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Responding to the UK Index of Production figures for November 2015, published today by the ONS, Paul Cadman, Group MD of the Futura Group, winner of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce’s prestigious Manufacturer of the Year Award 2015, one of The Manufacturer’s 2015 Top 100 most influential people in manufacturing and proud member of the Chamber’s Platinum Group said: “The decline recorded in the manufacturing sector in November was disappointing, but not surprising.


With the festive season in full swing, Birmingham based entrepreneur, Cleo Morris of Marketingmaker Ltd has won two of four business awards to put onto the mantelpiece this Christmas. Nominated for four awards this year, Marketingmaker Ltd, picked up The 2015 BBA (British Bankers Association) Award for Start-up Growth and The Phoenix Award for Business and Enterprise. In addition to winning these awards, the Birmingham-born entrepreneur was Highly Commented at The 2015 BSEEN (Birmingham Skills For Enterprise and Employability Network) For Networking; and short listed for The Small Business of The Year at the inaugural Birmingham Awards.

Ian Austin MP, calls for HS2 to come to the Black Country and demands renewed focus on education and skills in speech on West Midlands economy

Dudley MP Ian Austin has called for “a new industrial revolution” to attract new investment and new jobs to the West Midlands.

In a speech in the House of Commons today he said the West Midlands needed to boost skills to bring new jobs in growth areas like low carbon industries, advanced manufacturing, bio-technologies and digital media.

Austin also called for the new high speed trains planned for the HS2 line from the Midlands to London to run from a new terminal in the Black Country, near the M5/M6 junction.

A simple idea that keeps road signs in place and could save councils time and money has been driven along with help from Derby patent attorneys Swindell & Pearson.

It secured the UK patent and therefore intellectual property rights on behalf of a Sandwell based company SignPost Solutions for its latest product, a cost-effective anti-rotational sign post.

The Tipton-based company has been in the highways industry for more than 40 years during which it has been in the forefront of innovation with different products used by local authorities that help keep roads and users safe.

Its latest product, Signstr8, is a new version of a post holding everyday signs – directions to places, notices about parking restrictions, speed limits, cameras and such. It was thought up by managing director Chris Nicklin, whose project team developed it.

Chris said that signs can be twisted around for several reasons – by children larking around which can send people the wrong way,  sheer vandalism, and even some drivers turning a parking restriction sign around and taking a photo to show it was not visible in trying to avoid a fine.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin will visit a Dudley manufacturing business tomorrow afternoon (Friday 13/7) with Labour’s Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Rachel Reeves MP.
They will visit Eurocraft, a successful Dudley firm that engineer, manufacture, and supply telecoms hardware to large UK companies such as BT and Virgin.
Eurocraft who employ over one hundred people, is profitable with a full order book but its opportunities for further growth and job creation has been restricted by the lack of available finance.