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Competition ...any other business A roundup of news from Chamber members

Film inspires region’s recovery

Arts organisation Culture Central has released a film that aims to inspire the people of the West Midlands on how the region will make a comeback. ‘The Comeback’, a short film

written and produced by Spark Media and co- commissioned by Culture Central and the West Midlands Culture Response Unit, describes how the West Midlands will recover after the Covid-19 pandemic. It is part of the West Midlands Culture Response Unit’s mission to develop and deliver an action-orientated response to the Covid-19 crisis, supporting arts and culture organisations specifically. The unit has support from a

host of bodies including the West Midlands Combined Authority, Birmingham City Council, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) and the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. The unit will focus on

strategy, planning, communication and campaigns as well as offer support and development to help deliver a region wide coordinated response from the arts and culture sector as the Covid-19 pandemic continues. It will also celebrate the role

that culture is playing in the current crisis along with its place in the region’s civic and economic recovery when audiences and artists from the West Midlands and around the world are to be welcomed back.

Erica Love, director of

Culture Central, which set up the unit, said: “As a cultural sector support organisation, we felt it was important to bring the sector together and lead a collective response, pool resources in a time of extreme challenge and work to ensure our cultural sector is heard, recognised and supported.”


Saqib beats himself to win our World Cup competition

Having been elected as an MP in last year’s General Election, Saqib Bhatti had voters turning out for him again in a competition to establish Chamberlink’s best front cover. The ‘Chamberlink World Cup’ sparked widespread

interest on the Chamber’s Twitter account, with the covers of our last 16 magazines going head-to-head in a knockout competition. And two editions featuring the Chamber’s immediate

past president went all the way to the final. The October 2018 cover, marking Saqib’s

appointment as the youngest president in the Chamber’s history, emerged victorious ahead of the June 2019 edition featuring the now Meriden MP in training for a charity skydive.

‘It really captured the imagination, as well as bringing out the competitive spirit’

The competition took place over the course of a

week, with 16 covers paired together in a series of first round matches. Twitter users were then asked to ‘like’ or ‘retweet’

which ones should advance to the latter rounds. A cover featuring a real World Cup winner – England’s hat-trick hero Geoff Hurst – failed to make it past the first round. The second semi-final, between Saqib’s October 2018

cover and the October 2019 issue (featuring Birmingham Design Festival founder Daniel Alcorn), generated huge interest with more than 16,000 impressions. Dan Harrison, press and PR manager at the Chamber,

said: “The Chamberlink World Cup was designed to provide some light relief for our members and social

1966 and all that: The winning cover

media followers during the difficult times we find ourselves in. “It really captured the imagination, as well as bringing

out the competitive spirit of those who have featured on our front pages over the past couple of years!”

Who’s a birthday boy then?

There were celebrations at a Staffordshire-based theme park and zoo as one of its residents turned 40. The birthday boy was Drayton

Manor Park’s oldest white cockatoo, Silver, who celebrated the milestone with a special zero sugar low fat birthday cake and faux candles. As cockatoos are highly social

birds, Silver celebrated with five of his closest friends, including Sansa and his son Sakoko, who he lives with at Drayton Manor’s 15-acre conservation zoo. Silver was bought by a private

owner from a pet shop in Amsterdam in 1980 and lived happily with them until they sadly passed away in 2009, at which point he took up residence in an

more than 500 animals, and supports a number of conservation organisations, including the World Parrot Trust, which works tirelessly to save parrots around the globe. Chris Mitchell, head of zoo

Looking good at 40: Silver

animal care college, where he spent seven years helping to teach the students how to care for parrots. Silver retired from teaching in

2016 and now lives at Drayton Manor Park’s zoo, which is home to

operations at Drayton Manor Park, said: “Silver is our oldest cockatoo and we’re thrilled to be celebrating his 40th birthday this week. “Sadly, white cockatoos are endangered in the wild and their population is decreasing. That’s why conservation is a huge part of our focus at Drayton Manor, and being able to study and breed the birds as well as raise funds for wild parrots is fantastic. “Silver thoroughly enjoyed his

birthday cake, which didn’t last very long.”

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