Under new ownership…

The Observatory has now transferred to Marketing Birmingham

Office: Marketing Birmingham, Floor 4, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG.

Enquiries

Telephone 0121 202 5115
Email research@marketingbirmingham.com

Register with Marketing Birmingham

Update on our future

Following announcement of its abolition, Advantage West Midlands is seeking new ownership for the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

Advantage West Midlands is currently negotiating with their preferred bidder, Marketing Birmingham, on the Observatory’s behalf. The Agency’s Board will make a final decision on the outcome of those negotiations later in the year and no later than 1st September 2011.

In the interim, the Observatory will pause its operations and all staff have been redeployed into closure and transition activities at Advantage West Midlands. As such, you may not receive a reply to emails and phone calls. The website and blog will also not be updated during this period.

What does preferred bidder mean?

That Marketing Birmingham have exclusive rights to negotiate with Advantage West Midlands regarding the assets of the Observatory. There is no commitment on either side to a sale or transfer in advance of those negotiations.

What happens to the Observatory at the moment?

As the Agency is now focused on its closure, the Observatory’s operations have been temporarily paused. As such, we are not able to respond to enquiries and the website will not be updated.

Who do I talk to about this?

From Advantage West Midlands
Pat Jackson, tel 0121 503 3205, email patjackson [at] advantagewm.co.uk

From Marketing Birmingham
Tim Manson, tel 0121 202 5031, email Tim.Manson [at] marketingbirmingham.com

Draft Coventry and Warwickshire local economic assessment for consultation

Coventry Millennium Place people's bench

Warwickshire County Council and Coventry City Council have carried out a sub-regional economic assessment. The draft economic assessment is now available and comments are invited.

The economic assessment and feedback form are available on the Warwickshire County Council website. There are also supporting papers on innovation, future sectoral growth, functional economic geography and business starts and growth.

Centre for Cities update annual index of UK cities

Cover of Cities Outlook 2011 by Centre for Cities

The Centre for Cities have published Cities Outlook 2011 (pdf, 2.4mb), identifying the UK cities best placed for a private sector-led recovery.

According to the report, five cities to watch are Milton Keynes, Reading, Aberdeen, Leeds and Bristol. These cities have high potential to create private sector jobs and are less vulnerable to public sector job losses and spending cuts.

The report identifies five vulnerable cities that may not gain the benefits of national economic recovery for some time: Sunderland, Liverpool, Birkenhead, Swansea and Newport.

Performance of large cities, including Birmingham, will remain crucial in providing private sector jobs.

Related links

Request for help from hyperlocals

I’m on secondment with Big Lottery Fund’s West Midlands team at the moment, helping them with their BIG Local work. If you know of any hyperlocal blogs or social media surgeries serving the following areas, please could you leave me a comment below, tweet to @thewmro or email me oliver.nicholls [at] wmro.org

  • Bromford & Firs Estate (Birmingham)
  • East Coseley (Dudley)
  • Horsefair, Broadwaters, Greenhill (Kidderminster)
  • Tividale  – Grace Mary to Lion Farm (Sandwell)
  • Gobowen, St. Martins, Chell Heath (Shropshire)
  • Chell Heath & Fegg Hays (Stoke on Trent)

Thank you

New issue of Local Government Association analysis and research bulletin

Local Government AssocationThe December 2010 issue of the Local Government Association’s analysis and research bulletin (pdf, 328kb) is now available.

The bulletin highlights new research and statistics on:

  • Employment, pay and workforce trends
  • Transport
  • Housing
  • Education and children’s services
  • Environment
  • Health and social care
  • Local government
  • Europe
  • Population and migration
  • Culture, tourism and sport
  • Crime and disorder
  • Communities and place shaping

The current and previous issues are available on the Local Government Association’s website.

The future of the Observatory

Following the announcement of its abolition, Advantage West Midlands is seeking new ownership for the West Midlands Regional Observatory.

Advantage West Midlands received two expressions of interest to an open bidding process, which closed on 19th November. Marketing Birmingham has been selected as the preferred bidder and Advantage West Midlands is currently negotiating with them. The Agency’s Board is expected to make a final decision on the outcome of those negotiations at its January meeting.

Being the preferred bidder means that Marketing Birmingham have exclusive rights to negotiate with Advantage West Midlands re the assets of the Observatory. There is no commitment on either side to a sale or transfer in advance of those negotiations.

As the Agency is now focused on its closure, the Observatory will continue to operate, but at a greatly reduced capacity. As such, responses to enquiries may take longer than normal and our website (www.wmro.org) will be updated less frequently.

For more info, contact:
From Advantage West Midlands – Iain Neville tel: 0121 380 3563, email: iainnev [at] gmail.com
From Marketing Birmingham – Tim Manson tel: 0121 202 5031, email: Tim.Manson [at] marketingbirmingham.com

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