business

Review of 2016 - May: Steven Knight moots new studio, Northfield Manor to be reborn and Ikea comes to city centre

The founder of TV hit Peaky Blinders said in May that he had held discussions with Paramount about launching a new studio in Birmingham while a fire-hit manor was to regenerated as a housing estate

It emerged in May that Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight was trying to open a production studio in Birmingham

Paramount executives hold talks about TV studio in Birmingham

Peaky Blinders founder Steven Knight held meetings with production giant Paramount about a studio in Birmingham, it emerged in May.

With the city starved of production facilities, the Birmingham writer had spent more than two years looking into establishing studios for large-scale productions here, to be called Mercian.

Mr Knight said executives from Hollywood firm Paramount had taken part in talks with Birmingham City Council.

Since the closure of Pebble Mill in 2004, the city's production sector has been decimated, falling far behind other UK regions like Cardiff, Bristol, Salford and Glasgow.

Robot specialist FANUC finds new home in £20m project

One of the world's largest manufacturers of industrial robots announced this month it planned to move its UK headquarters to a new home in the West Midlands in a £20 million project.

FANUC UK, part of the Japanese group of the same name, agreed to take a new 170,000 sq ft building to be developed by Highbridge Properties on Ansty Park in Coventry.

At least 20 new jobs will be created by the move.

FANUC is a group of companies founded in Japan in the 1950s and its main business interests are in factory automation, industrial robots and laser systems, operating offices in more than 40 countries.

Northfield Manor House gutted by fire to be reborn as housing estate

New plans were unveiled in May to create an estate on the site of a historic house linked to the Cadbury family which was controversially demolished after a fire.

Northfield Manor House was gutted in an arson attack in July 2014 which left the building, off Bristol Road South, in a severely dilapidated state.

A year later, owner University of Birmingham sparked outrage among conservationists and campaigners by demolishing the vast majority of the damaged property, leaving only modern extensions remaining.

It lodged plans this month with the city council to create new housing after vowing to rebuild the site, saying its replacement would "mirror the original Manor House".

Ikea to launch in Birmingham city centre

Home furnishing chain Ikea announced plans to open a new type of store in Birmingham - its first in a city centre - which would create 30 jobs.

The unit, in Dale End, opened in August and operates as an 'Order and Collection Point', complementing the Swedish chain's major outlet in Wednesbury and city centre store in Coventry.

Ikea said Order and Collection Point was a new format for the group and had been designed to bring its home furnishing range and expertise closer to more customers.

Customers are able to order from there for home delivery or for collection at the Birmingham store and also visit the in-store bistro.

'Now or never' for BBC Birmingham

The Government was warned in May that it was now or never to save BBC Birmingham, just days before a crucial white paper on the future of the broadcaster was unveiled.

Production industry professionals and community leaders called on the Government to practice what it preached when it announced its expectations to the BBC.

Senior politicians, including then Prime Minister David Cameron and then London Mayor Boris Johnson, called for more investment in the Midlands from the national broadcaster.

In every other UK region, more than half of the money invested in licence fees is reinvested but in the Midlands less than 15 per cent of the £943 million our licence fee-payers would spend next year would return here.

Birmingham council elections 2016: Labour makes shock gains

"This is a Labour city," declared council leader John Clancy as the party bucked national trends to make gains in Birmingham during the local elections.

Thought to be under threat from a Tory onslaught in half a dozen seats, Labour instead ended May's election night two seats up - having taken Weoley from the Conservatives and Springfield from the Lib Dems.

Labour councillor Rob Pocock also more than doubled his majority in Sutton Vesey ward, the city's top Tory target.

There was a silver lining for the Conservatives whose Gary Sambrook retained his Kingstanding seat under intense pressure from Labour.

Labour finished up two seats with 80, while the Conservatives with 29 and Lib Dems with ten were down one apiece.

NIA set for another new name after Barclaycard scraps sponsorship

The NEC Group announced this month that Barclaycard had decided to end its sponsorship deal for the National Indoor Arena.

The group also said it had launched a hunt to find naming partners for both the NEC and the ICC - the first time in their respective histories they would carry a commercial partner's name.

NEC Group said Barclaycard had decided to move away from long-term naming rights for the arena, less than three years after it launched to great fanfare with a Michael Bublé concert in December 2014.

London-based agency The Sports Consultancy was commissioned to secure naming agreements for the three venues - none of which had been signed at the time of writing.

MP's plan to pay for cathedral repairs by letting gay and lesbian couples marry there

The MP for Lichfield said he "lives for the day" that same-sex couples would be allowed to get married in the city's stunning medieval cathedral.

Same-sex marriage has been legal in the UK since the law was changed in 2014 - but gay and lesbian couples still can't get married in an Anglican church or cathedral.

But Lichfield's Tory MP Michael Fabricant told the House of Commons that he hoped this would change.

And he said how a change of heart would help the Church of England's finances, because there was typically a charge to hold a wedding in a church or cathedral.

Review of 2016 - January

Review of 2016 - February

Review of 2016 - March

Review of 2016 - April

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