Five new Midland Metro stops revealed in £149m extension

The locations of five new stops to be built in the next phase of the Midland Metro extension were confirmed in September.

The line is currently being taken an additional 1.2 miles from outside New Street station to just past the Morrisons supermarket in Hagley Road.

As previously mooted, there will be stops outside Town Hall Birmingham and at Centenary Square, in Broad Street, where passengers can access the ICC, Library of Birmingham and new HSBC UK head office.

The other stops will be opposite Brindleyplace at the corner of Granville Street, outside the Cineworld cinema in Broad Street and in front of office block 54 Hagley Road.

These will be served by up to ten trams an hour at peak times.

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy resigns hours before vote of no confidence

Birmingham City Council leader John Clancy resigned this month following the bin dispute controversy, admitting he had made mistakes.

The Labour leader's resignation came as a direct result of his handling of the bin strike - in particular the fall-out from the aborted deal he struck with the Unite union in mid-August.

He announced his resignation via his personal blog following a meeting with the cabinet, which reportedly urged him to go, and after it was confirmed Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid had ordered an investigation into the fiasco.

The ball started rolling ten days earlier when it became clear the council was not following through with a deal struck by Coun Clancy with Unite union boss Howard Beckett to end the bin strike.

HMRC to bring thousands of tax staff to Birmingham development

More than 3,500 tax workers will move to a brand new home in Birmingham city centre.

HM Revenue and Customs confirmed that its new West Midlands regional hub would be based at the Arena Central complex in Broad Street.

The Government department signed a 25-year lease on the 14-storey, 3 Arena Central building where staff will be based from 2020.

HMRC, which will count HSBC UK's new head office among its neighbours at Arena Central, is undergoing a major review of its estate which is expected to see its offices consolidated into 13 regional hubs across the country.

CGI of 3 Arena Central which will house staff from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions
CGI of 3 Arena Central which will house staff from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions

Nails and razor blades thrown onto Vélo Birmingham course amid fury over route

Cyclists taking part in the first Vélo Birmingham had to ride the gauntlet of nails and razor blades in the road as disgruntled residents and businesses endured lengthy road closures.

Saboteurs had decided to show their dismay at roads being closed, in some cases for eight hours, as the 100-mile cycle sportive made its way through the towns and villages of the West Midlands in September.

The first Vélo Birmingham started from Broad Street before heading into the Black Country, Staffordshire, Worcestershire and then back into the city for the finish line.

But, while many came out to support the cyclists, not all were happy about the event with pictures appearing on Twitter of razor blades, tacks and nails which had apparently been thrown onto the roads.

New Birmingham Conservatoire 'last of its kind'

Musician Julian Lloyd Webber said the new Birmingham Conservatoire would be the last one of its kind built in the UK as the wraps finally came off the new building in September.

The new institute, in Jennens Road, replaces the old conservatoire in Adrian Boult Hall which is being demolished as part of the new Paradise regeneration project in Chamberlain Square.

Conservatoire principal Mr Lloyd Webber joined staff to officially open the new £57 million facility following two years of construction work.

Part of Birmingham City University, it has five public performance spaces, including a 500-seat concert hall, a 150-seat recital hall and a 100-seat organ studio.

The new building also has a flexible, black-box studio called The Lab and what is claimed to be the first permanent jazz space in any UK conservatoire, an 80-seat venue called Eastside Jazz Club.

New furniture department store to launch in the Mailbox

A new department store dedicated to selling furniture was preparing to open in the Mailbox, it was announced this month.

Called 'Homewares at the Mailbox', it brings together different retailers into one 20,000 sq ft store on level one of the boutique shopping mall to showcase some of their furniture, lighting and accessory collections.

Among the first to sign up were Heal's and which officially opened their stores a few weeks later.

Both Heal's and Made have made their first forays into the Midlands with these launches in Birmingham.

Heal's has opened in a new furniture department store in the Mailbox
Heal's has opened in a new furniture department store in the Mailbox

Funding boost for £2m children's attraction in Birmingham

A new £2 million children's attraction will be built at Millennium Point after receiving a major funding boost.

Called 'MiniBrum', it will be permanently housed inside the Thinktank science museum at the venue in Curzon Street.

Confirmation that the project could go ahead was announced in September after its owner Birmingham Science Museum received £1.4 million from the Inspiring Science Fund.

The interactive gallery will deliver science, technology, engineering and maths education through a child-sized, mini-city in which children and families can explore, play and learn.

CBSO receives £800,000 legacy gift

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra received one of the largest legacy gifts in its 97-year history.

The £800,000 gift was bequeathed by an anonymous donor from Lichfield and will support the CBSO's activities in the UK for eight years as it passes its century birthday in 2020.

Individual giving manager Eve Vines said the £800,000 gift was given by a gentleman who was "very special" to the orchestra and who had first started supporting it in memory of his wife.

"In addition to coming to concerts to hear the full orchestra perform, he really valued the work which CBSO musicians did with young people around the region," she said.