Colors: Purple Color

UK grandparents are Super Generous (‘Super G’) when it comes to giving money to their grandchildren, with £6.4bn gifted in the past year to those under 18 years, according to new research from Orbis Access. On average, grandparents said they gave all their grandchildren a total of £547 in financial gifts over the past year, or £209 per grandchild. Among the gifts given are cash, contributions to hobbies, school fees and savings and investments made on their behalf.

A council worker became a life saver when she came to a rescue of a service user who had become unwell. City of Wolverhampton Council Housing Outreach Officer Andrea Smart became concerned when she rang one of her regular clients to arrange a home visit. She thought something didn’t seem “quite right” while speaking to the 60-year-old woman on the phone. The service user said she was okay, but Andrea wasn’t convinced and asked if she could call round to see her.

Responding to surveys that suggest as few as 3% of manufacturers and 28% of service sector leaders understand the implications of EU reforms on their own businesses, Keith Bryan, Chief Executive of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: “It is clear that with the referendum imminent, many private sector leaders do not have enough information to assess the impact on their business of either staying in or leaving the EU.

Despite UK house prices hitting near record levels, it’s still possible to find a bargain on the property market. Research has found some of the cheapest properties currently for sale in the UK, that are literally the price of a new car. How about a property for the price of a Ford Fiesta? In Preston, there is a flat for sale in Ribbleton for just £15,000. A new Ford Fiesta Titanium will set you back £15,295.

The West Brom is a significant step closer to completing the move to its prestigious new headquarters. Contractors have formally handed over the 70,000 sq ft premises at Providence Place in West Bromwich town centre, a step referred to as ‘practical completion’. Work to equip and furnish the building has now begun and colleagues will relocate from the West Brom’s current office on High Street on a phased basis across the next eight weeks.

Export of goods from the West Midlands region increased to £28.97 billion last year – up 0.8% on 2014, the latest figures released by HM Revenue & Customs reveal. They also show that West Midlands remains the third largest exporting region in the country, behind South East and London, with 10.4% of total exports.

Someone paying rent for an average two bedroom home in the West Midlands would have forked out £32,313 to their landlord over the last five years, new analysis by housing and homelessness charity Shelter has revealed. This is more than the sum needed for a 20% deposit on the average first time buyer home in the region, which is currently priced at £156,548 

HSBC has chosen to relocate to Birmingham, the UK's second city, and to keep the building works under wraps, leading graphics and signage company, Hollywood Monster have manufactured and installed over 150m of giant hoardings using their creative and technical expertise since work began at 2 Arena Central, the new base of the HSBC UK headquarters.

Homebuyers in less than ten years’ time will visit properties remotely through virtual reality devices - and check out potential neighbourhoods using their own personal drones, a new report reveals. Trends analysts The Future Laboratory said the idea of actually physically visiting properties while house-hunting will be less and less common by the 2020s.

Local councils, of all political parties, have agreed that the Government’s Starter Homes policy will hinder rather than help to tackle the growing need for genuinely affordable housing in England. They have also raised concerns about the impacts of the Government’s plans to reduce social rents by 1% a year for the next four years and the extension of the Right to Buy to housing association tenants.

Businesses in the West Midlands were urged by Jajid Javid to “get engaged” in order to make the most of the opportunities offered by the government’s devolution programme and the Midlands Engine. The secretary of state for business, innovation and skills was speaking to business leaders as guest of Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce (GBCC) hosted by Mondelez International at their Cadbury headquarters.

Simplicity and forward planning must be at the heart of the Government’s pensions taxation reform, or future generations could be put off saving towards their retirement – according to PwC.  The Chancellor looks set to announce his long-awaited changes to pensions taxation in the Budget, with two key alternatives to the current system being considered.

Retired homeowners have seen their property wealth grow by nearly £13.7 billion in the past three months as house prices continue to climb earning the average pensioner more than £1,000 a month. Pensioners who own their homes outright have earned an average of £3,106 tax-free each from their houses in the past three months taking their property wealth to a new record high.

Responding the announcement that the EU referendum will take place on 23 June 2016, Black Country Chamber of Commerce President, Ninder Johal said: “The most important issue for us as a Chamber is ensuring that our business leaders understand the implications of remaining in or leaving the EU. Our latest survey shows that only 3% of manufacturers and 28% of service sector organisations in the Black Country have enough information to assess the potential impacts on their businesses."