Colors: Purple Color

Voluntary organisations are being urged to apply for a grant to help them provide free after-school clubs and play schemes for Sandwell children. The council is looking for not-for-profit groups to run sessions across Sandwell for children aged between six and 12, and for up to 16-year-olds with additional needs. The Local Play Services Play Grant, which is worth a minimum of £40,000 a year for each of Sandwell’s six towns, will fund independent projects between April 2017 and March 2020.

An air of uncertainty still looms over parts of the Midlands commercial property market but much of with the region has shown some tentative signs of optimism post Brexit, according to the latest RICS Commercial Market Survey. On the whole the commercial property market across the Midlands has started showing some signs of recovery. Occupier demand edged up in Q3 with 21% more respondents reporting a rise in demand at an all sector level (up from 7% in Q2).

A new form of male contraception and enhanced fertility treatments could both soon be a reality thanks to pioneering work from two University of Wolverhampton scientists. Professor John Howl and Dr Sarah Jones are at the forefront of cell penetrating peptide research which it is hoped could be used in both IVF and birth control techniques in the future. They have teamed up with the University of Aveiro in Portugal on a €194,000 three-year project to look at the impact of cell penetrating peptides – and in particular the way in which they can control the function of sperm.

Forty-two percent of young women aged between 13 and 22 believe gender discrimination will hold them back in their future careers. However, they claim that the rise of female leaders such as Theresa May and Hilary Clinton could help to change sexist attitudes and encourage workplace diversity, according to a new YouGov survey commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).

Private housing developers are holding back on developments due to the uncertainty surrounding Brexit and land value losses, warn experts from law firm Clarke Willmott LLP. While new home building fund announcements have been welcomed, as they indicate a shift towards a more flexible approach towards homes being built for rent as well as for sale, fewer planning applications are being granted permission according to social housing experts at the firm.

City of Wolverhampton Council is set to launch an exciting new initiative to provide vital skills, training and support for city residents to secure Yoo Recruit jobs. The move comes following feedback from city employers that suggests CVs, interview skills, confidence levels, and skill set usually prevent some residents from finding and sustaining employment. The council’s economic inclusion service and city partners have recently enjoyed success in getting people into WV Active, Cleaning & Catering, and Public Realm vacancies on the back of successful ‘Fast Track’ programmes.

Fred. Olsen Cruise Lines has once again triumphed at the 'Group Leisure Awards', after being voted 'Best Cruise Line for Groups' by readers of leading travel title, Group Leisure magazine, for a record sixth time! The prestigious award recognises the very best groups cruise experience, from the initial booking process to onboard facilities, and the quality of excursions on offer.

The West Midlands is outperforming the rest of the UK when it comes to employment, according to the latest job figures. Figures released by the Office for National Statistics show employment in the region rose by 1.0 per cent, compared to a national increase of 0.1 per cent.  In a further boost, the inactivity rate (those unable to seek employment) is down by 1.1 per cent, while unemployment remains unchanged.

City of Wolverhampton Council Strategic Director of Place, Tim Johnson, have officially announced at MIPIM UK an exciting design competition for the city’s prestigious i9 site within the Interchange development. The council and development partner, Neptune Developments, have called for an eye-catching modern office building befitting of a national headquarters or regional office which will be developed in this important site opposite the i10 building on Railway Drive.

Energy demand in new homes could be halved if more focus is put on the shape and form of housing being built, the latest report from the NHBC Foundation has found. The current Building Regulations methodology used to demonstrate energy/carbon compliance does not give credit for the energy efficiency inherent in simple forms of homes, and there has been little incentive for designers to use this as part of their low-energy strategies.

New data from financial information service Defaqto shows that the launch of consumer VR headsets such as the Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and Playstation VR could lead to a wave of accidental damage claims which may not be covered. Of the 441 home insurance policies on the market, 234 (53%) have a ‘restricted items’ clause in their technology accidental damage (AD) cover, which may exclude VR headsets.

A shocking 45% of people in the West Midlands live in homes which fail to meet the ‘Living Home Standard’ – a new measure of what makes an acceptable home, developed as part of ground-breaking new research. Designed to be the housing equivalent of the Living Wage, the new Living Home Standard has been developed by the public, for the public through a series of discussion groups, workshops and surveys. For the first time it reveals a measure of what the public think they should have from a home in order to live, rather than just get by.

City of Wolverhampton Council planners have been praised for their support in the refurbishment of a landmark Grade II-listed Wolverhampton building for luxury serviced offices. The former HMRC VAT office at Deansgate on Tettenhall Road has been converted into 28 offices, ranging in size from 1,540 sq ft to 226 sq ft, following a £2.8 million investment by developer and local businessman Surj Dhami.

A third of young adults can't hang a picture or change a light bulb and a quarter admit they can't even boil an egg, according to a shocking new study by Poundland. It seems that although millennials may be social media and smart phone savvy the majority do not have the skills that the older generations took for granted.  The study revealed that 77 per cent of 25-34 year olds could not fix a bike puncture, 37 per cent cannot bake a cake and 39 per cent couldn’t paint/decorate a room.