Business News

£2m funding to turbo charge region’s creative media sector

Create Central, the creative industry-led body, has secured £2m of investment to deliver a programme of activities to help turbo charge the West Midlands film, TV and games sector. Create Central has been awarded

£1m through the BFI’s National Cluster Growth Fund using National Lottery money to deliver a long- term plan specifically to meet the needs of the West Midlands’ screen businesses. In addition, £500,000 investment has been confirmed by the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) and £500,000 from Tin Smart Social, a regional social enterprise. The programme is focused on

the ‘future of media’, with innovation, digital infrastructure, immersive storytelling and digital employability programmes taking place amongst more traditional elements such as attracting film and TV production to the region and promoting the West Midlands screen sector on a global stage. Leading industry professionals

are backing the work of Create Central which has members including Peaky Blinders writer Steven Knight and Nativity film

Media agency in mag launch

£2m to spend (from left): Andy Street, Ed Shedd, Debbie Isitt, WMCA chief executive Deborah Cadman and Steven Knight

franchise founder, Debbie Isitt. Steven Knight said: “I joined

Create Central to work with other business leaders from the screen sector to ensure that Birmingham and the wider region attracts new international production, supports home-grown talent and shouts about all the amazing things happening already in the West Midlands. This support from the BFI could not come at a better time for our industry.” Create Central works in close

partnership with the WMCA, the three Local Enterprise Partnerships,

Hawthorns used for maternity clinics

Soccer nursery: Midwives who are using The Hawthorns to look after new mums

A West Midland NHS Trust has teamed up with West Bromwich Albion to set up temporary maternity clinics at the football club. Midwives from Sandwell and West Birmingham NHS

Trust were seeing women for both antenatal and postnatal care at the Baggies’ ground. There are three weekly clinics with the club providing free space in the East Stand suites. It is staffed by 10 midwives and three support

workers and operates as an appointment-only facility. It was set up by Louise Wilde, deputy director of midwifery and Cathy Brown, community matron. Helen Hurst, director of midwifery, said: “We wanted to

provide an alternative space for women who are having antenatal and postnatal care. Women are slightly anxious about coming to hospital in the current climate so we wanted to find a safe space away from the hospital.

“It is for women who are 24 weeks onwards and

there are postnatal clinics for those who have been discharged. It will be as safe as the services that are currently provided by our midwives within the community, and in GP clinics. Should the need arise, we will be able to call on the ambulance service. We are really grateful to the Baggies for providing this space for women during this worrying time." Albion chief executive Mark Jenkins said: “We are

more than happy to open the doors to The Hawthorns to enable this vital service to be safely conducted. “It is another example of how the club can help within

our community during the pandemic, something we are determined to continue to do. And we like to think you are never too young to join the Albion family.”

Albion chief sacrifices salary – Page 69

West Midlands Growth Company, The Innovation Alliance for the West Midlands, West Midlands Combined Universities, WM5G and other public sector organisations. West Midlands Mayor Andy

Street said: “This important BFI investment will help Create Central to deliver a dynamic programme of activities, especially at this challenging time for the screen sector.”

To find out more about Create Central visit

Birmingham-based Edwin Ellis Creative Media has launched a new digital magazine for people to read online or download during the coronavirus lockdown. The PR and publishing

agency, founded in 2015 by former Birmingham Post editor Stacey Barnfield, has created the ‘Journal of History and Nostalgia’, which covers Birmingham, the Black Country and Coventry. Using the latest digital

publishing software the magazine can be read on any digital device or downloaded to read offline. It features links to websites

for museums and heritage sites and covers news about local history and regeneration projects plus a look at the virtual gallery tours being offered by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery during its closure to the public. Stacey Barnfield explained

how he hopes the magazine will evolve into a printed publication, distributed across the Midlands, to help raise the profile of the area, its history and heritage after Covid-19 closures. “I’ve always wanted to

launch a local history magazine that appeals to families who have grown up in the Midlands and have connections to its biggest brands, the likes of Jaguar, Cadbury and Rover. There are lovely stories

behind these incredible organisations that I hope to share through the magazine. “However, with print publishing being impacted by Covid-19, it seemed appropriate to try a shorter digital ‘stay-at-home’ version first. I’m really pleased with the response and getting some positive feedback.”


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