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Replay: Birmingham Day at the House of Commons

Citizen Khan star Adil Ray leads the charge as the city showcases its creative excellence in an exhibition in the heart of London

City of Birmingham
City of Birmingham

Adil Ray, the comedian behind hit BBC sit-com Citizen Khan, is representing Birmingham at Westminster as the city’s creative industries take the spotlight at an exhibition in the House of Commons.

The latest “Birmingham Day” event is showcasing the region’s creative sector. Also attending is Tommy Nagra, head of business development for
BBC Birmingham.

The event is backed by MPs from all parties, including Edgbaston Labour MP Gisela Stuart, who said the creative sector was key to the city's success.

Gary Young

Good morning everyone, Gary Young from the web team here.

Adil Ray as Citizen Khan

I'll be bringing you all the latest news and reaction from today's Birmingham Day event at the House of Commons, which is taking place over the next few hours.

The public face of the event is Birmingham TV star Adil Ray, lead in the popular BBC sitcom Citizen Khan. He'll be doing his best - along with the other attendees - to raise the profile of Birmingham's creative sector in the capital.

10:32 am

London looks set fair for today's Birmingham Day event.

House of Commons on Birmingham Day

Here's a shot of the House of Commons from Birmingham Post editor Stacey Barnfield as he arrived at the House of Commons this morning.

Let's hope those sunny skies bode well for Brum's creative industries - and that they can banish any clouds on the horizon...


High profile adverts have been put up at Old Street underground station in a bid to attract tech start-ups to Birmingham.

Birmingham adverts at Old Street Station

They are certainly nicely eye-catching...

Birmingham adverts at Old Street Station


In Birmingham the creative sector, including digital, employs 27,000 people across more than 3,800 companies.

It delivers an economic boost of £1.25billion to the local economy.


Custard Factory and Yamination Studios setting up their stand...


Custard Factory and Yamination Studios at Birmingham Day

10:45 am

Here's some early reaction from Twitter...








Birmingham Day profile: Soshi Games

Soshi Games makes music-themed online and mobile games which strive to raise new revenue for bands and the music industry and help new
artists be discovered.

Working with clients such as Universal Music, Global Talent and The Isle Of Wight Festival, the company aids the music industry to navigate the new digital landscape through the power of games.

It secured £285,000 in crowdfunding in February.


Here's Drew Roper from Yamination Studios with his character Bartholomew.

Drew Roper from Yamination Studios with Bartholomew

Bartholomew stars in the film 'At-issue', an animated short film billed as uniquely combining stop-motion, 2D and CG animation.

You can find out more here:


Birmingham was recently named a start-up ‘hotspot’ and most entrepreneurial area in the UK by StartUp UK.

More than 16,000 businesses were started in Birmingham last year.

10:54 am

Here's some more Twitter reaction....



The Jubilee Room at Westminster is hosting the Birmingham Day event

The Jubilee Room at Westminster


Here are some more tweets from Birmingham Day...



Eileen Schofield, president of Birmingham Law Society, at Birmingham Day.

Eileen Schofield, president of Birmingham Law Society

The society has more than 3,500 members, many of whom are able advise creative businesses on Intellectual Property matters.


Here are some more reactions on Twitter...







Lucan Gray, right, owner of the Custard Factory, arrives at Birmingham Day.

Lucan Gray, right, owner of the Custard Factory, at Birmingham Day

In a Birmingham Post article Mr Gray said: “Over the next decade, I hope Birmingham will invest and build upon its reputation in the creative industries and be a globally competitive creative and digital city.

“It is a real, achievable goal for the city which will create thousands of new jobs and attract inward investment in a short timescale. Importantly it can transform the often unfair national media perceptions of Birmingham and make us into a city with a story."

Read the full article here:

11:21 am

Some more reactions from Twitter to today's Birmingham Day event...



Birmingham Day profile: Whisk

Whisk is a digital shopping list application, launched by former BBC Apprentice finalist Nick Holzherr, which allows users to add any recipe they find online to a single shopping list and then purchase the ingredients from an online supermarket.

The concept won £170,000 investment from a consortium in 2012.


Melanie Glass, founder and director of Devenishgirl Bakery CIC with trainee Amy Redway at Birmingham Day.

Melanie Glass, founder and director of Devenishgirl Bakery CIC with trainee Amy Redway at Birmingham Day


Melanie said: "we're here to prove there is lots of creativity going on outside London, in particular the social enterprise sector.

"We operate a kitchen school offering skills training for unemployed which will fulfil our social ethos and have a sustainable commercial bakery offering events and experiences."


Here are some more Birmingham Day tweets...



The BBC, in attendance at Birmingham Day, recently announced it will base its UK 'talent centre' at the Mailbox in Birmingham.

BBC at the Mailbox in Birmingham

Find out more here:


Birmingham Day profile: Yamination Studios

Yamination is an innovative animation studio specialising in stop-motion/frame animation and additional aspects of production.

Founded in 2009 by Black Country-born Drew Roper, the studio takes its name from 'yam yam', a moniker often given to people born and bred in the Black Country.


As we reported earlier, Citizen Khan star Adil Ray is at the House of Commons for Birmingham Day...



Birmingham Day profile: Writers' Guild of Great Britain

The Writers' Guild of Great Britain is the trade union representing writers in TV, radio, theatre, books, poetry, film, online and video games.

In TV, film, radio and theatre, the Guild is the recognised body for negotiating minimum terms and practice agreements for writers.

They campaign and lobby on behalf of all writers.

Members in our region have won BAFTAs, Tony Awards, Laurence Olivier Awards and Soap Awards.

They write for TV shows including Quirke, Doctors, Hollyoaks and House of Cards and for radio shows such as The Archers, Woman's Hour and The Afternoon Play.

They also write for theatres including the RSC, the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House. Our ranks include novelists, film-makers, animators, children's writers and video games producers.

The West Midlands branch runs a variety of events, most recently a discussion panel about 'Women In Theatre' attached to Gurpreet Kaur Bhatti's new play Khandan at the Birmingham REP.


Here are some more Twitter reactions to Birmingham Day...



Julia Higginbottom of rewiredstate with Lucan Gray of the Custard Factory and Drew Roper of Yamination Studios.

Julia Higginbottom of rewiredstate with Lucan Gray of the Custard Factory and Drew Roper of Yamination Studios

The Digbeth Creative & Digital Partnership is leading a push to create 2,000 new jobs in Birmingham's creative and digital sector by 2020, with the first 300 jobs created by 2016.

Julian Higginbottom is at Birmingham Day representing The Producers' Forum, an independent organisation which serves Birmingham's vibrant community of filmmakers.


Birmingham Day profile: Devenishgirl Bakery

Devenishgirl Bakery is a social enterprise that operates a community-based kitchen school in Weoley Castle, Birmingham, offering commercial baking, skills training, corporate events and experiences.

Business was initially set up in May 2012 by Melanie Glass as part of the trading arm of the national youth charity Worth Unlimited.

With a background in Catering Management in the Armed Forces, along with over 20 years of experience as a community educator, Melanie set up Devenishgirl bakery as a means of delivering accredited employability training and apprenticeship opportunities to marginalised young people.

On leaving the charity in January 2014, Devenishgirl girl bakery was established as a Community Interest Company limited by shares, and now trades as a fully- fledged social enterprise.

Three main components to the business: Skills training, commercial baking and corporate events and experiences.

The name: It's taken from the island Melanie loved visiting as a child growing up in Enniskillen – Devenish Island.


Here's some more Twitter reaction from Birmingham Day at the House of Commons - and it looks like the word is spreading...



Birmingham Day profile: Screenwriters' Forum

The Screenwriters' Forum is the voice of professional screenwriters in the region. We network with other regional film-makers to inspire fresh creative partnerships.

Screenwriters' Forum members work in Film, TV and the computer games industry. Many also write for theatre and radio.

It was set up in late 2007 by Midlands-based screenwriters to promote professional development opportunities and to share industry knowledge.

Members are all professional screenwriters, working in Film, TV and the computer games industry, and must have at least one professional screen credit.

We meet monthly (last Tuesday evening of the month) at a BCU-sponsored venue in Birmingham city centre, where we invite speakers to talk about their screen-based work and then network with us.

Speakers have included local film and TV producers, directors, writer-directors, a BBC TV exec, a crime writer, training provider and Screenwm representatives.

We also share skills from within the group – eg a comedy-writing session from one of our comedy writers, and a writing-for-animation session with another member later this year.


Adil Ray and Tommy Nagra from the BBC at Birmingham Day.

Adil Ray and Tommy Nagra from the BBC

Mr Nagra will be speaking about the BBC's commitment to Birmingham


Here are some more tweets from London and the Brummies inspired by Birmingham Day...



Cliff Dennett of Soshi Games: We're a Birmingham-based business that has created games created by 1,250,000 people around the world

Cliff Dennett of Soshi Games


Citizen Khan creator Adil Ray addresses the room.

Citizen Khan creator Adil Ray addresses the room

He says: "I was born and bred in Birmingham. Watching comedy as 10-year-old in Sparkhill I decided 'I want to do that'."


Here are some further reactions from Twitter...



Tommy Nagra at #BirminghamDay : Will Saunders will take charge of BBC Digbeth guerrilla unit.


Tommy Nagra


Tommy Nagra: The Digbeth team will be looking at all short-form content, for all aspects of BBC.

The unit will be given all the tools to become a standalone company in the heart of Birmingham.


Tommy Nagra: We acknowledge we have neglected the city. We want to work with Birmingham and up our game.


Some rave reviews on Twitter..



Gisela Stuart with the Bishop of Birmingham

Gisela Stuart with the Bishop of Birmingham



Some more reaction from Twitter on Birmingham Day



More happy customers...



Star guest Adil Ray seems to be having a good time at Birmingham Day...



...And yet another satisfied customer for Devenishgirl Bakery



Our reporter Enda Mullen interviewed the BBC's regional head of business development, Tommy Nagra, before the Birmingham Day event this morning.

He told Enda that Citizen Khan creator, Adil Ray, was a champion for the city.

Mr Nagra said: “Adil will be talking about creating Citizen Khan and how he could only have created the sitcom by being a product of Birmingham - it’s where he was discovered and where he has built his career.”


And with that we are winding up the Birmingham Day live blog.

We hope you have found it informative and entertaining, and we further hope that everyone involved had a productive and enjoyable day in London.

Have a safe journey home, folks!

And remember - you'll be able to find all the reaction to today's event going forward at




Graeme Brown
Regional Head of Business
Enda Mullen
Business Reporter
Cillian O’ Brien
Business Reporter
Jon Griffin
Business Reporter
Alison Jones
Features writer
Ben Hurst
News Editor
Jonathan Walker
Political Editor