Colors: Purple Color

A shocking 45% of people in the West Midlands live in homes which fail to meet the ‘Living Home Standard’ – a new measure of what makes an acceptable home, developed as part of ground-breaking new research. Designed to be the housing equivalent of the Living Wage, the new Living Home Standard has been developed by the public, for the public through a series of discussion groups, workshops and surveys. For the first time it reveals a measure of what the public think they should have from a home in order to live, rather than just get by.

City of Wolverhampton Council planners have been praised for their support in the refurbishment of a landmark Grade II-listed Wolverhampton building for luxury serviced offices. The former HMRC VAT office at Deansgate on Tettenhall Road has been converted into 28 offices, ranging in size from 1,540 sq ft to 226 sq ft, following a £2.8 million investment by developer and local businessman Surj Dhami.

A third of young adults can't hang a picture or change a light bulb and a quarter admit they can't even boil an egg, according to a shocking new study by Poundland. It seems that although millennials may be social media and smart phone savvy the majority do not have the skills that the older generations took for granted.  The study revealed that 77 per cent of 25-34 year olds could not fix a bike puncture, 37 per cent cannot bake a cake and 39 per cent couldn’t paint/decorate a room.

Birmingham must seize the opportunity to excel on a global scale, Chamber delegates have been told. Speaking at a briefing for Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly business report, Birmingham Airport chief executive Paul Kehoe called on local businesses to work together to show that the region is a great place to invest. Mr Kehoe, who last week took over as president of GBCC, reinforced his message about geography, scale and Birmingham’s place in the world.

The two Wolverhampton companies that braved the Wolves’ Den and came out with £10,000 of KPMG business support have been announced. City of Wolverhampton Council joined forces with the leading professional services firm during Business Week to offer local SMEs the chance to pitch to a panel of experienced business professionals and partners from KPMG.

Branston, one of the UK's biggest potato suppliers, has officially opened its £5 million prepared potato factory extension in partnership with Tesco. Producing around 3,500 tonnes of potatoes each week for sale in Tesco stores across the UK, the new factory expansion includes the introduction of two new batch peeling lines, making it one of the largest peeling and processing facilities in the UK.

The British Safety Council has announced the winners of this year’s Sword of Honour and Globe of Honour awards for the exemplary management of health, safety and environmental risks by businesses around the world. The 64 Sword of Honour and 18 Globe of Honour winning companies have demonstrated to an independent adjudication panel a proven track record of excellence in managing risks to workers’ health and safety and/or to the environment from the organisations’ activities.

MPs and other opinion formers taking a break from the Conservative Party Conference last week were told that devolution could be one way to achieve an education system that was attuned to local business needs. Francis Martin, President of the British Chambers of Commerce, told a fringe event at the Conference that business needed a more locally-focused education system to meet the challenges of future growth.

International visitors spent an extra £800 million across the nations and regions of Britain in the last year as a result of work by the national tourism agency VisitBritain, latest figures show.  This means that every £1 invested in VisitBritain’s activities resulted in an overseas visitor spending £23 in Britain. Domestic visitors spent an additional £97.2 million in England as a result of VisitEngland’s 2015 ‘Holidays at Home are GREAT’ campaign.

In a year of turbulence, now more than ever it is clear that the retail industry is having to up its game. This necessity led to Hollywood Monster’s thought leadership event that took place at its Tyseley headquarters earlier this week and gave the industry’s leading experts congregate to discuss what’s in-store for the sector’s future. From big names going bust to the ominous uncertainty of Brexit; from the potential of digital marketplace to the evolution of the physical retail landscape; from £7million Christmas adverts to infomercials on Youtube: no subject was out of bounds.

A major event designed to boost trade links between the West Midlands and Frankfurt is taking place on 17 November at the headquarters of Birmingham Chamber, in Harborne Road, Edgbaston. The business briefing will be attended by many leading figures from the German city, including the Lord Mayor, Peter Feldmann, and Eric Menges, president and CEO of FrankfurtRheinMain GmbH, who will deliver a keynote address.

Black Country Chamber of Commerce has been awarded with the Armed Forces Covenant Employer Recognition Scheme (ERS) Bronze Award. This follows on from their commitment made to the Armed Forces in May 2016 when the Chamber signed up to the Armed Forces Covenant. The ERS recognises commitment and support from UK employers for defence personnel. The scheme comprises bronze, silver and gold awards for employers who support those who serve or have served in the Armed Forces, and their families.