All the latest news, advice and events for the Solihull business community

Contact: Samantha Frampton T: 0121 678 7488

Theatre launches City of Culture with climate change play

Belgrade Theatre kicked off Coventry's City of Culture programme in May with a digital performance of the climate change play, ‘Like There’s No Tomorrow’. In 2020, in recognition of the Belgrade

Theatre’s ground-breaking co-creation Theatre in Education practices, the National Theatre (NT) commissioned the Belgrade’s Young Company to create a piece of theatre about climate change as part of its NT Connections programme. This was the first play to be commissioned from, and co- created by, young people. The words and ideas of Coventry’s Young

People on the key issue are now being amplified around the country through the NT Connections Festival 2021, in which 20 different youth groups from Plymouth to Falkirk are staging the play in various formats, both live and digital. As part of the festival, ‘Like There’s No

Tomorrow’ returns to the Belgrade with a new digital version from the Belgrade Young Company, which will be available to view online until 13 June. Tickets are free, with an optional donation to support the Belgrade. Ten per cent of all the online donations will also go to support the vital work of the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. Justine Themen, one of the Belgrade’s three

artistic directors, who co-created and directed the original stage version of ‘Like There’s No Tomorrow’ said: “We chose to make a piece about climate change because it is the urgent issue of our time - and what better way to have impact than to be reaching and inspiring young people across the country.”

Occupied: The Dodd Group’s new premises at Quartz Point

Solihull is primed for an employment boom

Investment deals in Solihull confirm that the region is set for an employment boom, according to a local expert. Malcolm Jones (pictured, inset), head of office

agency for KWB, says the welcome news that VGC, The Dodd Group and Inspired Selection have all taken office space along the Solihull-M42 corridor is revealed via a close inspection of the Q1 data for property transactions. “A glance at the headline figures shows just

over 20,000 sq ft from six lettings, which wouldn't immediately grab most people's attention, but you need to consider the quality of the companies involved, and also the niches in which they operate, to get the true perspective,” he says. “The arrival of VGC, Dodd Group and Inspired

Selections during Q1 is important for the reasons why they chose to take space here - and why they made that decision now.” VGC, which has taken space at J4 of the M42, specialises in training personnel, and recruiting civil engineers and sub-contractors for the UK's largest infrastructure projects and is a long-term partner of HS2 Ltd, Highways England and Network Rail.

The Dodd Group, which took just over 2,500

sq ft on Quartz Point at J6 of the M42, has been working with Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council for almost a decade. Inspired Selections, which took 4,550 sq ft at

Fairway House, specialises in recruiting skilled staff for opticians and is the UK's largest in its niche. Malcom added: “VGC already has an office in Birmingham, and Dodd's have one in Smethwick, but they wanted to establish a presence along the Solihull-M42 corridor because they realise its economy is set for a sustained period of growth. “If you then factor in the construction of

3,000 new homes at the Arden Cross site, you can see why an agency recruiting trained staff for opticians would want to be here, and it's interesting that Inspired chose to relocate their headquarters from Birmingham to Solihull, rather than just open a satellite office. “The M42 corridor has been a pillar of the

region's economy for years, and the desire of companies and individuals to be in the Solihull area is equally well-established, but as we look ahead towards 2030, I believe we'll see the steady and consistent creation of jobs at a level which hasn't previously happened here.”

Volunteer hero presented with top award

A volunteer at Solihull Moors Football Club has been hailed for his efforts by the Vanarama National League. Paul Cobb has been presented with the

Volunteer of the Month award by organisers of the league. He has also been honoured by the Solihull

Moors Foundation as their ‘Hero of the Week’. Paul has been an instrumental figure in getting

the Birmingham County over 45s league off the ground, and is now vice-chairman of the League. He has taken over all Moors related over 45s

work and runs Monday Night Stay and Play sessions at the club. Alongside his voluntary efforts at the club,

Volunteering hero: Paul Cobb 46 CHAMBERLINK June 2021

Paul also supplies food banks and is an avid charity supporter. Recently, Paul also helped a fellow Moors Over 45s player who was diagnosed

with prostate cancer, by raising £1,000 towards the costs of treatments. On his award, Paul said: “I’m amazed and it’s

absolutely fantastic. “I can’t thank the Moors enough and especially

Ant and Claire Hasker. “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for those two

and the lads who play football with me on a Monday night – the over 35s and over 45s. It’s going really well, so happy days.” Head of youth and junior, Ant Hasker, added:

“Paul has gradually grown into a true ‘Solihull Moors person’ in the last three years. “He is a genuinely nice guy who prides himself

on helping others, and especially to those who are less fortunate. He is a constant charity champion and is a total asset to Solihull Moors Football Club.”

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