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Business News

Central location for Natwest branch

NatWest has opened a new Grand Central branch in Birmingham, replacing the branch previously located at Birmingham New Street. Les Matheson, CEO for Personal

& Business Banking, officially opened the branch, which has a new look and feel over two floors, with the ‘traditional’ bank counter replaced by an open plan banking hall featuring pictures of famous local landmarks. It contains upgraded cash machines and cash deposit machines as well as free Wi-Fi and iPads so customers can register and access online banking services. The second floor of the branch is

home to NatWest’s first ever ‘private lounge’, which offers private banking customers a place to relax or work in the heart of the city. Mr Matheson said: “Even though

there are more ways to bank with us than ever before, our branches remain a cornerstone of the service we provide. “This year we are investing more

than £100m to upgrade our branch network so that it can better meet the needs of our customers, and support them with big life decisions such as taking out a mortgage or starting up their own business.”

Barrowman is back...oh yes he is!

Following last year’s record-breaking production of Aladdin attended by nearly 120,000 people, Birmingham Hippodrome has announced another spectacular line-up for this year’s pantomime, Dick Whittington. John Barrowman, Steve Mcfadden, The Krankies And

Matt Slack will lead the cast in the production, which runs from Monday 19 December to Sunday 29 January.

‘John is perhaps best-known for his iconic role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who’

John Barrowman stars in the title role of the hero Dick Whittington. The hugely popular showman last appeared at the Hippodrome in the pantomime Robin Hood in 2008/09 and has enjoyed an acclaimed and hugely varied career including music, presenting and writing with performances on television and film, in the West End and on Broadway. His numerous stage credits include leading roles in

Sunset Boulevard, Anything Goes, Phantom of the Opera, Miss Saigon and Company. John is perhaps best-known for his iconic role as Captain Jack Harkness in Doctor Who for the BBC, a

role that proved so popular he became the leading role in its spin-off series, Torchwood. He has also released eleven studio albums and two

concert DVDs. John is currently starring as Malcolm Merlyn in the acclaimed US television show Arrow, based on the DC Comic crime-fighter Green Arrow. Soap star Steve Mcfadden will be telling a different

‘tail’ this Christmas starring as the evil King Rat, determined to outwit Dick Whittington.

Dick Whittington tickets from £15.50 can be booked on 0844 338 5000 or from

Train deal hits the right notes

London Midland has announced its support for an historic musical event taking place in Birmingham this summer. The train operator will be supporting Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla’s

inaugural concert as Osborn Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra on 26 August at Symphony Hall.

Under Mirga’s baton, supported by London Midland, the

CBSO will perform Mozart’s ‘The Magic Flute’ overture, Hans Abrahamsen’s award-winning ‘Let Me Tell You’ and Tchaikovsky’s Fourth Symphony. Award-winning train operator London Midland

operates 1,300 services a day, providing over 65 million passenger journeys a year including vital routes around the West Midlands and into Birmingham. The firm has committed to making train travel as

simple as possible for everyone, and is investing £15 million in improvements. Patrick Verwer, London Midland managing director,

said: “We are delighted to support Mirga and be associated with her first concert as the orchestra’s Music Director. The CBSO is a central part of Birmingham’s cultural assets and a great ambassador for the city and the region as a whole.” Stephen Maddock, CBSO chief

executive, said: “We are pleased to be welcoming London Midland on board and are extremely grateful for their support.”

Conducting: Mirga Gražinyte-Tyla

14 CHAMBERLINK July/August 2016

Luxury AC Hotel is in the post

The Mailbox has welcomed another notable arrival – in the shape of AC Hotels, described as a design-led ‘lifestyle brand’ within Marriott International’s global portfolio. Currently operating over 90 sites

across Europe and North America, the new AC Hotels will be the first of its kind in the UK. It has replaced the previous

Ramada Hotel, which closed in January. The hotel has been refurbished and now features 90 guest rooms. The arrival of AC Hotels at the

Mailbox is another key milestone in the redevelopment of the centre. So far, the transformation has

seen Harvey Nichols relocate to the heart of the Mailbox and open a 45,000 sq ft concept store, in addition to attracting a string of luxury retailers and a premium leisure offer including Everyman Cinema, and independent bars and restaurants. David Pardoe, head of

marketing, retail and tenant engagement at the Mailbox, said: “With AC Hotels choosing the Mailbox as the first location in the UK to welcome the brand, this further cements our reputation as a premium destination.”

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