan and Mexico.

New research suggesting policies to address racism and improve diversity in UK newsrooms are failing, is to be launched at an event hosted by the Sir Lenny Henry Centre for Media Diversity at Birmingham City University and the Film & TV Charity.

The report, “Structural racism in UK newsrooms: Experiences of Black journalists”, researched and written by Dr Aida Al-Kaisy on behalf of the Ethical Journalism Network and funded by the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, will be launched at the Film & TV Charity’s London office on Monday 27 March 2023. 

UK government leaders have continued to appeal for relatives of one of the country's last Black veterans of World War II to come forward after he died alone and apparently childless.

Born in 1926 in Jamaica, Flight Sergeant Peter Brown was one of many who signed up for the British armed forces from the country's imperial territories. Aged only around 17, he trained in Canada and joined the Royal Air Force in September 1943, serving as a wireless operator and air gunner in Lancaster bombers, according to The Sun newspaper.

A major new TV and film studios in Birmingham is expected to create more than 700 jobs. Construction has started on Digbeth Loc. Studios, set up by Peaky Blinder's creator Steven Knight.

The site has been confirmed as the location for a new Peaky Blinder's movie, and is hoped to grow the local production industry. "It's going to change the nature of the opportunities for people in this city," Steven said.

Speaking at the Fazeley Street site's launch, the screenwriter said filming for the Peaky Blinders movie would start there soon, with a call for extras to be issued shortly. "All you need is a haircut - and a cap," he added.

The region’s economy will be powered up by the levelling up zones to be established by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) as part of the ground-breaking Deeper Devolution Deal. Six zones have already been identified as having the potential to accelerate growth, development and regeneration.

Key investment sites within each will be unlocked by a new agreement with the Government that enables the region to retain Business Rates growth over the next 25 years, worth around £500 million.

When the Most Reverend Michael Curry was a boy, he gave up Bazooka bubble gum for Lent, just as many Christian children give up chocolate or some other candy.

Now, as presiding bishop and primate of The Episcopal Church, Curry sees more clearly what Lent means.

The Junior Rowing Academy programme at Leeds Rowing Club have purchased vital new equipment thanks to a grant from enfinium as part of its nearby Skelton Grange energy from waste project. A £50,000 Community Benefit Fund has been made available to community groups and organisations in Leeds during the construction phase of enfinium Skelton Grange, which is scheduled for completion in 2025.

Dudley Council bosses have welcomed news of multi-million Government funding for the Metro expansion from Wednesbury into Brierley Hill.

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced in parliament that Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) is to get £60 million towards the completion of the second phase of the scheme. The first phase, from Wednesbury into Dudley town centre, is already well under way and is expected to be carrying passengers by next year.

The Coronation Champions Awards have been backed by a star-studded list of ambassadors, with celebrities supporting the awards and praising the efforts of volunteers across the UK. The exciting new awards launched by Royal Voluntary Service and Her Majesty The Queen Consort, have attracted the attention of big names including Dame Judi Dench, Alex Jones, Gethin Jones, Tasha Ghouri, Sam Ryder, Elaine Paige, Tom Read Wilson, Felicity Kendal and Nadiya Hussain.