Colors: Blue Color

More than 90 delegates representing 58 Commonwealth nations and territories have visited the West Midlands this week as part of their preparations for the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games.

The delegates who represented nations and territories from all six regions of the Commonwealth, were able to tour venues, visit villages and meet with key members of staff from Birmingham 2022 and the Commonwealth Games Federation, to discuss important topics such as sport, village accommodation, accreditation, ceremonies and transport.

Evocative images taken by renowned photographer Vanley Burke will join archival material from his personal collection, in a new exhibition opening at Soho House, Handsworth in May, as part of the Birmingham 2022 Festival, taking visitors on a journey through the artist’s history and the Black British experience.

Opening on Wednesday 25 May, Blood & Fire: Our Journey Through Vanley Burke's History, will see Burke re-examine his personal collection.

Warwickshire's Royal Connections make it just the place to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee in 2022. 

To mark the anniversary of Elizabeth II's accession to the throne in 1952, Visit Warwickshire has created a new guide, "In The Footsteps of Royalty", packed with royal-themed ideas about what to do and see and where to eat, drink, and stay. During her 70-year reign, the Queen has visited Warwickshire on many occasions.

Birmingham 2022 is looking for BMX and mountain bike riders from across the West Midlands to volunteer to be a part of the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

The Opening Ceremony will take place on the 28 July at the newly transformed Alexander Stadium in Perry Barr in front of a 30,000 capacity crowd. It will also be broadcast across the globe to millions of people.

Warwickshire Cricket Board (WCL) is building on the success of its Midnight Ramadan Cricket League, which launched last summer, by developing a new adult tournament which is open for registration.

Over three weeks of Ramadan, the opening times of the Edgbaston Cricket Centre are extending to midnight on Tuesday and Thursday to deliver the Ramadan Midnight League. Youths aged 16-24 will play on Tuesdays as part of the Chance to Shine Street programme with the adult tournament taking place on Thursdays.

The Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games continues to grow as two further additions are made to the sponsor family. The two new providers join Birmingham 2022 at a crucial time, with less than five months to go until the opening ceremony.

The eyes of more than a billion people around the world will be fixed on the West Midlands this summer, and the resources and knowledge offered by these new sponsors will ensure an incredible showcase of sport, culture, and community events across the region.

Work has started to demolish an eyesore former Lanesfield pub to pave the way for potential new homes. The Rookery Tavern site on Wood Street has been subject to arson attacks, vandalism and fly-tipping since the pub closed almost seven years ago.

The current owner, Mohammed Adeel, took over the site in October 2021 and has moved quickly to start demolition after working closely with the council to ensure he meets the necessary building regulations.

Essential engineering works are being delivered over the Easter and May Day Bank Holiday weekends this year.

·         Easter: Friday 15 – Monday 18 April

·         May Day: Saturday 30 April – Monday 2 May

During this time, journeys between Birmingham – Northampton via Coventry, Leamington Spa – Nuneaton via Coventry and Birmingham – Bromsgrove/Redditch/Hereford will be impacted.

Motorists are being warned ahead of stricter new laws around using your mobile phone while behind the wheel coming into force this week.

From Friday 25th March, the new stricter laws will mean drivers cannot use a hand-held device while behind the wheel for any reason. This could be to scroll through music playlists, call somebody or even just picking it up to unlock it or check the time.

Councillors have given their backing to an action plan to further improve the 'Good'-rated Wolverhampton Youth Offending Team (YOT).

Members of HM Inspectorate of Probation visited Wolverhampton in October to assess the services provided by the multi-agency team, comprising staff from health, social care and education services, the police and the National Probation Service who work with 10 to 17-year-olds involved in the criminal justice system.

In celebration of the upcoming Sikh New Year festival, Vaisakhi (April 14) Birmingham Metro Bank is appealing for food to be donated in its High Street store in aid of a local charity - SIFAs Fireside. SIFA Fireside is a Birmingham based charity which supports adults who are homeless or vulnerably housed.

“As a community bank, Metro Bank is integral to many local fundraising events”, explains Birmingham Metro Bank store manager, Beth Freeman.

An exciting £30m tourism project that will whisk people back in time to the Black Country’s post-war heydays is set to get a major investment boost from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA).

The Black Country Living Museum is planning a range of new attractions at its site in Dudley, offering visitors a unique chance to experience what life was like in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60s.

Pots of inspiration and well-being tips, from health boosting to rest and relaxation, will be dispensed by the show gardens and new feature gardens at this year’s RHS Malvern Spring Festival, taking place at the Three Counties Showground between May 5 and 8.

TV and radio presenter and keen gardener Jo Whiley has been working with Alan Williams from Landform Consultants, whose Parsley Box Garden won the People’s Choice Award at RHS Chelsea Flower Show in 2021.

He was a “larger-than-life” character and a leading mentor to the present, and next, generation. So, the death of Handsworth-born Barrington Patterson will stay – reverberating around his home-city of Birmingham for years to come. 

A well-known community campaigner, the former member of Birmingham City F.C.'s Zulu Warriors hooligan group, ‘One-Eye Baz’ – as he became known as - would later go on to work with young people, boxing groups and anti-gang initiatives throughout the city and far beyond.

The people of Birmingham have been recognised for their compassion in the way communities have supported each other during some of the most difficult times, by being crowned the UK’s first Compassionate City on the 14th March.

Accredited by Compassionate Communities UK, the key to gaining this recognition is bringing together all areas of the local community, including Birmingham City Council, NHS, schools, cultural organisations and employers, to provide support, space, togetherness and understanding for those undergoing the experiences of death, dying, loss and caregiving.