Trinity Mirror name-change gets approval

Newspaper publisher Trinity Mirror has officially changed its name to Reach plc after shareholders approved the move at the annual general meeting of the company.

The UK’s biggest regional publisher originally announced the name change proposal in March, saying its present name “no longer reflects” the business.” Now shareholders have approved the change with 99.87pc voting in favour.

A company statement said: “Trading in the company’s shares will commence under the new TIDM code RCH with effect from 8 May 2018.”

The change has already been filed with Companies House, which now lists Reach plc as the company’s name.

In a statement issued in March, the company said: “Trinity Mirror has evolved significantly since it was formed in September 1999 following the merger of Trinity plc and Mirror Group plc, particularly since the acquisition of publishing assets from Northern & Shell and Local World.

“As such, the name no longer accurately reflects the Company.”

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Chief executive Simon Fox, pictured, said at the time: “Through our content we reach millions of people every day.  Our reach extends across multiple platforms in both print and digital and across the cities and communities that we serve. We think this is a name which better reflects what we do and what our ambitions are.”

LAUNCH OF CONNECTED MONEY APP

HSBC UK has launched Connected Money - the first app from a UK bank that allows customers to see their accounts on one screen.

The app allows users to see not only their UK current account but online savings accounts, mortgages, loans and cards held across a number of banks, including non HSBC accounts, in one app.

The technology is now publically available to all HSBC UK current account customers using iOS 10 and above via the App Store.

Becky Moffat (pictured), HSBC UK Head of Personal Banking and Advance, said: “Our customers live busy lives and bank in a variety of ways. We want to help them to manage their money more easily.

“Having access to one app that shares insights across a customer’s UK current accounts, mortgages, credit cards, savings and loans saves time by not having to individually log into each account and provides a clear view of their financial position. From testing this technology with customers we found that it gave them a sense of better control and financial confidence,” she added.

HSBC UK, the overall sponsor of Birmingham Press Club, will later this year officially open its new headquarters building in the city. It serves around 14.5 million customers in the UK.

And now…. It’s the Peaky Blinders Ballet!

 

Peaky Blinders creator Steven Knight, speaking at a Birmingham Press Club celebrity lunch, has revealed plans for a ballet version of the hit Birmingham gangster TV show.

The Oscar-nominated screenwriter said the Ballet Rambert dance company had approached him with plans for a ballet based on the Shelby crime family.

Steven also told guests he is planning three more series of the drama and is lobbying the BBC to film more of the show in his home city.

The last series was the most popular installment of the BBC Two drama yet.

Steven, who is currently writing season five, said: "We are definitely doing [series] six and we will probably do seven. After series four it went mad.

"We've talked to [lead actor] Cillian Murphy and he's all for it, and the rest of the principal cast are in for it."

He revealed talks over a dance version of the show, saying: "I had a meeting with Ballet Rambert who want to do Peaky Blinders - The Ballet. I'm saying 'why not?'"

Steven said he was keen to use the show's success to promote Birmingham and wants more filming to take place in the city. Previous episodes have been filmed elsewhere, with the Black Country Living Museum one of the only locations close to Birmingham.

"I'm trying to get series five shot here and trying to get as many Birmingham actors as I can in," he said.

"It's always bothered me that Birmingham didn't have that profile. It's a big city and it wasn't shouting about it.

"I'm sort of an evangelist for the city, so that was part of wanting to do it."

At the lunch, held at Opus Restaurant, Birmingham, and sponsored by Digbeth Dining Club, Steven was also installed as an Honorary Life Member of Birmingham Press Club – the oldest of its kind in the world – and received the traditional gift of an Acme Whistles-made bugle from Bob Warman, the press club’s president (pictured).

Pic:  Ian Tennant


 

Editors to advise colleges in training shake-up

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Birmingham Press Club director Marc Reeves is among a number of regional editors who are to advise individual journalism colleges on the latest newsroom practices as part of a plan to make industry training “more rigorous”.

 

The National Council for the Training of Journalists has announced the appointment of 14 editorial chiefs from across regional and national media in a bid to tighten up its accreditation process.

They include Trinity Mirror’s West Midland editor-in-chief Marc Reeves and his East Midlands counterpart Steve Hall, Rachael Sugden, Trinity Mirror Gloucestershire senior editor and Martin Wright, editor of the Shropshire Star.

Marc commented: "It's great to be more involved. The pace of change in the regional news industry is such that you can be out of touch within just a few months, so its essential that courses are closer than ever to the industry.

“This can only be good for the students, who are more employable as a result - as well as employers like Trinity Mirror who want people to hit the ground running when they're recruited,” he added.

The editors have been assigned to work with the NCTJ’s accredited centres to offer practical support, knowledge and advice on the latest journalistic techniques and working practices.

The NCTJ currently accredits more than 80 journalism courses at some 40 universities, further education colleges and independent training centres across the UK.

 

The appointments form part of a broader plan, unveiled by the NCTJ, which will see centres with consistently high performance standards being made subject to fewer visits by the organisation.

Key features of the approach include:

  • An even more rigorous, transparent and cost-effective system allowing efforts to be concentrated where they are needed most. Centres with consistently high performance standards will be subject to fewer visits.

  • More practical support from editors and the NCTJ with closer collaboration between accredited course providers and the industry.

  • Designated industry advisers are offering knowledge and advice on the latest journalistic techniques and working practices.

  • A holistic and risk-based proportionate approach using evidence and information gathered by the NCTJ to raise standards and eliminate unnecessary bureaucracy.

 

Dining Club to sponsor Press Club “scoop”

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One of Birmingham’s fastest-growing entrepreneurial enterprises is to sponsor Birmingham Press Club’s celebrity lunch with Peaky Blinders’ creator Steven Knight on Friday, 4 May.

 

“Tickets are selling very well and we expect a sell-out event,” said Press Club director Kay Cadman, who is organising the function, which is to be held at Opus Restaurant, Cornwall Street, Birmingham, B3 2DE.

Fellow-Press Club director Katie Cohen, senior media relations manager with HSBC UK, which is the Press Club’s overall sponsor, said:  “Steven is one of today’s top screenwriters and his creations, not least Peaky Blinders, continue to delight audiences around the world. It’s a real ‘scoop’ for the Press Club to have Steven as our guest.”

Sponsoring the lunch will be Digbeth Dining Club, which since its inception in 2012 has been a trailblazer in the nationwide “street-food revolution” – as well as establishing itself as one of Birmingham’s favourite leisure destinations.

Such events host a range of street-food traders from around the country, serving up a variety of cuisine alongside live music, DJs, arts markets, cocktails and a monthly retro gaming experience.

Digbeth Dining Club also acts as a pop-up street-food event at locations across the Midlands, including Codsall, Coventry, Shrewsbury and various venues in Birmingham.

Digbeth Dining Club director Jack Brabant said: “Street food is one of the UK’s fasting growing industries at the moment, and in the past five years we have given a platform to over 40 new businesses to start their own projects. Several former traders who began their careers at Digbeth Dining Club now have their own restaurants.”

He added: “We pride ourselves on being the voice of authentic and alternative food in Birmingham, providing quality on every platform and coupling it with a unique atmosphere in a truly special environment.”

In November 2016, guest celebrity Steven Knight, who was born in Birmingham, received the highest honour from the Royal Television Society’s Midlands centre – the Baird Medal – in recognition of his extraordinary career. Apart from creating hit BBC gangster series Peaky Blinders, Steven has co-created “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire,” and written numerous TV series and movies, including Woman Walks Ahead, which has a release date of 29 June in the US with Jessica Chastain in a starring role.

Tickets for the lunch may be obtained by logging on to www.birminghampressclub.co.uk/booking

 

 

Ex-editor dies in hospital after fall at home

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A former weekly editor who went on to become a prominent figure in the wider industry, including serving as president of the Guild of Editors, has died aged 84.

John Hardeman (pictured) was president of the Guild, the forerunner of the Society of Editors in 1985, and also played a role in establishing journalism training in its early years.

Editor of the Solihull News for seven years, he went on to become editorial director of Reed Midland Newspapers, overseeing the Worcester News among other titles.

John, who is survived by his five children, died in Warwick Hospital after suffering a fall at his home in Leamington Spa.

Born in Rugby in 1933, John left school at 14 and persuaded the editor of the Rugby Advertiser to give him a job. He remained in the town for a number of years, later as chief reporter of the Coventry Telegraph’s Rugby office.

His son Simon, who also became a journalist, said: “Contacts gave him the nickname ‘Scoop’. During this time he began his involvement in the civic life of the town, and sang in several choirs, including the Rugby Philharmonic Society.”

After editing the Solihull News he became managing editor of the West Midlands Group and then editorial director of Berrows Newspapers, which became Reed Midland Newspapers. As well as his role in the Guild of Editors he also served on the Press Council, the press regulatory body of the time, and spent two years working with the Newspaper Society in London.

In the journalism-training sphere, he chaired the body responsible for the introduction and running of National Vocational Qualifications (NVQs) across the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, and was chief external verifier of Journalism NVQs for the national awarding body. He also ran training courses accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ), and was a consultant to other awarding bodies.

In his late 70s, during retirement, John gained a degree and then a masters in global history, from the University of Warwick. He also continued to indulge his passion for theatre by continuing to write reviews and also founded a local magazine, Cotswold Diamond.

Suffering from failing eyesight, he suffered a fall at his home in Leamington that led to a rapid decline and he died in Warwick Hospital, with family around him.

John is survived by his children Simon, Sarah, Jonathan, Joanna, and Laure.

The funeral will take place on Thursday, 17 May at 2.30pm at the South Chapel, Oakley Wood Crematorium, Bishops Tachbrook, near Leamington.

 

 

Bank backs skills development programmes

 Pictured (l-r) Brendan Cook, Head of Transformation at HSBC UK, Michaela Wright Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK and Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust.

Pictured (l-r) Brendan Cook, Head of Transformation at HSBC UK, Michaela Wright Head of Corporate Sustainability, HSBC UK and Nick Stace, UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust.

Birmingham-based HSBC UK has renewed its partnership with The Prince’s Trust, enabling the charity to dedicate further resources to supporting young people to develop their employability skills.

The funding will also assist the Trust to innovate and trial new ways of helping young people.

The partnership renewal was announced when leaders from business and local government met at the new Prince’s Trust centre in Digbeth to build on their commitment to supporting Birmingham’s young people and providing increased access to jobs and skills.

“The Trust’s programmes across the UK have enabled thousands of young people to re-engage with education, training or employment,” said Ian Stuart, chief executive of HSBC UK, which first established links with the Trust in 2012. He added: “We know the benefits that the skills developed through these programmes can have in the workplace later on, both for employees and employers, and are committed to investing in programmes that help young people reach their potential.”

 

 

Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, commented: “Addressing the skills challenge in the region is one of my top priorities and I am delighted that The Prince’s Trust has chosen to develop their new skills hub in Birmingham. here is much to celebrate in the region, but we still have a great deal of work to do to ensure that everyone is sharing in this success. I am pleased to work in partnership with HSBC UK and The Prince’s Trust to give all of our young people an opportunity to succeed.”

The Prince’s Trust, which moved to its new premises in Digbeth in March 2018, will this year support 60,000 people in the UK to develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life.

The centre aims to provide a safe environment in which The Trust can realise its commitment to supporting a further one million young people to realise their true potential over the next decade.

The charity runs a range of employability and enterprise programmes designed to help boost young people’s confidence and skills at venues across the UK, and also delivers a growing number of services remotely through Prince’s Trust Online.

 

This year, The Prince’s Trust will support around 60,000 young people to develop the confidence and skills they need to succeed in life.

 

Local newspapers no longer dominate. But they are responding to challenges, says report

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Local news organisations are investing in a digital future, restructuring newsrooms and diversifying business models, according to a new Reuters Institute report, The Digital Transition of Local News.

The study of news organisations in the UK, France, Germany and Finland found that local journalism remains valued and trusted by audiences and many local and regional media organisations are optimistic about the future of local news. Yet the transition from print to digital has also presented challenges. Some outlets have been forced to close bureaus or consolidate as they seek new sources of revenue and target new audiences. 

Most are also competing with platform companies such as Facebook and Google for advertising, while also relying on those companies to reach online audiences.

Findings:

  • Local and regional news organisations are investing in a digital future, including creating digital first newsrooms and adapting to audience needs.

  • Local media groups are experimenting with revenue generation, including implementing paywalls or paid subscriptions, events, members clubs and e-commerce.

  • Like many news organisations, local and regional outlets compete for advertising with platform companies such as Google and Facebook, but also rely on these companies to reach online audiences.

  • Pace of change varies between countries, but all news organisations in the sample still focus on their print product for revenues, while acknowledging the need to transition to digital. 

  • In the overall local news landscape, some local news outlets have been forced to shut bureaus or close completely, while others have consolidated. 

  • Local or regional media groups that have consolidated report belonging to a larger organisation provided greater access to relevant expertise and digital tools necessary to build their online presence.

  • Some news outlets report difficulties attracting and retaining young reporters: local media perceived as “not cool”, and wages are lower than at larger media organisations. 

Joy Jenkins, co-author, said: “Local newspapers, like other legacy media, are facing major challenges and no longer hold the dominant market position they once did.  But the newspapers in this report are also developing innovative ways to respond, from paid solutions journalism to collaborating with other newsrooms on digital initiatives to diversified business models, including in-house marketing firms, custom publishing, and events. They also enjoy a level of recognition and trust from their communities that will no doubt aid their continued transition.” 

Co-author Rasmus Kleis Nielsen (pictured) commented: “Local news is incredibly important for making sure people are informed about their communities and empowered to engage in them. It is also clear that the business model based on advertising that historically has funded local news is seriously challenged today. That is why it is so encouraging we have identified several different examples of how local newspapers are working to reinvent their journalism and their business to adapt to an increasingly digital, mobile, and platform-dominated media environment.”

 

 

The Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism is a globally focused research centre at the University of Oxford that tracks the world’s media, its trends, developments and forecasts

Top Marks for Wolverhampton College Students

More success for journalism students at the City of Wolverhampton College, which is consistently a top performing NCTJ accredited further education centre in the UK.

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Samuel Jackson, (pictured) a newly-qualified senior reporter on the Leamington Spa Courier, scooped two of the four awards available for exam performance after the latest National Qualification in Journalism sittings, securing the Media Law Award, as well as the Esso Award for the best news report.

His fellow City of Wolverhampton College alumnus Jordan Reynolds, of the Shropshire Star, took the Society of Editors’ Award for the best news interview.

The moderator described Samuel’s media law performance as “an excellent, all-round paper showing good knowledge and application”, while his news report answer was a “well-written story with pace and accuracy”.

Samuel, who joined the Courier in 2015 after completing a diploma in journalism in Wolverhampton, said: “Just passing is brilliant enough, but to come top in not one but two of the papers is the icing on the cake.”

He added: “I want to thank my editor Phil Hibble, my former editor Chris Lillington for giving me the job at the Leamington Courier in the first place, my trainer John Wilson and my tutor at Wolverhampton College Dani Wozencroft. They have all helped me so much in becoming the journalist I am today.”

Dani said: I am incredibly proud of all our former students who are progressing in their careers. They got a great grounding here at City of Wolverhampton College and worked very hard to complete the workload.

It does not surprise me that both Sam and Jordan have been handed awards for their NQJs as they both achieved great results while under my leadership at college. This is due in no small part to the sheer effort they put in and determination they both have to succeed.

“For Sam to achieve two awards is an incredible moment and something he should be very proud of,” added Dani.

Jordan, who was praised for “good detail” and “well used quotes” in her news interview paper,  said: “This was such a shock - but I’m so pleased to pass, let alone have the best news interview paper.”

Last year, 20 year-old Izin Akhabau, who also received her training at the City of Wolverhampton College, made history by becoming the youngest-ever person to report on BBC News At Ten.

 

Can Anyone Beat Barrie’s Record?

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Ex-Derby Telegraph staffer Barrie Farnsworth (pictured) has left the regional press industry after working for a total of 29 different newspapers during a 45-year career, commenting: “I would love to hear from anyone who can match or beat that.”

Barrie’s most recent job was working on a freelance basis at the Tamworth Herald, but his career also included stints editing titles in Worksop, Scunthorpe and Lincoln.

He told HTFP, the media sector website: “I have seen a lot of change over the past 45 years – but I have simply loved being a journalist. I think the only newsroom job I have not had is Sports Editor – and despite loving my cricket rugby and football, I have no regrets about that.

“I have edited some great teams at Worksop, Scunthorpe and Lincoln – and I have also worked for some great editors, especially the late Peter Moore, the long-standing editor of the Grimsby Telegraph, where I enjoyed my role as production editor, and Gary Phelps, who has been a fine editor at the Tamworth Herald for many years. I have also been lucky enough to have enjoyed what, with hindsight, was a golden period for journalists – although the last decade has been more painful for most.

 

However, Barrie added: “I fear for the future of local newspapers – and I sincerely believe that the Government should consider subsidising them sooner rather than later.”

Barrie’s last staff role was on the Derby Telegraph before being made redundant in 2009, since when he has worked as a freelance.

The full list of titles Barrie has worked for is as follows:

Derbyshire Times
Buxton Advertiser
Sheffield Morning Telegraph
Worksop Guardian
Scunthorpe Star
Scunthorpe Extra
Lincoln Standard
Horncastle Standard
Boston Standard
Skegness Standard
Gainsborough News
Sleaford Standard
Grimsby Telegraph
Grimsby Target
Scunthorpe Telegraph
Scunthorpe Target
Derby Telegraph
Stoke Sentinel
Leek Post
Uttoxeter Advertiser
Tamworth Herald
Lichfield Mercury
Walsall Advertiser
Great Barr Observer
Sutton Observer
Leicester Mercury
Nottingham Post
Ashbourne Telegraph
Nuneaton News

 

Peaky Blinders Creator as Press Club’s Guest Speaker

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Birmingham-born screenwriter and film director Steven Knight, creator of the successful television programme Peaky Blinders – the biggest BBC Two drama series of last year - is to be guest speaker at a Birmingham Press Club celebrity lunch on Friday, 4 May.

“Steven is a talented award-winner whose creations are popular with audiences around the world and we are delighted that he has found the time in his busy schedule to address the Press Club,” said event organiser, Press Club director Kay Cadman.

The lunch will be held at Opus Restaurant, Cornwall Street, Birmingham. Tickets priced at £50 (inclusive of VAT) may be booked by completing an online form at www.birminghampressclub.co.uk

Peaky Blinders, following the lives of gangster-brothers in Birmingham, was first aired in 2013 and its fifth series will be screened next year. Since its launch it has increased in popularity, with audiences peaking at 3.6 million for the finale of series four.

“It just gets better and better,” said Patrick Holland, Controller of BBC Two.  “It is such a distinctive, brilliantly crafted, beautifully acted series that Steven Knight, the production team and the exceptional cast have taken to another level. It is brilliant that such a broad, younger audience loves the series as much as we do at BBC Two. We can’t wait for the next series!”

Steven (pictured) already had a highly successful career before crafting Peaky Blinders, however.

He wrote the award-winning screenplay for the film Dirty Pretty Things as well as writing the screenplays for several other movies, two of which he directed himself. He has also written and directed a number of episodes of television’s The Detectives in addition to creating the phenomenally successful Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, which has been exported to 160 countries.

And just to reinforce the popularity of the TV series even more, a sell-out Peaky Blinders festival is set to take place in the West Midlands later this year – providing fans with the chance to live out the exploits of the Birmingham gang. For two weekends, September 7-8 and 14-15, the Black Country Living Museum in Dudley will be transformed into the streets of 1920s Birmingham.

 

Enquiries:  Kay Cadman, Core Marketing, tel: 0121 232 5000

Early career ‘goal’ for journalism students

Staffordshire University sports journalism students Molly Hudson and Shauna Callan have been signed up by a national newspaper to cover women’s football.

They will write for The Times during the FA Women’s Super League season, travelling to matches across the country and writing a regular feature in The Game, the paper’s weekly football supplement.

Molly will also cover the Women’s Super League Cup final, between Arsenal and Manchester City.

 

 

 

 Shauna Callan, left, and Molly Hudson

Shauna Callan, left, and Molly Hudson

Nineteen-year-old Molly, from Peterborough, said: “It’s a really good experience for me to cover my first final in the women’s game. Doing this is the proof that I’m getting somewhere. Seeing your name in a national newspaper is something that some people might not get even 10 years into their career, so I’m lucky to have been given this opportunity.”

The pair are the only females in their year and were put forward for the job by lecturer and journalist Ian Whittell.

Shauna, also 19, from Telford, said: “It is a bit surreal – you don’t think in your second year of university that you are going to write for The Times. It’s nice for me and Molly to be involved in women’s sport. Having the extra support from Ian is great too. To get direct advice from someone working in the industry is really helpful.”

Birmingham Press Club director Peter Brookes, who is senior lecturer in sports journalism at Staffordshire University said: "This is another example of the high grade of sports journalism teaching at Staffordshire University. We pride ourselves on having an extensive network of contacts in the industry.”

He added that colleague Ian Whittell, who also works for The Times, helped Molly and Shauna to get their chance to write for a national. “It will look pretty impressive on their CVs!” added Peter.

 

 

 

 

Bank’s Black Country Milestone

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Staff working at the Dudley branch of HSBC UK have been in party mood – celebrating the 125th anniversary of it first opening its doors for business in the town.

 

“We are extremely proud to be celebrating 125 years of the branch being open to the Dudley community. This has given us the opportunity to appreciate how we as a branch have adapted to the change in customer banking needs over the years,” said Midlands area director Matt Ridler.

 

Forty-eight years ago today (6 March), the branch became computerised – but some of its customers can still remember the days before that when bank staff tapped away on manual typewriters and paper-based records were everything.

 

Mr Ridler said: “Through the 1950s the bank continued to hold paper-based banking records, with staff relying on manual typewriters, ledger posting machines and hand-written reference cards. Today these processes are now completed with just a click of a button. 

 

“The customer experience would have also been significantly different to what it is like today as opening hours coincided with local market days and the services available would be limited to business advice and small loans, receiving deposits, withdrawals authorisations and cashing cheques in. Today, we offer customers a range of products in branch ranging from savings accounts across to mortgages which are all supported via our express self-service machines, mobile, online and telephone banking,” he added.

 

HSBC UK – the main sponsor of Birmingham Press Club – is currently creating a new head office in Birmingham as part of a £200 million investment in the city.

Let’s hear it for Birmingham!

Press Club member Jo Jeffries, co-founder of the Birmingham Music Awards, has announced that John Taylor, who, together with school friend Nick Rhodes established legendary Birmingham pop group Duran Duran, is supporting this year’s inaugural awards.

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John (pictured) is to present the “Rising Star” award - which will be received by the winner of a competition to discover new Birmingham talent.

The awards, which will feature categories for Best Song, Best Male, Best Female, Best Band, Best Live Venue, Best Urban Act, Best Newcomer, Best Radio Station and Best DJ, will be presented at a ceremony to be held at Birmingham’s Glee Club on 2 May.

Submissions are welcome from anyone across the region who has a passion for music and their city. Details on how to enter – and how to buy tickets - can be found by logging onto www.birminghammusicawards.com

Judging will be carried out by a panel of music industry professionals, all with an impressive track record in the business and shortlisted entries will be announced on 30 March.

John said: “Birmingham is where the Duran Duran journey began. We formed in 1978, playing Barbarella’s and many other venues around town, eventually becoming resident band at The Rum Runner. We signed our major label deal and the rest is history. I like to keep in touch with new and aspiring musicians and musical artists – it’s where the energy is – and I love coming back home and rekindling my passion for the city, so I was honoured to be invited to participate in the first Birmingham Music Awards.  It’s going to be a great night for the local scene!”

Jo, who is co-founder of the awards alongside Dean Williams, commented: “We are determined to conceive and grow one big Birmingham music family. We want to work together to deliver the recognition our city deserves, and more music success stories made in Birmingham, so naturally we were thrilled when John agreed to come and present our Rising Star Award.”

“There are so many reasons to be excited about being a musician in Birmingham right now; the whole creative landscape is changing, the urban scene is exploding, key music education providers such as ACM and BIMM have moved in and we want to add to the momentum and recognise the achievements and talents of so many.”

 Photograph:  Kristin Burns

Expats give “thumbs up” to life in Birmingham

Birmingham has been voted the fifth best city in the world for expat job opportunities, according to HSBC’s Expat Explorer survey.

 

As host of the 2022 Commonwealth games, and increasingly a growing business hub, Birmingham is currently undergoing significant investment. The city is regenerating major areas, including the recent redevelopment of Birmingham New Street Station, and is attracting major companies, including HSBC - main sponsor of the Press Club - which is opening its UK headquarters later this year. 

 

Three-quarters of expats in Birmingham say that their overall quality of life is as good as or better than it was at home. Integration is also high with 85% of expats in the city learning or using English - more than in London (77%) and Edinburgh (75%) - and 64% of expats saying that they are integrating well with the British culture and people.

 

Birmingham comes fifth in the world for expat job opportunities, behind international hubs such as San Francisco, London, New York and Dublin. Almost two-thirds of expats (64%) say the work culture is better than in their home country, compared to global average of 49%, and 62% enjoy a better work/life balance since their move. Additionally, 59% are more fulfilled at work.

 

Although expats in Birmingham earn on average considerably less than expats in London, they are more likely to enjoy more disposable income (57%) and to own a property (51%) than expats in London (51% and 50% respectively). This can be explained by the lower cost of living with 51% saying it is ‘affordable’ compared with only 1% of expats in London.

 

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Commenting on the findings, Dean Blackburn (pictured), Head of HSBC Expat, said: “The UK’s relationship with the rest of the world is changing and it is more important than ever that its cities make a name for themselves. The UK’s reputation on the world stage stems in great part from the views of expats who come and go.

“It is fantastic news then, that expats rate Birmingham among the highest in the world for the job opportunities and quality of life it offers, while feeling at home in the city. Expats in Birmingham are getting stuck into life, contributing their skills and cultures to the country.”