Press Club high-flyers

Birmingham Press Club members enjoyed a taste of “flying fish & chips” when they visited Take Flight Aviation at Wellesbourne Airfield, near Stratford upon Evening, for an evening social event.

After a 25-minute flight over the Warwickshire countryside, taking in breathtaking aerial views of historic Warwick Castle and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, the intrepid crews descended to tuck into an appetising fish & chip supper.

Take Flight Aviation, which operates a fleet of 16 light aircraft, provides flying lessons from Wellesbourne, where it has been based for ten years. It also operates out of London Oxford Airport.

Hana Smiddy, sales and marketing director with Take Flight Aviation, said: “Everyone had a great evening – and guests certainly looked the part when they donned their ‘Biggles’ helmet and flying jacket!”

HSBC Will Be Headline Sponsor at Midlands Media Awards

Birmingham Press Club’s annual Midlands Media Awards – which celebrate the achievements of the region’s journalists, photographers, broadcasters and bloggers – are this year to be held at Birmingham Repertory Theatre on 20 October.

The headline sponsor will be HSBC, which is currently building a new national head office in Birmingham city centre to serve its personal and business customers.

Gary Phelps (second left), editor of 2015 Newspaper of the Year winner The Tamworth Herald with his staff

Gary Phelps (second left), editor of 2015 Newspaper of the Year winner The Tamworth Herald with his staff

Nigel Hinshelwood, head of UK and deputy chief executive of HSBC, which is set to have one of the biggest workforces in Birmingham, employing more than 3,500 staff by mid-2017, said: “Having just signed a three-year sponsorship package with the Press Club, we look forward to being associated for the first time with such a prestigious event.

“The media awards have been an important part of the Press Club calendar for many years and I am sure that this year’s entries will again reflect the professionalism of journalists from throughout the East and West Midlands.”

Press Club president Bob Warman said: “Each year, we have seen the standard of entries getting higher and higher – befitting of such a flagship event – and I have no doubt that the judging panel will again have some difficult choices to make.”

Entries are now being received for the awards, which include 22 categories ranging from Newspaper of the Year (won last year by The Tamworth Herald) to Blogger of the Year.  Entries will initially be scrutinised by a panel of 40 professionals who will then submit a shortlist to the final judging panel.

Ticket prices have again been pegged at £79.95 + VAT for individuals, while tables of ten are available at £725 + VAT.

Details on how to enter the awards are on

For further information regarding the awards, contact Paula Kelsey at Cloud 9 Event Management by calling 0115 933 3811 or e-mailing

HSBC, which currently has 2,500 staff in Birmingham, is to locate the national head office of its ring-fenced bank in a new building at Arena Central. The creation of a ring-fenced bank is in response to the Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 and must be completed before 1 January 2019.

New Union role for Tony and Shazma

Birmingham Press Club members Tony Adams and his daughter Shazma Javed have been elected to the National Union of Journalists Black Members Council.

Tony (right), who has been appointed vice-chairman, is seen here with Jim Boumelha, Simon Hinds, new chairman Marc Wadsworth and Shazma. Tony is currently in his second term as chairman of the Birmingham and Coventry NUJ branch, while Shazma is a media student at Birmingham City University.

Top of the agenda at the inaugural meeting of the Black Members Council (BMC) was the shock unleashing of a wave of racist attacks and xenophobia following the Brexit decision.

As well as setting out an ambitious programme of work for the next twelve months, the BMC will be focusing on lobbying to build on the proposed diversity change to the BBC's charter that is included in the Government’s white paper and demand it brings in penalties for corporation executives who do not reach agreed targets.

The BMC will also work to recruit more black journalists to the union, including young people working in digital media.

In the light of the fall out from the EU referendum, particularly the rise in racism and anti-foreigner abuse in Britain, the BMC will be pressing the NUJ leadership to organise a union-wide debate on the coverage of Brexit, looking at the pressures put on journalists and the need for a conscience clause and the reaffirmation of the union’s code of conduct and race reporting guidelines.

The BMC gave its total support to Marc Wadsworth after he was victimised as part of a manufactured story, that made print and broadcast headlines, which slanderously accused him of anti-semitism.

HSBC chief reaffirms commitment to Birmingham move

Nigel Hinshelwood, HSBC’s head of UK, has reaffirmed the bank’s commitment to Birmingham in the wake of the Brexit vote. Speaking at a briefing for Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce’s quarterly business report, Mr Hinshelwood gave a reassuring message that the EU referendum result would not affect HSBC’s strategy - or its move to a new national headquarters at Arena Central in 2017.

HSBC, which has signed a three-year sponsorship package with Birmingham Press Club, is expected to bring 1,200 new jobs to Birmingham with the relocation of its UK head office in 2017.

Pictured (left to right) are Professor Simon Collinson (dean of Birmingham Business School at Birmingham University), Nigel Hinshelwood (HSBC’s head of UK), Matthew Hammond (regional chairman of PwC), Paul Faulkner (GBCC chief executive) and Tony Dennant (head of Matthew Boulton College at Birmingham Met).

Pictured (left to right) are Professor Simon Collinson (dean of Birmingham Business School at Birmingham University), Nigel Hinshelwood (HSBC’s head of UK), Matthew Hammond (regional chairman of PwC), Paul Faulkner (GBCC chief executive) and Tony Dennant (head of Matthew Boulton College at Birmingham Met).

Mr Hinshelwood told delegates at the University of Birmingham-sponsored event at Birmingham Metropolitan College: “I get asked all the time does the decision to leave Europe change our strategy within HSBC UK?

“The answer to the question is absolutely not - it does not change our business strategy just because the UK voted to leave Europe.

“It will, of course, change the way that our commercial, retail and private bank customers may need our support, particularly in the next few years.

“The UK will continue to be a key part of our global network. It is one of our two home markets - the other being Hong Kong.

“It is also the home to our global headquarters and that will not change - we remain headquartered in London.

“But Birmingham will become the head office of HSBC UK. This city and the wider West Midlands region brings us closer to our 16 million retail and our one million commercial customers by literally being in the heart of the UK.

“We see Birmingham as the centre of a £110bn regional economy. It has the largest concentration of businesses outside of London, home to 37,000 companies and it really gives us an opportunity to contribute to regional growth.”

The relocation of HSBC UK’s head office at the end of next year is expected to bring 1,200 new jobs into Birmingham, with approximately 1,000 roles moving from London, as well as the creation of 200 new roles.

Mr Hinshelwood added the bank’s commitment to the city is underlined by the fact that many of its London-based workforce have already made plans to relocate.