Local Chinese community expresses disappointment following the Chinese President’s visit being “hijacked” by the Chancellor

James Wong, chair of the Chinese Festival Committee in Birmingham, expressed his disappointment on behalf of the Chinese community “We are very disappointed that the government seems to have disregarded the hard work of the people in the second city in preparation of the visit of the Chinese President, in favour of the Northern Powerhouse project. It’s a real shame as President Xi Jinping expressed a special interest in visiting Birmingham. This decision appears to have been made at the last minute. I know that the Birmingham City Council has worked tirelessly to arrange this visit. We had over 300 local Chinese down in London on Tuesday to welcome him to England. James is a second generation Chinese, born and bred in Birmingham and runs three of the main Chinese restaurants in the Midlands  “We have seen an influx of Mainland Chinese investments in recent years, especially in China Town. One in three international students that studies in our 5 universities comes from China, many of whom decide to stay and invest in our city. I currently mentor two young businessmen who has expressed huge disappointment on hearing this news.”  Read the full article on the Birmingham Post...

Ballot opens for Southside BID following launch of new mandate

Businesses and supporters have gathered at Birmingham Hippodrome to launch the Yes campaign in support of Southside Business Improvement District in its renewal ballot. More than 80 local businesses and supporters of the BID attended the launch this month to hear from board directors, business owners and members of the Southside community about the positive impact the BID has had on safety, cleanliness and additional investment resulting in increased footfall and new business start ups in the area. More than 250 businesses will have until Thursday 19th November to vote in the renewal ballot for Southside BID to help secure a mandate for another five years.  Launched in 2011, Southside BID – which covers the city’s theatre district, Gay Village and Chinatown – has overseen an investment of almost £2 million in a range of initiatives that have helped it become one of the city’s most diverse and thriving districts. Cllr Penny Holbrook, cabinet member for skills, learning and culture, said: “Having recently joined Southside BID’s board it’s not difficult to see the fantastic achievements they have accomplished in the past five years. The BID has led the charge in creating a welcoming environment through initiatives such as street and taxi wardens and regular street cleaning, which have meant more visitors, more new businesses and more investment. Without the BID these initiatives will cease to exist, which could prove detrimental to the area and its development.”  Southside BID is funded by the 260 eligible businesses within the district paying a percentage of their ratable value, which raised £1.6 million over the previous term. A further £192,685 was raised from...

It’s hotting up at Southside

An influx of foreign students, a thriving leisure scene and its proximity to Grand Central and the Bullring have made Southside BID area the hottest residential market in the city according to a leading agent. Apartments are currently being snapped up within hours of going on the market with rents and capital values both on the rise as supply outstrips demand according to Marc Walker, head of new homes and residential development at York Laurent. There are currently more than 1,000 units in the pipeline across Southside – either approved or in the planning system – and Marc believes they cannot come to the market fast enough. He said: “This time of year is particularly busy for us in the Southside area as it is very popular with students, particularly from overseas, and this is the time of year when students are leaving and also arriving in the city but there is no doubt that this year we are busier than ever. “We opened our office in the Arcadian five years ago because we saw a gap in the market and our timing was spot on because the residential market there has just gone from strength to strength. “In our time in Southside there has been a huge positive transformation of the area as all the residential development has encouraged complimentary investment in the local bars, restaurants and shops and I think it is undoubtedly the city’s most vibrant district.” There are currently a number of schemes in various stages of the planning process including a major Lend Lease scheme, a Benacre development on Upper Dean Street and the...

In Preparation for Trams Returning to Birmingham City Centre …..

Essential tie-in works will close the Snowhill stop for a six week period from start of service on Sunday 25th October 2015. Within this period services will end at St. Paul’s Tram Stop, and passengers will be able to continue their journey by replacement bus service. Network West Midlands are currently working on further details, including timetables for replacement buses and walking routes. More information will be available soon. Keep up-to-date with the latest information...