Willmott Dixon completes UK’s first standardised school

Construction firm Willmott Dixon has completed the UK’s first new school to be built using a new generation of standardised designs.

Oakfield Primary School’s new £2.2m building in Rugby, Warwickshire, was officially opened yesterday (Monday 5 November) as the pupils returned after the half-term break.

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West Mids retail rents take a hit

Retail rents across the West Midlands have fallen by 3.4 per cent in the last year according to Colliers International’s annual Midsummer Retail Report.

Of the 33 regional shopping centres and high streets surveyed, just one – Lichfield – saw rents rise. The

cathedral city saw a 6.7 per cent increase in rents over the last year, with average rents now £80 per sq ft.

The biggest faller was Rugby, where rents declined by a staggering 15.4 per cent. Rents are now £55 per sq ft in the market town. High vacancy rates at the Swan Centre, which is anchored by ASDA, are a contributory factor. Continue reading

Blooming marvellous decade at Brindleyplace

(L-R) Ethos staff Justyna Swazarla, Keith Potter & Louise Ramsey with founder Mark Gribben (second from right)

Birmingham florist and gift store Ethos is celebrating ten years at its Brindleyplace base.

A decade ago the shop upped sticks from Harborne, where it was originally founded by owner Mark Gribben in 2000, and has flourished ever since.

In 2010, Ethos successfully grafted the 70-year old Margaret Tregoning store and its Interflora membership to the Ethos group.

An online presence, www.ethosflowers.com, promoted via social media, has also boosted the shop’s income stream in challenging times.

In addition to the consumer side of its business, Ethos also has a blossoming corporate base. The florist is responsible for the floral displays in many of Birmingham’s key offices, hotels and bars and has recently added Deutsche Bank, Marketing Birmingham and Brown Shipley to its client roster. Continue reading

Hatrick of deals for Colliers International

Colliers International has completed a hatrick of deals in the Midlands on behalf of Volkswagen Group UK Ltd.

Colliers’ automotive and roadside team in Birmingham advised Volkswagen on the disposal of two separate development sites in Leicester and Northampton and a car showroom in Stoke-on-Trent. Continue reading

Assay office relocation to kick-start regeneration at St Georges

The St Georges Partnership has secured the relocation of the Birmingham Assay Office for its St Georges’ development in the Jewellery Quarter.

The Assay Office, founded in 1773, is to build a new headquarters on a plot of land at St Georges, incorporating a further piece of adjacent land recently acquired from Birmingham City Council. Continue reading

Centrick expands in Solihull

Carina Hill, director of Centrick Property, with Matthew Reilly, appointed to head the firm's new residential sales operation in Solihull.

Centrick Property has appointed Matthew Reilly to oversee its new residential sales operation in Solihull.

The firm is adding home sales to its already established Solihull lettings and estate management business, based at its branch on Knowle High Street.

Matthew joins Centrick from north London estate agents Ellis & Co, where he was principal. He has more than 20 years’ experience in residential property sales and management, both in London and the Midlands. Continue reading

Chinese investment in Birmingham underway

China’s biggest lighting manufacturer has started work on its new £5million Birmingham factory, which will see the company double the size of its existing base and create 170 new jobs.

Local MP Richard Burden (Lab, Northfield), visited NVC (Manufacturing) Ltd’s Rubery headquarters to see steelworks being erected at the firm’s new 49,000 sq ft research and design, manufacturing and warehousing facility.

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