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Review of 2016 - November: Legoland attraction coming to Birmingham, end of Monaco House and Monarch airport jobs

It emerged during November that family favourite Legoland was planning to open a new discovery centre at the Barclaycard Arena while city eyesore Monaco House could finally be coming down

November heard the news that a Legoland Discovery Centre was set to open in Birmingham

Birmingham set to get its own Legoland

Birmingham is set to get its own Legoland in the city centre.

It emerged in November that plans were due to be lodged with Birmingham City Council to transform space at the Barclaycard Arena.

Owner NEC Group is seeking planning permission to change the use of some parts of the canalside venue which would allow Merlin Entertainments, the owner of the Legoland brand, to open its second 'Discovery Centre' in the UK.

It will represent a major boost both to Birmingham city centre and, in particular, the west side which is seen as a key regeneration area.

Birmingham eyesore Monaco House set to be demolished

A derelict city centre eyesore which was once the focal point of a long-running supermarket war is finally set to be razed, it was revealed this month.

Monaco House, in Bristol Street, was long mooted to be the site of a brand new Tesco but the supermarket giant became embroiled in a legal dispute with rival Asda which wanted to open on the Park Central estate opposite.

A demolition notification was lodged with Birmingham City Council to knock down Monaco House and a series of neighbouring buildings comprising a car park and workshop, Nova Court, Wrentham Street industrial units and fuel station.

However, there was no indication within the application what future uses were in the pipeline for the much-maligned site which was bought from Tesco by Manchester-based MCR Property Group.

Monarch to create 75 new jobs at Birmingham Airport

The engineering arm of budget airliner Monarch announced plans to create 75 new jobs at its base at Birmingham Airport.

Monarch Aircraft Engineering, which opened at the airport three years ago, said it was planning to expand the team there to 250 staff.

The giant hub, which is big enough to house four football pitches, provides jet maintenance and testing services to Monarch and other companies on a contract basis.

Virtually all of these new positions are for skilled, trained engineers, who carry out maintenance on many different types of aircraft including the latest generation Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

Edgbaston office block to be razed for £300m garden square project

Land owner Calthorpe Estates is planning to knock down a 1970s office block in Edgbaston to make way for its £300 million New Garden Square project.

The family-run firm applied in November for permission to bring down the vacant 18-storey Edgbaston House, in Duchess Road, and a neighbouring multi-storey car park.

Its previous tenants included the Islamic Bank of Britain and it is one of several buildings earmarked for demolition to make way for the new development.

Calthorpe Estates unveiled a masterplan in October which includes new apartments, commercial units and leisure facilities to be built around a garden square on land between the Plough and Harrow pub and Five Ways island.

HS2 to be run by same company as West Coast franchise

A single train company will run both the InterCity West Coast franchise and HS2 high-speed service between London and Birmingham.

The Government announced this month it planned to create a new franchise called West Coast Partnership which will take over the InterCity West Coast service from 2019.

This franchise, which uses the West Coast Main Line from London to Scotland via the West Midlands, has been operated by Virgin Trains since its formation in 1997 and it expires in March 2018.

West Coast Partnership will be responsible for the InterCity franchisee from April 2019 and designing and running the initial high-speed services from 2026 when HS2 launches.

Crisis at Birmingham City Council after shock £49m budget overspend

An independent auditor was called in to review Birmingham City Council's next budget following a shock £49 million overspend this year.

The Government-appointed Birmingham Independent Improvement Panel ordered extra budget scrutiny after being alarmed at the failure of the Labour-run council to meet its spending targets this year.

The council had failed to secure major savings through closer working between social services and the NHS.

In addition, the panel of local government and business experts again raised concerns this month at the slow progress of change in Britain's largest local authority in a letter to Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid.

Summer Row bars collapse blaming Birmingham city centre roadworks

Administrators were appointed to an independent group of Birmingham bars with the owner blaming the ongoing Paradise roadworks for its problems.

Financial services firm Begbies Traynor was appointed to Town and Country Inns which runs Mechu, Après and Fleet Street Kitchen in Summer Row along with sister venues in Cheltenham and Sutton Coldfield.

Then co-owner Mark Jones said the £500 million Paradise project, which had involved major roadworks on Parade parallel to Summer Row, had badly affected trade, causing it to slip into administration.

Mr Jones and co-owner Nigel Owen left the business, which had been trading in Birmingham for almost four decades, with new independent operators taking over.

New health plan to cut baby deaths and increase GP appointments

A plan to revolutionise infant care and stop a projected 34 baby deaths a year in Birmingham and the Black Country was unveiled.

Measures, such as the life-saving baby boxes pioneered in Finland and recently introduced at City Hospital, will be rolled out to cut the high level of infant mortality in the region.

The proposal was part of a wide-ranging plan to transform health services and save thousands of pounds as demand for health care rises.

Further measures include investing in GP services to make another 25,000 appointments available, many on the same day, to ease the pressures on expensive accident and emergency departments.

Review of 2016 - January

Review of 2016 - February

Review of 2016 - March

Review of 2016 - April

Review of 2016 - May

Review of 2016 - June

Review of 2016 - July

Review of 2016 - August

Review of 2016 - September

Review of 2016 - October

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