business

Review of 2015 - August: Prosperous Birmingham, mosque extension and Grand Central retailers

August saw new research proclaim Birmingham as the fourth most prosperous city in the country, plans were unveiled for a £7.5m extension to a city mosque and the final batch of lettings at Grand Central were announced a month ahead of opening

CGI of a planned mosque extension which was unveiled during August

City is named fourth most prosperous

Birmingham was named the nation's fourth most prosperous city as the number of millionaires living here soared.

Figures revealed in August showed that, in the West Midlands, there were 32,000 people who had crossed the magic £1 million threshold.

Research by Barclays said this was a rise of 8,000 - or 33 per cent - over the last five years as the economic recovery continues.

The banking group also revealed Birmingham was now ranked fourth in the UK for prosperity, based on a range of different economic factors.

Birmingham mosque to be extended in £7.5m redevelopment

A Birmingham mosque will be extended and topped with a gold dome as part of a major £7.5 million redevelopment, according to plans unveiled this month.

The mosque complex in Clifton Road, Balsall Heath, will be redeveloped alongside a new funeral home, sports centre, shop and apartments under proposals developed by Birmingham's KSIMC community.

A planning application was lodged during the summer to the city council for the site which is just off the A435 Alcester Road.

Latest Grand Central retailers unveiled a month before launch

A final group of new lettings was announced for the Grand Central shopping centre a month before it launched.

The centre above New Street station opened its doors to customers on September 24 and now contains more than 60 shops and restaurants alongside the 250,000 sq ft John Lewis department store.

The latest retailers to sign up for the complex were scented products firm Jo Malone, Jones Bootmakers, jewellery chain Neoglory and women's shoe store Jeff Baines.

Cosmetics firm MAC also confirmed in August it was taking space following reports earlier this year that it was eyeing a unit in the centre.

'Eyes' have it at New Street station scheme

A trio of large, eye-shaped media displays were installed and turned on as part of the New Street station and Grand Central redevelopment in what was believed to be a UK first.

Birmingham-based specialist Concept Sign and Display delivered the elliptical advertising displays following a commission from Network Rail.

The firm said the project was the first of its kind for the UK's 'out-of-home' advertising market to incorporate curved large format LED display screens.

JLR reveals up to 5,800 cars damaged in blasts

Jaguar Land Rover was left counting the cost of an enormous fire which engulfed almost 6,000 cars shipped from the UK to China.

Hundreds of millions of pounds worth of vehicles, all made in the West Midlands or Merseyside, were damaged or destroyed after giant explosions in Tianjin which claimed the lives of more than 110 people.

Shares in Indian parent group Tata Motors fell on the Mumbai stock exchange after it admitted the impact on around 5,800 vehicles recently shipped to China.

The Midland car giant said in a statement: "Our thoughts are with them as well as with all those who were injured in this tragic event."

City Arcade to house new craft beer café

Plans for a new city centre café bar selling craft beer and boasting what was claimed to be the country's first ever "pinball hall concept" emerged in August.

Tilt Brum, a new company founded earlier this year, brought forward plans to open the bar in a vacant unit in the Grade II*-listed City Arcade off Corporation Street.

The firm planned to renovate the existing ground-floor and basement space to create a café called 'Tilt' serving eight drafts beers, around 35 bottled brands and a rotating selection of coffee beans. It opened shortly before Christmas.

NatWest Tower demolition green light

The green light was awarded in August for a £60 million, 26-storey office block which will be open in Birmingham city centre by summer 2018.

Birmingham City Council's planning committee was almost unanimous in its support for the demolition of the NatWest Tower at 103 Colmore Row and its replacement with a grade A office building.

The new tower will have 200,000 sq ft of office space, a retail unit fronting onto Newhall Street, be topped by a 'lantern' feature to light up the city skyline and a rooftop restaurant and street level winter garden.

Authors condemn latest library debacle

Celebrated authors condemned Birmingham library service after it revealed it would no longer buy new books - relying on public donations instead.

The stark situation was exposed by a library leaflet entitled "Books required!" which was asking for books and newspapers.

The move prompted a quick reaction by Stourbridge-born author SJ Watson, who wrote Before I Go to Sleep, which was turned into a film staring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.

He said he was saddened and angered by the admission.

Review of Year 2015 - January

Review of Year 2015 - February

Review of Year 2015 - March

Review of Year 2015 - April

Review of Year 2015 - May

Review of Year 2015 - June

Review of Year 2015 - July

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