Colors: Blue Color

This May get ready to enjoy a fantastic shopping experience at the UK’s leading pregnancy and parenting event of the year. The Baby Show with MadeForMums will be taking place from Friday 19th to Sunday 21st May, at the NEC Birmingham. Find everything you need for bump, baby and you - with amazing offers all in one place, for three days only!

The show is a great way to get your hands on products and try before you buy. Brand and product experts will be there to tell you everything you need to know, so it’s a great opportunity to compare products and find the right fit for you and your baby. There will be over 200 exhibitors showcasing a huge array of essential baby products including buggies, nursery furniture, carriers, clothing, feeding, sleep and bathing equipment.  All the major baby retailers such as Mothercare and Babies R Us will be there, alongside other market leading brands such as iCandy, Stokke, UppaBaby, Chicco, Britax, MAM, Nuby, Baby Björn and Italian brand Peg Perego!  There will also be independent brands that you won’t find on the high street. And once you’ve shopped until you’ve dropped, don’t worry about all the carrying as you can take advantage of the free Emma’s Diary Collect-By-Car service where you can drop off all your purchases and continue until you’ve got a carful!

Wing Yan Lee, Marketing Manager at The Baby Show says: “The Baby Show is the UK’s biggest pregnancy and parenting event and a must-visit shopping venue for new and expectant mums and dads.  After a hugely successful show at London ExCeL, we can’t wait to open the doors in Birmingham NEC.

“We will have over 200 of the very best baby brands exhibiting their products, some for the first time giving shoppers an exclusive first look at what’s hot on the market.  And don’t forget we have the MadeForMums stage where we have another fantastic line up of some of the UK’s best parenting experts ready to share their advice on how to get through – and enjoy – those tricky first months of parenthood.  We look forward to welcoming everyone there.”

There will be a wonderful line up of speakers on The Baby Show Stage with MadeForMums including experts from the world of breastfeeding, sleep and nutrition.

30 is the age when people from the West Midlands finally know who they are and feel comfortable in their own skin – but their sense of identity starts to fade at 61, according to new research.

By 30 years of age, the typical West Midland resident will have refined their taste in music and they’ll have six close friends.

35 percent will have cultivated their TV and film preferences, while one quarter will have developed their tastes in literature. Nearly four in ten will know what their fashion preferences are and will also be at ease driving.

But 33 is the age people from the West Midlands will worry least about what other people think of them.

Despite this, they are concerned they will lose some sense of who they are by the age of 61.

Commissioned by My Nametags, manufacturer of durable stickers and iron-on labels for care homes, the research of 2,000 UK adults found that the biggest fears Brits have about growing old are losing their memories, feeling isolated or forgotten - with 74 percent fearing they’d become isolated if they were to ever move into a care home.

Two thirds of those polled are worried about close relatives one day living in a care home. Seven in 10 are concerned they would be forgotten by friends and family upon moving into a retirement home.

68 percent of people said they’d worry about losing some sense of self if they ever were to move into a care home - while 70 percent are worried they’d lose their possessions.

Lars B. Andersen, Managing Director, said: “For many of us, our sense of who we are – our tastes, preferences and opinions - takes time to develop so it’s understandable that the prospect of losing this is daunting. Particularly for the older generation of our population and those moving into a care home.

“Moving into residential care is a big life change and the thought that you might lose some part of yourself in the process doesn’t make it any easier. In addition to losing your identity, 70 percent of people are worried they might lose their possessions when moving into a care home which is a great concern! Our nametags help these residents maintain their sense of identity and keep hold of their treasured possessions which often hold lasting memories.”

Three quarters of those polled said their belongings reflect who they are as a person.

While 83 percent said they own items which have particular importance to them - including jewellery, photos and keepsakes.

Memories, family and sense of humour are among the things that form our identity according to those polled.

Friends, morals, hobbies and the place where you grow up are also among the factors that shape who we are.

I Want! I Want! Art and Technology, opening at Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery on the 1 April, explores work from the Arts Council Collection by artists that have been influenced by technology as it has developed and evolved over the last 20 years. Each of the 27 artists’ approach to their practice is different, presenting varying views of the world and culture around us.

The show presents contemporary artists’ use of technology in the production (using various media including computer animation, videos, computer graphics, audio, photography, gaming technology), presentation and engagement of their work (films, moving image, sculptures, paintings, interactive games, drawings). The artworks themselves tackle a range of themes including human relationships, surveillance and the habits of modern society.

The works featured in the exhibition have been principally selected from the Arts Council Collection, as part of the Collection’s National Partnership Programme. The four partners include the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne; Birmingham Museums Trust; The Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool and Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Over the next two years the galleries will deliver a year-round programme of exhibitions and events enabling even more people to see and enjoy works from the Collection.

The works in I Want! I Want! date from the mid-1990s to the present day and include significant contemporary artists, such as Rachel Maclean, Julian Opie, Ed Atkins and Daria Martin. The exhibition also includes works from Birmingham Museum, Fitzwilliam Museum, artists and private collectors.

For busy parents determined to keep the adventures coming even with little ones in tow the team at Bedruthan have created a four-night break that is the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation – you'll all leave feeling like you have had a proper holiday. This break gives families the chance to enjoy the beautiful and tranquil beach setting as a family for longer, the perfect combination of exploration and relaxation.

After a generous Cornish breakfast each morning in the family friendly Wild Café, head to the indoor and outdoor pools for a splash around. While away the afternoon in the sea view lounge areas, let your little ones explore Jungle Tumble or embark on a fabulous outside adventure on the play equipment, all with breathtaking views across the golden sands of Mawgan Porth.

With two hours complimentary childcare included every day the indoor spa is a welcome retreat for busy parents; try out the cedar sauna, eucalyptus steam room and unwind completely in the sea view hydropool, or escape for an hour in the Sensory Spa Garden to invigorate all your senses in a one-hour experience, inspired by fire, earth, water, air and space. Guests will be invited to move through the seven stages designed to detoxify and renew your body.

A vibrant image showcasing what Wolverhampton’s new city centre market will look like has been released. It comes on the back of the planning application being submitted for the new Southside site, fronting Cleveland Street.

City of Wolverhampton Council announced in January the relocation of the market from Market Square. Dozens of enquiries have been received from prospective traders interested in being part of the new market. It will provide increased footfall from the Wulfrun Centre and transport Interchange, as well as situating the market in a student catchment area.

Enquiries have come in from the likes of bakers, jewellers, hairdressers, children’s clothing and cosmetics retailers, and a variety of world cuisine outlets.

The current city centre traders will have first refusal on obtaining licenses at the new market, which will offer the flexibility to trade from bigger cabins, a secure site, CCTV, integrated lighting and power, free WiFi, canopy-covered walkways, offices, customer toilets, and comprehensive parking and storage facilities.

Traders have also been consulted over a servicing strategy to move stock with a dedicated motorised truck, which will keep on-site vehicles to a minimum and create a pleasant and safe retail space for customers.

This model operates successfully at other markets across the country. Councillor Steve Evans, Cabinet Member for City Environment, said: “This new image really shows off what an exciting prospect the new city centre market is. We are consulting regularly with the current traders over the relocation – and we will be announcing exciting new traders in the coming months. Their addition will provide a more varied range of sales lines to differentiate it from a traditional market offer.

“This ideal location, funded by the sale of Market Square as part of the Westside scheme, has loads of potential – and we want this to be the people’s market, where events are also encouraged.

“It will prove an asset to the city centre.”

The former Netto store and adjoining buildings were cleared from the Southside site last year, paving the way for the move, which will see 48 tented stalls and 16 purpose-built cabins transferred from Market Square in phases.

It is anticipated the move will be completed in winter 2017/18 – but not during the Christmas trade period.

The Market Square location is to be absorbed into the new £55 million leisure-led Westside development by preferred developer Urban & Civic.

This will deliver a multi-screen cinema, restaurants, bars, hotel, multi-storey car park, apartments, and public realm to the heart of the city centre, in two phases, over five years.

A temporary market has been in place since April last year when the indoor traders joined the outdoor traders in Market Square to enable the demolition of Heantun House and the old indoor market.

For the ninth consecutive year, NH Hotel Group will support the WWF global initiative Earth Hour, switching off the lights of its hotels' façades all over the world.

With this gesture, which will be made by the Company between 8.30 pm and 9.30 pm on Saturday 25 March, NH Hotel Group is demonstrating its firm commitment to respecting and protecting the environment in which it runs its business.

With its commitment to this WWF initiative, the Company aims not only to involve its hotels and employees across the world, but also its clients and help increase society's awareness of the importance of looking after our planet for future generations.

Commitments to sustainability

As a result of its commitment to the sustainable development of its operation, NH Hotel Group has completed various initiatives, enabling it to reduce its carbon footprint by more than 70% and its energy consumption by 29%, involving not only the Company as a whole but also the suppliers with whom it works.

NH Hotel Group also has ISO 14001 certification in terms of environmental performance, and is the first global hotel chain to obtain ISO 50001 certification, the most important standard in energy management systems. The Group also supports renewable energies and 78% of the energy supplied to its hotels is green energy.

The biggest initiative against climate change

Earth Hour is an initiative led by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), supported every year by hundreds of millions of people all over the world, joining their voices for the protection of the environment.

Since its creation in 2007, more than 7,000 cities have taken part in this initiative, enabling millions of people, companies and governments to join voices to demonstrate that a future based on clean energy is possible.

The Race for Life - Pretty Muddy five kilometre obstacle course will be coming to Sandwell Valley on Saturday 30 September, bringing hundreds of women together to raise funds for Cancer Research UK.

It’s the first time this muddy version of the Race for Life has come to Sandwell and the council are calling for local ladies to scramble over A-frames, crawl through mud pits and have fun with your friends, all in a bid to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

A 5k race is great for all abilities; any girl or woman over the age of 13 can apply and make a difference. The event takes place from 10am at Sandwell Park Valley, with the route leading participants through a mixture of terrain including grass, paths and woodland areas.

Councillor Richard Marshall, cabinet member for leisure said: "The Pretty Muddy Race for Life event is a fantastic opportunity for local women, together with their friends and families to raise valuable funds for Cancer Research UK.

“It’s exciting news to hear that Sandwell Valley will play host to such a positive and inspiring event later this year.”

Local Sandwell ladies are urged to show their support through taking part in the Pretty Muddy obstacle event in September - sign up now at

Event registration costs are £10 for girls aged 13-15 and £19.99 for those over 16.

Farmers at Sandwell Valley are working on a special breeding programme to increase a stock of very rare goats on the fields in West Bromwich – and to preserve the breed for ever.

The attractive black-and-white Bagot goats are part of a special conservation effort to increase their numbers, because there are now fewer than 200 registered breeding females left.

The council is helping with the scheme to breed the goats naturally and by artificial insemination methods in a project run by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST).

Melissa Underwood-Grattage, working farm manager at Sandwell Valley, said the Bagot goats are owned by the RBST and in the care of Sandwell staff to care for as an approved farm park.

She said: "We have successfully managed to harvest four grade A embryos from four of our nanny goats.

"These have been frozen and put into the RBST’s gene bank and we are pleased with the result because this was the first time that this has ever been tried with primitive goats."

Farmers at Forge Mill Farm in the Valley helped with the work during a month-long fertility programme.

Melissa added: "In theory, by storing frozen embryos we have helped to preserve the breed for ever.

"We have also successfully bred the other four nanny goats and the first of them gave birth on 28 February. The offspring from these goats will form part of our breeding stock here at the country park in years to come.

"The goats which are at Sandwell Park Farm and Forge Mill Farm are particularly popular with our visitors and do an important job in managing some of our land through conservation grazing."

Tom Blunt, the field officer co-ordinating the project, said: "We are extremely happy with how the work has gone and would like to thank the team at Sandwell Park Farm for their part in helping us achieve a successful outcome."

Councillor Richard Marshall, Sandwell Council's cabinet member for leisure, said: "It is pleasing to know that the work our staff have been doing to protect this breed is proving to be so successful.

"I am sure that the visitors to the Valley attractions will be pleased to see these very attractive animals in the fields and to know that they are part of a scheme to save a species."

The Bagot is believed to be Britain’s oldest breed of goat with records of them being around in 1389 at Blithfield, the Staffordshire home of Sir John Bagot.

The exact origin of the Bagot is unknown and there are two leading theories.

One is that they were brought to Britain during the Crusades in the Middle Ages and the other that they originated from native goats in medieval times.

A new vision for canalside living in the heart of the City of Wolverhampton has been revealed at MIPIM in Cannes. City of Wolverhampton Council is working with the Canal & River Trust, Homes and Communities Agency (HCA), Network Rail, and the West Midlands Combined Authority in the Canalside Delivery Partnership to develop the city centre’s canalside area.

Canalside lies just minutes away from the £132 million transport Interchange, with the majority of sites in the ownership of the partners. As part of the scheme, a city centre living proposition for more than 600 new homes is this week being showcased to investors and developers at the international property forum in France.

Other ideas for Canalside include an anchor leisure scheme clustered around existing historic buildings, which could include restaurants and a micro-brewery.

Creative workspaces and a marina development are also being considered, and LED and feature lighting around the canals and tunnels is being progressed.

City of Wolverhampton Council Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Housing and Assets, Councillor Peter Bilson, said: “Canalside is a large and exciting opportunity that will require determined and skilful leadership to realise the opportunity.

“The new image gives us a glimpse of how spectacular this area of the city could look.

“The partnership is working together to bring about a nationally significant development at this wonderful heritage location.”

Cheryl Blount-Powell, Senior Development Manager Midlands and North West, Canal & River Trust, added: “We strongly believe that waterways have an integral role to play in helping people to lead happier, healthier lives.

“By combining our in-house waterside regeneration and development skills with those of our consultants we form a really effective partnership, and Wolverhampton’s Canalside certainly has a very exciting future ahead.”

Spring has sprung at the iconic Orangery at Blenheim Palace and to celebrate a new seasonal Menu, they are hosting an exclusive wine tasting dinner on 5th April, with spectacular views of the Duke of Marlborough's private Italian Garden.

The art of 'Wine pairing' will be a key part of the event, and wine specialist John Ferguson-Smith has selected a range of unusual wines that pair perfectly to the flavours of each dish carefully designed by Head Chef Billy Bush.

On the evening, John and Billy will discuss each course's flavours and John will go on to explain why he has selected each wine. Grapes have been identified from unusual regions, or for their particular style, so that they are a little out of the ordinary to provide an interesting culinary match. An example of this being the choice of Albarino from New Zealand. This grape is nearly always associated with Spain, so this dinner is designed to offer a different perspective and a twist on the 'standard' wine choices we make.

The evening will start at 19.00 with a champagne reception followed by three courses, with a choice of two dishes per course and a wine specially selected for each dish. There will be an element of competition as guests at the event will be asked to vote for their favourite pairing at the event between dish and wine.

John works for Hatch Mansfield, which is one of the key wine and champagne suppliers Searcys work closely with. John has enjoyed his whole career in the wine industry, and his knowledge spans across the range of regions and styles. Searcys have previously run a range of wine pairing dinners which have always been very well received.

Birmingham City Council is launching the Zero Hero Challenge for students to make their mark on how to reduce waste and there’s £500 Amazon vouchers up for grabs for the winner.

Birmingham is a student city, with over 65,000 students from over 150 countries currently in Higher Education. In a bid to reduce waste across the city, Birmingham’s students are being asked to enter a new competition, the Zero Hero Challenge, to create their own social media video providing ideas on how to reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible, both at their places of study and where they live.

For the last year, everyone who lives or works in Birmingham has been encouraged to become a Zero Hero and reduce, reuse and recycle as much as possible.

The campaign has been developed in conjunction with the Cleaner, Greener Streets initiative, and is committed to providing online and offline resources supported by the dedicated CleanerBrum website to support those keen to help make Birmingham a Zero Waste City with a target of no waste to landfill by 2035.

The Zero Hero Challenge offers a great way for some of the brightest minds in the city to get involved in the campaign.

Cllr Lisa Trickett, Cabinet Member for Clean Streets, Recycling and Environment explains the rationale behind the Zero Hero Challenge: “Students comprise a large proportion of Birmingham’s population, so it’s important that they help to create a zero waste city. Given the high calibre of students across the city, we have no doubt that there will be some fantastic ideas for videos, all with the potential of becoming a viral sensation!

“The £500 Amazon vouchers are not only being given as a prize but as an acknowledgement of the winner’s support for the cause. We’re looking for really imaginative ideas that will have measurable results, so we can see the real impact of the winning video.”

Any students wishing to take part should create a video around two minutes long and upload it to Facebook, YouTube or Twitter with the hashtag #ZeroHeroChallenge, preferably with Birmingham City Council tagged in too (@bhamcitycouncil on Twitter). The closing date for entries is 31st March 2017.

The doors of five new luxury boutique accommodation offerings have opened in Regional NSW, upping the ante of accommodation available across the State.

According to the STR Global Tourist Accommodation Snapshot, the demand for accommodation in Regional NSW has experienced strong growth, increasing 6.5 per cent in 2016 with 2.2 million room nights sold and occupancy rate growing from 62.6 percent in 2015 to 66.4 percent in 2016. Overall, Regional NSW received over 20.6 million domestic overnight visitors in the year ending September 2016, an increase of 6.8 percent on the previous 12 months.

Destination NSW Chief Executive Officer Sandra Chipchase said, “There is a demand for accommodation in Regional NSW, including luxury accommodation which gives travellers the chance to relax and recharge. Increasingly travellers, particularly those visiting the State's food, wine and beach destinations, are after stylish and bespoke accommodation that lets them switch off and feel refreshed.”

“Travellers to NSW are always on the hunt for great accommodation, be it luxury, eco, unique, or in an impressive location. I'm delighted that visitors to NSW now also have these stunning properties to choose when booking a getaway.”

More than 500 delegates from across the East and West Midlands attended the first Midlands Engine Trade Summit in Birmingham. Businesses keen to start exporting or step up their global reach took part in the day-long event at The Vox, to learn how the Midlands Engine can support their plans for international business growth.

International Trade Minister Mark Garnier, who delivered the keynote speech, said the Midlands Engine is a commitment to harness the region’s 11.5 million people, a fast-growing economy and to create jobs and growth that spread prosperity.

He said: “When it comes to the Midlands, it is clear that with great potential comes great expectation. If the Midlands matches its predicted growth over the next 15 years, it will; create 300,000 jobs and inject £34 billion into the UK economy. The Midlands Engine is how we go about meeting that expectation.”

More than 27,000 businesses in the Midlands export nearly £40 billion worth of products to over 100 countries and that the Midlands Engine will provide practical support for businesses, including 20 trade missions by 2020.

Already 80 Midlands firms have taken part on missions led by DIT across the globe, which should generate £5 million worth of deals over the next 12 months.

Mr Garnier added:

“We are putting companies into rooms with buyers from Shanghai, New York and Dubai. A simple face to face meeting with the right contacts can be a game changer.”

Afterwards, delegates took part in specialist workshops, where they heard from a range of experts about how they can export their goods and services overseas. Dozens of one-to-one meetings were also booked with experts in the fields of finance, overseas markets and export.

Ian Harrison, acting director of the Midlands Director of Exports, said:

“We were extremely pleased to see more than 500 attend the first Midlands Engine Trade Summit. It is testament to the fact that there are many ambitious businesses across the East and West Midlands that want to tap into the opportunities overseas.”

Twenty-eight Export Champions were unveiled at the Summit, all exporters from the East and West Midlands. They will engage with SMEs and local businesses, promote the Department for International Trade’s Exporting is GREAT campaign and digital tool, which helps UK businesses break onto overseas markets.

The Export Champion programme will provide practical advice and support to drive further growth in exports.

Birmingham St. Mary’s Hospice is encouraging people to secure one of its limited edition, expertly crafted flowers to celebrate the lives of their loved ones. The local Hospice has commissioned 1,500 wrought iron flowers as part of its new Forget Me Not appeal.

The flowers will go on display in Brindleyplace from April 24- 1 May, and by making a donation ahead of that, people can have their own keepsake flower dedicated to their loved one as part of the display.

People who have made a donation will then be able to keep the flower after the event as a permanent tribute to a loved one. The colourful flowers have been designed and crafted by the Midlands based British Ironworks Centre.

For one week, the striking installation will include as many as 1,500 flowers, each one dedicated to the memory of loved ones lost whether they were cared for at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice or not. The floral display will be showcased at Brindleyplace’s central square, and visitors to the display will be able to make a donation to secure one of the flowers.

Prominent local figures are signing up to show their support for the campaign and include Local radio personality Llewela Bailey as well as West Bromwich footballing legend Brendan Batson. Both will be dedicating their flowers to honour the memory of their spouses who were cared for by Hospice staff during their final months.

Former West Bromwich Albion and Arsenal defender Brendon Batson said:  “I’m really happy to be a part of the ‘Forget Me Not’ appeal because I know first-hand the great work the Hospice does. When my beloved wife Cecily was diagnosed with a brain tumour back in 2009, I was touched by the care and support from nurses at the Hospice allowing for her to be cared for at home.

“Each ‘Forget Me Not’ symbolises the celebration of a loved one and I’ll be dedicating my flower to Cecily. I hope the people of Birmingham get behind the appeal by donating and dedicating a flower to someone’s life and I look forward to seeing them on display in Brindleyplace.”

Each flower will help fund the valuable work at Birmingham St Mary’s Hospice, which provides vital care and support to local families living with terminal illness. Flowers will be available for a donation from Monday 13 March by visiting

City of Wolverhampton Council has revealed at MIPIM a stunning new artist’s impression showcasing Urban & Civic’s £55 million Westside development.

Enabling works are currently underway on the leisure-led mixed use scheme at the heart of the city centre, and strong demand from occupiers means construction on the first phase remains on track to start in early 2018.

The MIPIM presentation in Cannes also highlighted a 100-plus bed opportunity for a hotel investor to be part of the scheme, which sits across 6.4 acres on three adjacent parcels of land.

Westside will also bring to the city a multiplex 12-screen cinema, 50,000 square feet of additional leisure space, new restaurants covering 40,000 square feet, and a multi-storey car park in phase one.

Phase two will deliver more than 300 new city centre homes and 50,000 square feet of retail and leisure space.

Councillor John Reynolds, Cabinet Member for City Economy, said: “Plans are progressing well for Westside and it is a fantastic city centre scheme, as this latest image shows.

“It has already attracted unprecedented demand from occupiers and will gain added profile at this week’s MIPIM event.

“Urban & Civic possess an excellent track record in delivering comparable high-quality schemes in the UK and have the financial support in place.

“There is a general enthusiasm around the Westside opportunity, and optimism concerning the groundswell of regeneration activity across the city, where £3.7 billion of investment is on site or in the pipeline.

“The outstanding proposals put forward by Urban & Civic perfectly meet our expectations of a regenerated Wolverhampton.”

Construction on phase one of the project is expected to be complete by early 2020. It encompasses land between Penn Road Island and Salop Street, including the current School Street and Peel Street car parks and the area around Market Square.

Phase two incorporates parts of land between Salop Street and Darlington Street, including the Fold Street car park. Works on this section of the development are likely to be completed in 2022.

Urban & Civic Property Director, Philip Leech, added: "We are proud to be the developers of this prestigious city centre leisure scheme which for the City of Wolverhampton will become a game changer both culturally and economically.

“Leisure-based urban regeneration is a specialism of Urban & Civic and we are looking forward to completing a destination which will serve the city for generations to come"