InSolihull (Nov 18 - Jan 19)

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NOV – JAN 2019



A word from Touchwood’s General Manager PAGE 16


Free outdoor Christmas Cinema this December PAGE 28


Exciting events and entertainment for all PAGE 30


SamV CENTRAL’S e Ali- ena Kha n T


S A N TA’ S G R O T T O 17 T H N O V E M B E R – 2 4 T H D E C E M B E R


At last, finally Winter is here. There is something quite beautiful about frosty days, festive gatherings and thick jumper hibernation. I’m looking forward to that first crisp white morning and each year I never give up on the hope that we will awake to a thick covering of snow on Christmas Day. Can any of you out there recall this happening? Usually I am to be found melting in my Christmas Jumper, defiantly lighting a real fire when it’s 20 degrees outside and blazing sunshine!


70's neutrals with some Autumn gloss


Men’s Fashion


The hottest books to read this year

INFOCUS 10-11 Desirables

The town’s best picks this season


Alexander James Hair


Brand new hair salon in town


The Core Theatre Competition

Win tickets to this season's best shows


Melvyn Danes

Focus on your local independent estate agents


Solihull Radio

Local station shares borough stories


Tony Elvin

A word from Touchwood's General Manager


Prime Accountants Group

Solihull based accountants announces acquisition


5G and Stories


5G tech trials for Solihull

INPLAY 20-21 Shop Independent

Support your independents and shop local

Solihull will no doubt be the destination of choice for your Christmas shopping. If you are looking for time out from the festive hustle and bustle, why not relax at our Shoppers Haven, Outdoor Cinema in Mell Square – with 10 days of free classic Christmas films. Sounds perfect? We’ll see you there.



Melanie Palmer BID Director

For more information on shopping, entertainment and what’s on in Solihull visit: or call: 0121 285 1370

Outerwear and neutrals for cooler climes

12 Books of Christmas

Party season also hits the scene and I hurtle to dust off anything sparkly in the wardrobe and calculate how many weeks crash dieting are required to get into that little black dress. Our fashion pages show us how it’s done and the featured shiny silver boots are my must have purchase this year. The Solihull BID Excellence Awards this year showcase some truly remarkable achievements and, in particular for our young apprentices and trainees, the awards evening will be an emotional time for our nominees and their mentors!

Women’s Fashion


Solihull Moors FC

Interview with footballer Darren Carter

Solihull BID Excellence Awards

Shortlisted nominees are revealed

24-25 2018 Quiz

A bit of fun with the Solihull BID annual quiz

26-27 Stocking Fillers

Gift ideas for all the family

28-29 Christmas in Solihull

Shoppers Haven, 2 weeks of free festive films



What’s On

Dates for your diary Nov - Jan 2019

Editor in Chief Amy Hubbard

Design Wider

Editorial Assistant Steven Coney

Advertising Enquiries Amy Hubbard

Newshound Misty


INSTYLE Coat, £89. Dress, £49.50. Polo, £15. Jeans, £35. Boots, £45. All M&S.

Cape, £99.99, Zara.

Beret, £12, Next.

Earrings, £10, Oasis.

Bag, £410, Le Scarpe.

Jacket, £59, Topshop.

Comeback of Trousers, £89, Mint Velvet.


Skirt, £49.99, Zara.

A main palette for this season includes our seventies hues with a modern twist. Caramel, beige and chocolate hues have been updated with stylish silhouettes, layers of textures and statement prints.

Jacket, £99, Monsoon.

Prices correct at time of print.

Coat, £99. Top, £29.50. Jeans, £45. Earrings, £12.50. Shoes, £65. All M&S.

Skirt, £75, Laura Ashley.

Boots, £85, Office.

Coat, £85. Trousers, £40. Jumper, £30. Shoes, £55. All River Island.

Gloves, £17.50, M&S.

Top, £25.99, Zara.

Top, £22, Bonmarche.

Dress, £55, M&S.



Earrings, £14, River Island.

This autumn comes with a coating of gloss. Whether you opt for patent leather, polished PVC, sequins or gleaming plastics, add a shine to your everyday wardrobe, or shine like a star in the evening.

Earrings, £8. Necklace, £18. Jumpsuit, £65. Shoes, £65. Bag, £18. All River Island

Dress, £85, Oasis.

Dune bag, £70, House of Fraser.

Jacket, £70, Next.

Trousers, £69.99, Zara.

Heels, £135, Office.

Coat, £35, Sainsburys.

Bag, £19.99, New Look.

Boots, £90, Office. Products featured are available in Solihull stores or online.

Top, £25. Trousers, £28. Both Dorothy Perkins.




Jacket, £65, Next.

Jacket, £90, FatFace.

Trends emerging for men this season include leather and shearling fabrics, checks and lumberjack style. As the cold weather starts to creep in, we've put a selection of the finest outerwear in Solihull together, the final touch to a layered AW18 look.

Jacket, £85, River Island.

Jacket, £89.99, Zara.

Jacket, £85. Trousers, £35. All River Island.

Wax Jacket, £145, White Stuff.

Coat, £150, FatFace.

Parka, £495, GANT.

Parka, £75. Trousers, £35. All Burton.

Puffa, £29.99, New Look.

Jacket, £60, River Island. Prices correct at time of print.

Jacket, £69.99, Superdry.

Hat, £7.50. Scarf, £25. Coat, £139. Shirt, £29.50. Jeans, £39.50. Trainers, £39.50. Bag, £109. All M&S.

NEUTR AL S The 70’s neutrals are not just making a comeback to all female's wardrobes; men’s stores will also be championing the colours this season.

Coat, £99. Shirt, £27.50. T-shirt, £15. Jeans, £25. All M&S.

Jumper, £32, River Island. Shirt, £24.99, New Look.

Trousers, £29.99, Zara.

Scarf, £22. River Island.

Coat, £99. T-Shirt, £6. Jeans, £29.50. Trainers, £39.50. All M&S.

Boots, £59, Burton.

Hat, £9.99, Zara.

Coat, £149. Jumper, £25.99. Trousers, £29.99. Trainers, £39.99. All Zara.

Boots, £69.99, Office. Bum Bag, £15, River Island. Products featured are available in Solihull stores or online.




3. 2.



5. 7.

We spoke to Joanna, the manager of Waterstones Solihull, to get the low down on the best books to read this year. Here are her top 12, what will you add to your reading list and what will you be wrapping up for others?




1. 'This Is Going To Hurt' by Adam Kay


5. 'Circe' by Madeline Miller

Waterstones bestselling paperback non-fiction book this year. £8.99 Paperback

This beautiful novel retelling the stories of the Greek Gods, a classic in the making, with a beautiful cover. £16.99 Hardback

2. 'Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine' by Gail Honeyman

6. 'I Am The Seed That Grew The Tree' Edited by Frann Preston-Gannon

Waterstones bestselling paperback fiction book this year. £8.99 Paperback

3. 'Battle Scars' by Jason Fox If you enjoyed reading about Ant Middleton, you'll love this. £20.00

4. 'Vietnam' by Max Hastings

Get a signed copy of this brilliant Military History read while stocks last! £30.00 Hardback

Prices correct at time of print.



8. 'Into The Jungle' by Katherine Rundell

A retelling of the stories from the Jungle Book by one of the most well respected 'middle grade' authors around. £16.99 Hardback

9. 'Simple' by Yotam Ottolenghi

Utterly exquisite poetry book for all ages that keeps you looked after with a nature poem a day for the year ahead. £25.00 Hardback

Another glorious cookery book from one of our favourites. Maximum delight with minimum effort! £25.00 Hardback

7. 'Together' by The Hubb Community Kitchen.

10. 'Melmoth' by Sarah Perry

All profits to benefit the Hubb, a group of women who gathered together in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower Fire to cook for their community. £9.99 Hardback

After her super hit 'The Essex Serpent' which was featured as a Waterstones Book Of The Year you can rest assured that this next novel will be a riveting read.


11. 'Becoming' by Michelle Obama

The autobiography everyone's been waiting for. Due for publication 13th November 2018. Get yours half price if preordered in Waterstones Solihull before the publication date. £25.00 Hardback

12. 'Crimes of Grindelwald' by JK Rowling Due for publication 16th November 2018 the original screenplay of the forthcoming Fantastic Beasts 2 Film. Look out for launch day events happening in store! Get yours half price if pre-ordered in Waterstones Solihull before the publication date. £16.99 Hardback





Desirables the

Christmas comes but once a year, so why not treat friends or loved ones to a very special gift this festive season.


Advent Treats

What better way to discover your new favourites than to peel back 24 doors in the lead up to Christmas. Join L’Occitane and Castelbajac Paris on a magical journey across the constellation of stars and enjoy a different delight each and every day during the run-up to Christmas. Luxury Advent Calendar, £89 (worth £112.50). L’Occitane, Poplar Arcade, Touchwood, Solihull, B91 3JH. 0121 709 1225.



Advanced Baking

Advanced yet straightforward, the Kenwood KCC9060S Cooking Chef Stand Mixer features 20 pre-set cooking programs to help you master complex patisseries and delicate sauces, as well as everyday favourites like casseroles and stirfrys. You can even use it to melt chocolate and prove dough.

Capture Memories

Want to create DSLR quality photos and Full HD movies easily? Look no further than the 18 Megapixel EOS 4000D, capture the highlights of your day and share instantly or shoot remotely via your compatible smartphone with Wi-Fi and the Canon Camera Connect app which works with both iOS and Android devices for the ultimate in camera control. Cannon EOS 4000D DSLR Camera with 18-55mm & 50mm Lenses, £369.99. Argos inside Sainsbury's, Poplar Way, Solihull, B91 3BX. 0345 266 7904.

Kenwood KCC9060S Cooking Chef Stand Mixer, Silver, £1,049.99. John Lewis, Touchwood, Solihull, B91 3RA. 0121 704 1121.


Stocking Fillers

You can never go wrong in a stocking with bath and shower gel. Molton Brown have brought us the ultimate curated bathing gift featuring their most-loved fragrances, elegantly presented in a festive gift box. Stocking Fillers Christmas Gift Collection, £39 (worth £50). Molton Brown, High Street, Solihull, B91 3TA. 0121 709 0927.


The Scent

The must have fragrance for men this season has to be Dior Sauvage. François Demachy drew inspiration from the desert in the magical hour of twilight. Mixed with the coolness of the night, the burning desert air exudes profound fragrances. Dior Sauvage Eau de Parfum 100ml, £87. Boots, Mell Square, Solihull, B91 3AZ. 0121 705 7553.



Loaf Around

Looking to brighten up your living area? The brand-new Loaf store in Solihull has the perfect, British hand-crafted products for the job. This Truffle Sofa Bed is on trend, comfortable and a great addition over the festive season, providing you with an extra bed for last minute guests. Truffle Sofa Bed, £1845. Loaf, Mill Lane, Mell Square, Solihull, B91 3AT. 020 3141 8300.




Qualified Sommelier and Touchwood Manager Tony Elvin's top tips for Christmas.

Christmas Day, the most special day of the year for many families and of course one of the most anticipated. Let us take away the stress of choosing the perfect wines for the occasion with our handy Solihull Festive wine buying guide for the big day. What better way to start than with fine English bubbles on Christmas Day morning and how about the wonderful Chapel Down English Sparkling wine?

Winter Sparkle

Shine bright this Christmas with this beautiful sparkling statement necklace. Inspired by vintage glamour, the rose goldplated design shows Swarovski’s crystal expertise with delicate pink crystals and their exclusive crystal Pointiage® technique. The perfect accessory this Christmas. Mix necklace, pink, rose gold plating, £209. Swarovski, Poplar Arcade, Touchwood, Solihull, B91 3GZ. 0121 704 2691.




Festive Delights

Smoked salmon is popular in our house on Christmas day morning and if that is going to work for you then switch to their sparkling Rose. Both award winning wines are available from Waitrose for under £25. Sitting down for dinner and there is the Roast Turkey in all its resplendent glory. Fat, golden and juicy. A cacophony of flavours will be fighting for attention on your plate with the sweet and sharp cranberry sauce, rich gravy and the lip smacking salty, fatty deliciousness of those pigs in blankets, not to mention the crispy roast potatoes and bitter bite of brussel sprouts. The dark leg meat offers a contrast to the succulent white breast and when you bring it all together we have a dilemma. Red or white?




That call is yours and there are so many great options for the main event. For me Burgundy is the way to go, red or white. On a budget that could be Beaujolais red, maybe a Fleurie and a Macon Village white. Splashing out and we could be going for a Burgundian Pinot Noir for the red and a silky Mersault for the white. Maybe you fancy opening a Bordeaux, in this case something that has softened with age would be perfect. Onto the rich, figgy pudding. What could possibly stand up to this? There is only one heir to this throne. The mighty Pedro Ximinez sweet sherry and Morrisons have a World Wine Awards winner at just £6 per half bottle. Also a great foil for your mince pies and your cheese, it is bursting with the rich taste of dates, nuts and dried fruits, it’s thick, sticky and devine. Most importantly it is sweet enough to be enjoyed in harmony with your Christmas pudding. A. Chapel Down English Sparkling, (white or rose) £24.99. Waitrose. B. ‘Georges Duboeuf’ Fleurie, Beaujolais, £10. Sainsbury’s. C. Macon Village Chardonnay, £10. Marks and Spencer. D. ‘Louis Latour’ Volnay Premier Cru Pinot Noir, £49.99. Waitrose. E. ‘Antoine Jobard’ Mersault Chardonnay, £48. Laithwaites. F. ‘Chai au Quai’ Eglise de Pommerol 2012, £30. Laithwaites. G. Pedro Ximinez, £6. Morrisons.

One thing to expect over the festive period is lots of chocolate, a time to treat ourselves. Impress your guests with Hotel Chocolat’s impressive Christmas hamper, and feed the family with the likes of Mini Crackers, Winter Puddings H-box, Gingerbread Hot Chocolate, Salted Caramel Vodka and so much more. The Festive Chest Christmas Hamper, £150. Hotel Chocolat, Mill Lane Arcade, Touchwood, Solihull, B91 3GS. 0121 704 9714.

Prices correct at time of print.

All of these products can be found in Solihull stores or online 11


Skills, passion and enthusiasm for style perfection at hair salon Alexander James. The Warwick Road salon, previously Six Nine Nine, changed its name after being taken over by Alexander James, who started his career in hairdressing at the same salon in 2006. Things have come full circle for Alex, who worked at the salon for five years before moving on to fulfil his ambition of opening his own hairdressing salon. Alex succeeded with his goal and opened Alexander James, Halesowen, in March 2017, and as the new proud owner of the Solihull salon he cannot speak highly enough of previous director Gareth Jones. “Gareth was a fantastic manager and had a wonderful relationship with his staff,” says Alex. “This salon is where I learned not only to be a hairdresser but to deliver high standards of work, excellent interpersonal skills and to make every client feel really special. It feels surreal to be taking over the salon, when Gareth approached me with the opportunity to take over, there was no doubt in my mind but to take it on. “I am proud to continue the legacy that the team have created and continue as Alexander James.” Alexander James’ highly skilled hairdressing team are passionate about creating high quality styles for men, women and children, while maintaining the integrity and condition of their hair.

The salon’s website – features a news section offering tips and guidance regarding the importance of regular haircuts. The team are recognised for being among the best hairdressers in Solihull. Alex has won regional finalist for ‘Style Innovator’ for Redken – a prestigious award that recognises only the most talented in the industry. Alexander James also boasts its very own in-house L’Oreal hair colour expert. Hair colourist Sam completed the L’Oreal advanced colour specialist programme. Not only that, Sam was part of the prestigious L’Oreal Colour Specialist Innovation Team and regional finalist for the L’Oréal Colour Trophy in both 2016 and 2017.

The team pride themselves on their skills and passion and with over 70 years experience between them you can understand why. The salon specialises in hair colour correction, hair extensions, as well as wedding and bridal hair, hair treatments and men’s hair styling. “We are a passionate and friendly team who look forward to welcoming you into our salon soon,” adds Alex. For the latest information follow us on Instagram & Facebook @alexanderjamessolihull, 0121 711 7699

Solihull’s popular Core Theatre, located in Theatre Square Touchwood is delighted with a packed Autumn season and strong pantomime sales for their newly re-booted panto working in partnership with award-winning production team Little Wolf Entertainments. This season's Sleeping Beauty run is already nearly 50% sold out and the theatre are pleased to announce their first ‘Relaxed Performance’ on Friday 4th January. Aimed at audiences who would benefit from a calmer environment including those with dementia, autism spectrum disorders and anyone who finds regular theatre challenging. This special show has a host of alterations and specially trained staff to assist families and groups enjoy a great day out together. Autumn highlights include 80s icon Hazel O'Connor, Kathy Lette’s Girls’ Night Out, Blake and The Lock In Christmas Carol described as “a slightly unhinged approach to family theatre!”, this fun version of ‘A Christmas Carol’ is half gig, half dance show and half panto! Folk powerhouse The Demon Barbers are joined by artists from Breaking Tradition Dance company for a seasonal show with a cult following! In December alongside panto, there are 9 performances of Santa in Love a small scale Christmas show for little children in the Studio which includes a meet ’n greet plus a small gift from Santa himself after the show. The Core Theatre prides itself on friendly staff, great value and high levels of customer satisfaction with theatre attendees often returning to treat themselves to an Afternoon Tea with friends and family or a cheeky cooked breakfast deal in Encore the friendly community Café Bar. Visit to view all events. Many Spring ‘19 shows are already on sale now, promoting tickets as gifts… the theatre guarantees to have a show to suit all ages and tastes!




The Core Theatre have joined with the InSolihull Magazine to bring you 3 sets of ticket prizes. Up for grabs are 2 x sets of 4 tickets for The Lock in Christmas Carol on the 4th December and 2 tickets for Sleeping Beauty on the 21st December. To be one of three lucky winners, all you need to do is visit and answer the question below...

Q. Which singer will be performing songs following a screening of her iconic 80's film at the Core Theatre this season? 0121 7046962

Competition rules: Competition runs from 1st November until 30 th November 2018. Only one entry per person will be counted. Three prizes up for grabs. First prize is 4 tickets to The Lock in Christmas Carol on the 4th December 2018. Second prize is 4 tickets to The Lock in Christmas Carol on the 4th December 2018. Third prize is 2 x tickets to Sleeping Beauty Pantomime on the 21st December 2018. Prize cannot be exchanged for cash value. You must answer the question correctly to win. The competition entry form will be found on Solihull BID website ( Winners will be contacted on the 1st December 2018.



Local Property Views Buying a house is always stressful but with Brexit finally on the horizon, nobody really knows if it’s going to get more difficult to purchase that dream home.


e spoke to independent estate agent Melvyn Danes – who has been helping Silhillians buy and sell properties for over 40 years – to get his expert view on the housing market in Solihull. Melvyn Danes, managing director: “Nearly 80 years ago, at the start of the Second World War, Solihull was a sleepy little town which didn’t spread much past Malvern Park. After a short journey along what we now know as the Warwick Road, a traveller would come to the small village of Knowle and could continue on through pleasant countryside, passing a few farms and the hamlet of Chadwick End, to Warwick.

A short distance from Knowle was the even smaller rural village of Dorridge, surrounded by open countryside and farmland and the sleepy hamlet of Hockley Heath through which one could travel to the larger and busier market town of Henley in Arden. So what we have now in the Solihull area is very different but true of many areas of the country. However, this remains a popular and attractive area in which to live, but why?

There are many factors: Over the years Solihull has improved, some may say, road links to all these now much larger villages and towns, a railway station and motorway junctions providing the residents easy national and indeed, international travel with the building of Birmingham International Airport.

Solihull also enjoys an enviable reputation for the standard of education it provides, attracting families to the area. Whilst my personal opinion is that HS2 is an absolute white elephant and will do little or nothing in the long term to make Solihull a more desirable area in which to live, in the short term it will create jobs which may have an effect on the lettings market and, possibly even the home ownership market, with contractors seeking places to live in either for 12 months or possibly longer. Jaguar Land Rover has given a lifeline to Solihull not only creating jobs within its factories, but also ancillary jobs within the Borough allowing many to buy or rent property in the area.

to retain the buoyancy of its market. Estate agency has changed enormously with the advent of the internet and online estate agents. There is a very old expression which possibly emanated from Birmingham, the home of the Industrial Revolution, ‘Nothing can’t be made cheaper by making it not as well’ and I think that’s true of the services that are being offered by some of these companies when selling houses.

Property prices are linked to the economy. We voted to leave the EU. No one really knows what this will bring but doom mongers enjoy spreading the gloom while some cannot resist giving their opinion.

I believe that most people would be better off employing well established local Estate Agents with knowledgeable staff to sell their homes. These local companies can provide a more personal service with people you can actually pop in and see if you have any queries or problems and with a ‘no sale no fee’ agreement.

Though no one can really say what the future holds for the economy of this country, Solihull remains an area in which people want to live which should help

Let’s wait and see what is going to happen nationally, which will hopefully also make clearer all the benefits that the Solihull area has to offer to its present and future residents.”


SOLIHULL RADIO SHARING BOROUGH STORIES AROUND THE WORLD Solihull Radio is on a mission to bring a sense of community back to the region. Having launched as an internet-based station at the end of last year, this co-operative of volunteers is already having a big impact on the borough. “It’s simple,” said Geoff O’Brien, Solihull Radio Station Director, “we are a team of passionate and professional people that live in Solihull and many of us are raising our families here too. “What happens in the region is important to us, it’s our community and we are keen and committed to support those that are part of it,” he continued. Recently nominated as an Outstanding Start-Up Business by the Solihull Chamber of Commerce, the station currently provides output seven days a week and is listened to in 88 different countries. Its format is relatively traditional, from news and consumer advice to sport, rock shows and easy listening. There is, however, something that sets Solihull Radio apart from other stations: “We are both live and also podcast based,” Geoff explained. “We record our shows and share the best bits online through our active social media channels, Podbean and iTunes. This enables listeners from not just

Solihull but from around the world to download music and content right to their smart phones or tablets. This way of working almost removes the need for scheduling and traditional two-hour shows – it’s really powerful and puts Solihull firmly on the global map,” he added. The station also creates bespoke podcasts for businesses and individuals, “It’s a fantastic way to get you noticed by a potentially massive audience and just part of the innovative thinking behind Solihull Radio,” he concluded. Partnerships are enabling the fledgling radio station to grow and fulfil its sense of community and it’s thanks to one of those partners, Touchwood Solihull, that the radio station has a new home. Now based in Touchwood itself, the station is finally in the heart of Solihull. With multiple studios and the capacity to hold ‘Live Lounge’ style shows, it’s a far cry from what the team are used to. “We are so grateful to our partners for supporting our vision to bring the Solihull

community together and this is just the beginning,” said Geoff. “Through the station and our new premises, we are looking forward to creating a community hub – we have a blank canvas and now it’s time to get creative.” Presenters are the lifeblood for the station but, as Geoff says,


Solihull Radio is well and truly flying the flag for the region, its businesses and its community and, as output continues to grow, it will undoubtedly benefit everyone in this great borough. Click in to to listen live and for up to date schedules, news and competitions. For further details on how podcasts can help your business contact Geoff O’Brien on: Don’t forget to follow Solihull Radio on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to join in the conversation.




TONY ELVIN Tony Elvin is a familiar and popular figure in the Birmingham and Solihull business community, who was appointed General Manager at Touchwood, six months ago.


he former manager of Hotel du Vin in Birmingham’s Colmore Business District lives in Shirley with his family. Known for his expertise in hospitality, food and drink, Tony brings InSolihull readers up to speed with his career and hints at exciting times to come at Touchwood. “Six months into the role, I have a full grasp on what’s required and am even more excited about the prospect than when I arrived.

“AS A SHIRLEY RESIDENT FOR SOME NINE YEARS IT’S BEEN GREAT TO WORK LOCALLY AGAIN. ALONG WITH THE SOLIHULL SCHOOLS, TOUCHWOOD WAS A MAJOR FACTOR IN MY FAMILY AND I MOVING TO THE AREA FROM NORTHAMPTON BACK IN 2009. “I had originally planned to commute the hour’s drive from Northampton when opening the Village Hotel but thinking ahead of our daughter’s education and walking around Solihull town centre and Touchwood we were convinced that we should

relocate. Looking back, it was absolutely the right thing to do.

“I REALLY ENJOYED MY THREE AND A HALF YEARS AT THE VILLAGE WHERE THE HOTEL WAS NAMED WITHIN THE TRIPADVISOR TOP 500 HOTELS IN THE WORLD FOR GUEST REVIEW SCORES DURING 2010, BEFORE WINNING DE VERE HOTEL OF THE YEAR IN 2012. “This led to a move into Birmingham where I took on the boutique Hotel du Vin in the Colmore Business District, and despite six years there I wasn’t looking to leave. We were the most awarded hotel in the Midlands during this time, I was enjoying life and becoming ever more part of the Birmingham and Midlands fabric, involved in lots of great organisations and charities within the region; Colmore BID board Director, Cure Leukaemia patron, judge for Midlands Education Awards, Midlands Food, Drink & Hospitality Awards, Civic Society Trustee, Birmingham Intelligence Forums, Midlands Wine Spirit Association etc. I wondered if I had found my job for life.

“Then one afternoon I received a phone call asking if I would be interested in managing a shopping centre. My immediate reaction was to say no but I asked which one and the word ‘Touchwood’ was mentioned. “That changed the direction of the call and the more I learnt, and the more people I met throughout the process, the more excited I became. I initially wondered why

someone would want a hospitality professional to run their shopping centre but in doing some research, it soon became obvious. “Despite the well-publicised pressure on retail, leisure dominated trips to shopping centres have increased by 28% in the past two years and four out of ten people go ‘shopping’ to eat and drink. A hospitality focus is therefore crucial to our success and I am sure our guests will be excited to see how we evolve

LOCAL ACCOUNTANCY FIRM EXPAND WITH ACQUISITION Solihull-based Prime Accountants Group has announced the acquisition of S. Pabari and Co.


olihull-based Prime Accountants Group has announced the acquisition of S. Pabari and Co. As a growing business, Prime seeks opportunities to partner with firms that enhance its service offering to clients in numerous sectors and S. Pabari and Co. has extensive experience in acting for pharmacists.

By joining Prime the acquisition will enhance the service it is able to offer clients from this industry. In return, S. Pabari and Co. clients will benefit from the wider range of services available from Prime. our offering over the coming months and years, delivering an ever more compelling guest experience through a fantastic events programme, exciting new dining and leisure concepts underpinning what is undoubtedly the best quality shopping experience in the Midlands.

“AS WE ARE SET TO ANNOUNCE A FLURRY OF NEW OPENINGS AT THE CENTRE, IT REALLY IS AN EXCITING TIME FOR US, AS IT IS FOR SOLIHULL BOROUGH AND THE REGION. "With HS2 arriving in 2026, there are huge Dubai-like levels of investment coming to the borough, an expected additional 77 thousand new jobs and to service those an additional 4,000 homes required, 1,400 of those to be located within the town centre. Investment like that provides a once in a lifetime opportunity and one that we in Solihull are ready to capitalise on. “It has been fantastic to rekindle relationships with the Solihull BID, where I am a proud

member of the board, with the Solihull Chamber and Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council since my return to the Solihull business community. “I have always believed that as a local business leader it is your duty to get involved and do your bit for the community in which you work. I’ve also been so pleased to witness greater collaboration now across what we call the West Midlands Combined Authority under Andy Street’s guidance and hope to do my bit in fostering and strengthening those relationships.


With a team of more than 80 professionals working from offices in Homer Road in Solihull and Coventry city centre, Prime Accountants Group has grown to become one of the region’s leading independent business advisory firms. Prime acts for over 3,000 clients, looking after the accounting affairs of businesses, charities and other organisations as well as individuals. Suresh, Director and Owner of S. Pabari and Co. said: “I am delighted to be joining Prime Accountants Group. It was important for me to plan for the future and join a firm that would deliver the same level of client service I have always given my clients.

“PRIME WERE ABLE TO DEMONSTRATE THIS WITH THEIR BRAND VALUES WHICH ARE EMBRACED THROUGHOUT THE FIRM.” Jeremy Kitson, Prime Director, said: “We are amidst an exciting time for Prime Accountants Group and the acquisition of S. Pabari and Co. demonstrates our commitment to growth and expansion of our specialist sector experience. Suresh and his team will enhance our service offering.

“WE WILL BE ABLE TO PROVIDE S. PABARI AND CO. CLIENTS A WIDER RANGE OF SERVICES NOT TYPICALLY AVAILABLE FROM A TRADITIONAL ACCOUNTANCY FIRM.” The acquisition will see Prime expand to a work force of over 80 members of staff and 10 directors, spread across the two offices in Solihull and Coventry. This expansion further positions Prime as the leading accountancy firm within the region offering a wide range of services.



SOLIHULL TO BENEFIT FROM UK-FIRST 5G TECH TRIAL Solihull is to become part of the UK’s first 5G test-bed after the West Midlands won an intense competition for Government funding to trial the new technology.


The multi million-pound trial of the new high-speed connectivity could pave the way for the future rollout of 5G across the UK, making the region the first in the UK ready to trial new 5G applications and services at scale. The funding success was announced by Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands, who explained how Solihull could benefit from the investment.

Initial 5G plans include:

• Hospital outpatient

appointments and emergency consultations carried out remotely by video link not subject to droppage or latency barriers.

• Connected Ambulances –

“THIS ANNOUNCEMENT IS GAME-CHANGING FOR THE WEST MIDLANDS ECONOMY. THIS WILL BE THE BACKBONE OF OUR FUTURE ECONOMY AND SOCIETY. “Solihull town centre is one of the region’s commercial success stories and 5G technology can benefit in all sorts of ways, improving communication between traders, helping the authorities tackle anti-social behaviour and, I am sure, for a whole host of ways that haven’t yet even been thought of but that all will make people’s lives better.”

Paramedic crews at an incident could access specialist advice while they are at the scene.

• Live streaming of CCTV footage

from public transport buses, enabling immediate action to be taken against anti-social behaviour.

The Urban Connected Communities Project, the next step in the Government’s 5G Testbed and Trials Programme, will now develop a large-scale, 5G pilot across the region.



Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council has secured £10.2 million from the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA) to deliver major transport schemes and investment in the town centre.

Supermarket chain Aldi has applied to Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council to transform the former Magistrates Court building into a new store.

The funding will be used to support a number of schemes including key route improvements, investments in sustainable travel and to support new technologies including low carbon energy and electric and autonomous vehicles. Central to these plans is improving the links between the town and the area known as the UK Central ‘Hub’. This is home to the new HS2 Interchange station, which includes Birmingham Airport, the National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham Business Park and Jaguar Land Rover. Cllr Ted Richards, cabinet member for transport and highways, said: “Investment in our key schemes across the borough will help make sure our infrastructure is ready for the growth created by HS2 and allow us to ensure we continue to have the right conditions for people to live, work and invest.”

Aldi submitted plans to the Council to demolish the building and office annex to be replaced with a 22,915 sq ft store next to Touchwood shopping centre and a nearby Waitrose which opened on Homer Road last year. The former Magistrates Court was vacated in March 2016 and has been in use as an education and training facility for new and existing Aldi employees since January 2018. The proposed development, which could create 40 jobs, would provide 81 car parking spaces at ground-floor level. A direct footpath connection between the store entrance and the footway along the northern side of Homer Road will be provided. A pedestrian link will also be provided at first-floor level between the store and Touchwood. A spokesperson said there is strong demand for a new store in the area, and ‘this is an excellent site that is perfectly suited to allow convenient access for many people in the town’.

Want to boost financial wellbeing in your workplace? The key to a high performing business is having a calm and focused workforce behind it. Yet money worries can often lead to emotional stress; affecting employees focus and performance at work. Looking after the financial wellbeing of your employees could help them feel more valued, help reduce their stress levels and as a result, improve productivity and engagement across your company. We’ll come to your workplace and run free educational sessions to help your employees understand the importance of financial planning in relation to things like their pensions, planning for retirement or making the most of their savings and investments.

Personalised service Because Skipton understands everyone is unique, we can offer individual ‘drop in’ sessions – so your employees have the chance to talk about their personal situation, and discuss possible options that Skipton could help them with. There is absolutely no pressure to do anything.

Why choose Skipton As well as providing a range of savings and mortgage products since 1853, for over 30 years, we’ve been offering a clear, honest, face-to-face financial advice service. We help thousands of customers by offering tailored recommendations with no pressure to act. Please remember that stock market-based investments are not like bank and building society savings accounts as your capital is at risk and you may get back less than you invested.

Find out more about how our financial workshops could benefit your business at our networking seminar: Where: Skipton Building Society, 123/127 High St, Solihull B91 3SR When: 21 November 2018 Time: 8.30am - 10.30am

To book your place call Kevin Crawford, Senior Branch Manager at Skipton Building Society

07816 955 491

Skipton Building Society is a member of the Building Societies Association. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority, under registration number 153706, for accepting deposits, advising on and arranging mortgages and providing Restricted financial advice. Principal Office, The Bailey, Skipton, North Yorkshire BD23 1DN. 312946_15/10/18



Sh p Independent Why shopping local is a benefit to everyone With over 100 independent businesses in Solihull we are spoilt for choice, whether we need a new pair of shoes, a tailor-made suit, a homemade cake, or legal advice, the independent community is booming and we want to encourage you to show your support and shop local. Choosing to support independent businesses has many benefits, not just for the economy, but for yourself. We have put together five of the best reasons why you should shop local and enjoy the experience!


Enhanced Shopping Experience Each independent business is unique and a true reflection of the people behind them, every decision is carefully thought about and items/services selected to suit their customers. Being run by an individual or family, it allows them to create a relationship with their customers in turn meaning they can provide products based on their customer’s choices and add a personal touch to your shopping experience. Can’t find something you are looking for? Because of the relationship built with the owner/staff they can try and help you source that product. So basically, our independents can go above and beyond what your laptop can do. Excellent Customer Service The staff in the independent businesses are experts in what they do, whether that is helping you find the perfect outfit, tailored recruitment advice or creating your favourite Plum Personnel unique sandwich. It’s all about forming relationships with their customers and ensuring you have everything you need and to help you with your choices. Unhappy with your purchase or service? Every independent worth its salt will go above and beyond to resolve any issue.

£50 goes back into the local economy. This works because money spent in the store The Fat Sandwich Co is then reinvested into other local businesses when the owners visit restaurants, shops etc. therefore, circulating the money and allowing the community to thrive. By shopping in an independent coffee shop, or buying clothes from a boutique, you are directly helping them achieve their dream. This then has a positive impact on the community and strengthens it, it’s a reciprocal energy. Help Towns to Create Their Own Identity British people love tradition, and this often means looking for unique and homemade businesses. A high street filled with colourful, unique and vibrant stores and restaurants can in turn attract more tourists and help make communities popular. People are more likely to travel to an area if they can get a product or service not so easily available elsewhere. Independent businesses can help shape the identity of an area. Online Isn’t Always Better

Benefits the Local Economy

We are constantly being sold ‘dream products, the best deals’ through TV adverts and online social media campaigns. Often these deals look amazing but are too good to be true.

Independent businesses are the backbone of the local economy. According to every £10 spent with an independent business means an additional

If you shop around in your local area, more often than not you will find great deals, this teamed with support, top quality products and

tailor-made services. Not only can you visibly see a product before you purchase, you will also see the passion behind the service and experience the natural authenticity, rather than clicking a few times and hoping the item you are sent is what you expect. Become part of the Solihull community with us, we want to introduce you to all the lovely independent businesses in Solihull Town Centre, so keep an eye on our website for #indytuesday. We will be speaking to the brains behind Solihull’s independent businesses. Choose to live and shop in places which mean something to someone. So, don’t Lesley Ashworth forget next time you visit Solihull, look out for our Solihull independent businesses who are open for business and can’t wait to meet you.

See our website for a full list of independents in the Solihull town centre – – Visit the Solihull Radio website ( to listen to our monthly podcast on the third Tuesday of every month showcasing Solihull’s independents.

Cafe Isabella


Le Scarpe




Photos: Tom King

SOLIHULL MOORS FOOTBALL CLUB Interview with club captain Darren Carter


eing a professional footballer is often seen as a lavish lifestyle. Playing the beautiful game for a living, despite the stresses it brings, is an enviable ‘job’. But just like all of us, footballers have to make sacrifices too. And that’s especially true at Christmas time when everybody wants to spend as much quality time as possible with their family and friends. We spoke to Solihull-born Darren Carter, a former Premier League footballer with Birmingham City and West Bromwich Albion and now club captain of Solihull Moors, about what the festive period is really like for footballers. Solihull BID: Hi Darren, thanks for speaking with us. So, what is Christmas like for a professional footballer? Darren Carter: It’s hectic – that’s the first word that comes to mind! It can be hectic with the schedule, with a lot of fixtures coming thick and fast, trying to get the training in and trying to spend time with your family. Trying to balance all of that is difficult but, for me, I’ve had a fair few years of it now – training on Christmas Day and travelling on Christmas Day. People say that you have to sacrifice as a footballer sometimes, that’s one of the key times (around Christmas) and especially on Christmas Day. Solihull BID: Are there times when you wish you could sit back and relax like the rest of us? Darren Carter: At the end of the day, you’re very privileged to be a footballer and to be playing around Christmas means that you’re doing something right. I wouldn’t change it and most players that I speak to say that it’s just part of the sacrifice of being a footballer and the dedication that you need

to have. There will be plenty of years when you hang the boots up and you’ll probably be itching on Boxing Day to actually be playing. You’ve just got to appreciate it. I know that it’s an exciting time for fans – they love going on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and watching their team play. Solihull BID: How difficult is it to avoid that extra slice of turkey or glass of wine on Christmas Day? Darren Carter: That’s probably the one side of it where you’ve got to be dedicated to – the diet side of it. Around Christmas time, there’s all sorts of stuff flying about in terms of food and chocolate. Trying to balance your diet around that time can be tricky. It’s another added thing where you have to be organised and just make sure that you’re not tempted into having too many treats! Solihull BID: What has been your favourite Christmas moment as a footballer? Darren Carter: My birthday is on the 18th (of December), my sister’s is on the 28th and I managed to score a goal for Birmingham in the Premier League on my sister’s birthday away at Fulham. Edwin Van Der Sar was in goal that day as well so, if I were to pick a memory out around Christmas time, that would definitely be it. Solihull BID: Everything seems to be going well for Solihull Moors on and off the pitch this season – how key is the support from the town? Darren Carter: The way that the club’s going, there’s interest all the time. If we can continue to keep pushing and take the momentum towards the New Year, then what a great start to 2019 it would be.

FESTIVE HOME FIXTURES Harrogate Town – Saturday 1st December (3pm) Barrow – Saturday 22nd December (3pm) Chesterfield – Tuesday 1st January (3pm) Eastleigh – Saturday 5th January (3pm) Solihull Moors play at the Automated Technology Group Stadium on Damson Parkway (B92 9EJ) 0121 705 6770

E X C E L L E N C E AWA R D S S H O R T L I S T R E V E A L E D With the Solihull BID Excellence Awards soon approaching, we spoke to this years host, ITV Central Newsreader Sameena Ali-Khan. This is the third year that you have been the main host for the Solihull BID awards, what do you most enjoy about the event? I enjoy the whole event, it’s an absolutely brilliant night, and its really great to showcase the talent in Solihull. Its always special to hear from the young people and apprentices that are nominated, in particular with the pride they take in their work. What do you like about Solihull when you visit in your leisure time? I just love shopping in Solihull, I feel safe secure and welcome. I always manage to come away from Solihull with something I really like because there is such a great choice. So, for me shopping means just two things either online or Solihull. Is it difficult to manage your work life balance with such a high-profile job, being in the public eye each day? Yes, and I fail miserably! One element will always have to give, but I do have such an amazing and understanding family. Like everybody else out there, we all keep juggling our demands and do the best that we can. What will Christmas look like for you this year? Christmas is going to be very special this year as I have a big birthday around this time! Christmas is all about family for me and its going to be such a lovely relaxing time. I finish work on Christmas Eve and then it will be the much-awaited wind down from there. I love to look back on the year that we’ve had and look forward to what the year ahead has to offer. The Awards are sponsored by BNP Paribas Personal Finance, Solihull College and University Centre, Phoebus Software and Touchwood, the awards ceremony will take place at the St Johns Hotel on Thursday, November 22nd.


BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: Turtle Bay Krispy Kreme Specsavers Slug & Lettuce New Look A-Plan

Mountain Warehouse Specsavers Quality Solicitors Davisons John Lewis and Partners BNP Paribas Personal Finance

OUTSTANDING TEAM: SMBC (Solihull Community Housing) Specsavers (Laboratory Team) Affordable Warmth Solutions Thursfields Solicitors BUPA Health

Kiran Kaur, Specsavers Katarzyna Gawalko, Caffé Nero Maddie Jayes, Specsavers Donna Walker, New Look Mathew Oakley, Phoebus Software

OUTSTANDING INNOVATION & ENTERPRISE: Neal's Yard Remedies SOTI Phoebus Software Jet Environmental BEST HOSPITALITY & LEISURE: O'Neill's The White Swan Yates Solihull The Core Theatre Crowne Plaza Firejacks


BEST APPRENTICE: Lauran Whitehouse, Alexander James Solihull Tom Marigold, John Lewis and Partners Taylor Mullins, BNP Paribas Personal Finance BEST INDEPENDENT: Tap & Tandoor Perspective Opticians Margaret Whittaker Physiotherapist Theobroma Chocolate Lounge Livs

If you would like to book tickets, please email or call 0121 285 1370. Tickets are £30 each. 23


2018 QUIZ Your Anwsers

Q1 In March the Greek football Super League was suspended after PAOK Salonika's president Ivan Savvidis invaded the pitch and did what after a goal was disallowed?

Q5 In April “The Simpsons” became the series with the highest ever episode count. How many episodes did it take to reach that target?




A. Hit the referee B. Took out a gun C. Kicked his own player

A. 636 B. 571 C. 724



Q2 In which month did British Brexit Secretary David Davis resign?



Q6 Which series won the 2018 Emmy Award for “Outstanding Drama Series”?











Image: fifg /



A. July B. August C. September Q3 Which team scored the most goals in the 2018 World Cup? A. Belgium B. France C. Brazil

Q4 In June which country was named the most dangerous country to be a woman by the Thomson Reuters Foundation? A. Columbia B. Russia C. India

A. Westworld B. The Handmaid’s Tale C. Game of Thrones Q7 In February Barbara Streisand revealed that she had cloned her what twice? A. Cat B. Dog C. Horse



Image: Nicescene /

For a bit of fun, we got Solihull BID’s Quiz Master, John Timms to put together a selection of questions to bring you the Solihull BID 2018 Quiz. Give them a go and let us know how you get on through our social media @SolihullBID #SolBID2018Quiz.

Q12 The main character, Wade Wilson, appeared in which follow up film this year? A. Avengers: Infinity War B. Deadpool 2 C. Incredibles 2

Image: Blueskynet /

Q9 Which of the below did not get relegated in the 2017 / 2018 Football season? A. Barnsley B. Bury C. Yeovil

Q13 In which country was CocaCola “in talks” with a marijuana producer about beverages to ease pain?

Q18 In July a study said that seven o’clock in the evening is the peak time for what worldwide?

A. The Netherlands B. Australia C. Canada

A. School Homework B. Takeaway Orders C. Traffic Congestion

Image: M. Unal Ozmen /

Q14 The world’s oldest what was found in a cave near Haifa in Israel this year? A. Brewery B. Crematorium C. Game Q15 What alcoholic drink had a test flight to check it was fit for space travel?

Q10 2018 saw the end of which TV series?

A. A bottle of vodka B. A bottle of beer C. A bottle of champagne

A. Blacklist B. NCIS C. Quantico

Image source:

A. St Pauls Cathedral B. Balmoral C. Windsor Castle

A. The Beatles B. Michael Jackson C. Elvis Presley

Q11 What did scientists identify as the most likely cause of The Black Plague?

Q16 It was announced this year that a best-selling games console can no longer be repaired by the manufacturer. Which console?

A. Human lice B. Rats C. Dirty Water

A. Play Station 2 B. Xbox One C. Gamecube Image: robtek /

Q19 Now That’s What I Call Music reached its 100th compilation album in 2018 - which artist or band has featured for the longest number of years? A. U2 B. Kylie Minogue C. Take That Q20 In June The Royal Observatory Greenwich in London started studying the sky again after a break of 60 years – why did it stop? A. Lack of investment B. The building was dangerous C. Light pollution

Answers 1.B

Q8 Where did Prince Harry and Meghan Markel get married?

Q17 In August The Eagles had the best-selling album of all time - with their Greatest Hits 1971-1975 LP. Who have they pushed into second place?


2.A 3.A 4.C 5.A 6.C 7.B 8.C 9.C 10.C 11.A 12.B 13.C 14.A 15.C 16.A 17.B 18.B 19.A 20.C


CHRISTMAS TREATS for the Grown-Ups

JAFFA CAKE COCKTAIL Marks and Spencer, £10

GROOMING SET Argos, £9.99

CANDLE Laura Ashley, £15

SOCKS Dorothy Perkins, £6.50

SOCKS New Look, £9.99

CARD HOLDER TK Maxx, £39.99


JUMPER Burton, £28 STOCKING White Stuff, £25

GIN BELL Dunelm, £5

FIZZ HAND CREAM Marks and Spencer, £7

CHOCOLATE HIP FLASK , White Stuff, £5.50

HIP FLASK Burton, £16

CHRISTMAS JUMPER Dorothy Perkins, £28


PERFUME H&M, £12.99

HAT River Island, £15

BEERS Marks and Spencer, £20

SLIPPERS White Stuff, £25

& STOCKING FILLERS for the Little Ones GAME Marks and Spencer, £4

GLOVES Monsoon, £12

BAG CHARM Monsoon, £6


SOCKS IN A BAG Marks and Spencer, £2 BOOK Marks and Spencer, £7

CHOCOLATE COINS Hotel Chocolat, £5

TOY TRAIN Tiger, £5


SLIPPERS Marks and Spencer, £8

BACKPACK Marks and Spencer, £16



SLIPPERS FatFace, £15 HAIR CLIP Monsoon, £6

TOY BASKET John Lewis, £15



BLANKET Next, £18

HOT WATER BOTTLE Marks and Spencer, £22 SCARF Monsoon, £12

Prices correct at time of print.



This year Christmas in Solihull is set to be the most magical yet. We are delighted to launch our shoppers haven outdoor cinema! Think of your favourite childhood Christmas movies, add in a bit of festive food and drink all surrounded by the amazing Solihull shopping experience and you will see why we are the rival Christmas shopping destination this year. Bring the family and make a day of it at the ‘Shoppers Haven’, where we will be showing all of your favourite Christmas films for 13 days in December from the 10 th – 22nd December. Drift away in nostalgia with the 1994 Miracle on 34th Street, to the laugh out loud classic Home Alone films and maybe even time to let it go with Olaf in Frozen. Best of all they are all FREE to attend.

The magic doesn’t just end there, you will be able to visit Santa in his magical grotto from the 17th November in Touchwood. Touchwood are also treating you to breath-taking performances from acrobats in a giant snow globe and the chance to say hello to The Stickman, the much-loved children’s book character created by Julia Donaldson.

Now you’re thinking, ‘an outdoor cinema, in December…?’ don’t worry we’ve got it covered, there’s a marquee in Mell Square with hot chocolate and hot dogs available. So, don’t forget to wrap up warm and plan your visit – you will be fighting over who gets to be the nominated person to sit with the shopping whilst the dedicated shoppers amongst you get back out there to hurtle through the shopping list.

On the 8th December The Snowman will pop into Touchwood to say hello. And to add the extra touch of winter wonderland, Touchwood’s iconic polar bear, Presley, will return, complete with frost and plenty of sparkle. Look out online for dates.

Make sure you save some space in the fridge and Christmas pantry for purchases from our Festive Feast market which runs from the 19 th – 23rd December. Join us to taste the flavours from all around the world, enjoy a glass of mulled wine and let the festive celebrations begin, with all that choice take your chosen tipple and yummy snacks with you to enjoy your chosen outdoor cinema viewing!

This Christmas, for the second year running, Mell Square are teaming up with local charities to provide a gift-wrapping service within the square – with all proceeds going towards the chosen charity. Keep an eye on the Mell Square website and social channels for more details over the coming weeks. Why not drop all your presents into the Mell Square Christmas pop up wrapping shop and collect them after the film, wrapped and ready for Christmas? Keep an eye out on our website ( for full details on Christmas activity instore events across the town centre, oh and don’t forget to get your tickets for the new panto, Sleeping Beauty – The Pantomime of Your Dreams at the Core Theatre. On selected dates from 14th December 2018 until the 6th January 2019.

The Polar Express © 2004 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Century Fo

Miracle on 34th Stree t © 19 94 x Film Co Twentieth rporation . All Rights Re served.

White Christmas © 1954 Paramount Pictures Corporation. All Rights Reserved.

Frozen Inc. A ll © 2013 Dis ne Rights Re servy Enterpris es ed. ,




12.00PM Jack Frost (1998) (PG) 4.00PM White Christmas (1954) (U)

12.00PM Arthur Christmas (2011) (U) 4.00PM A Christmas Carol (1984) (U)



12.00PM Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) (U) 4.00PM Miracle on 34th Street (1994) (U)

12.00PM Nativity! (2009) (U) 4.00PM Jingle All the Way (1996) (PG)



12.00PM The Search for Santa Paws (2010) (U) 4.00PM National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) (PG)

1.00PM 6.00PM


Frozen (2013) (PG) White Christmas (1954) (U)



1.00PM 5.00PM


The Santa Clause (1994) (U) The Holiday (2006) (12A)


The Nightmare before Christmas (1993) (PG) Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) (PG)


Nativity 2: Danger in the Manger (2012) (U) Miracle on 34th Street (1994) (U)

SATURDAY 22ND DECEMBER 12.00PM Fred Claus (2007) (PG) 2.30PM National Lampoons Christmas Vacation (1989) (PG) For the latest updates visit

12.00PM Home Alone (1990) (PG) 2.30PM Frozen (2013) (PG)

SUNDAY 16TH DECEMBER 11.00AM The Polar Express (2004) (U) 1.30PM Christmas with the Kranks (2004) (PG)

MONDAY 17TH DECEMBER 12.00PM The Santa Clause 2 (2002) (U) 4.00PM The Muppets Christmas Carol (1992) (U)

Details correct at the time of print, they may be subject to change.

Fred Clau s © 2007 Entertainment Inc. Warner Bros. All Rights Reserved .

Carol ris tmas pets Ch , Inc . The Mup terpris es Disney En . © 19 92 rved se Re s All Right



What’s On Christmas Craft Fayre This occasional market returns with a festive flavour. As well as various handmade items from home and abroad, including paintings and jewellery, there will be a range of Christmas decorations, garlands and wreaths on offer. Plants, fine foods and a hog roast are also available. High Street and Mill Lane, Solihull. 9am – 5pm. There will also be a Christmas Craft Fayre on the 10 th November 2018. NOV


Kathy Lette’s Girls’ Night Out Writer and presenter Kathy takes us from puberty to menopause with tales of love, lust, men, marriage ageing and toyboys! Full of wit, warmth and frankness, She also talks poignantly about the trials, tribulations and hilarity of raising a child on the autistic spectrum. 7.30pm start. Tickets £16 (Age 16+). The Core Theatre, visit www.thecoretheatre. to book now or call 0121 704 6962. NOV


Armistice Day Celebration An afternoon of nostalgia featuring wartime songs from Madeline Brown to recognise 100 years since the end of World War 1. Venue: Broomfields Hall (Royal British Legion), Union Road. 2.00pm start. Licensed bar. Raffle. Tickets: £6.50. Tickets available from Age UK Solihull on 0121 704 7842. NOV


Disney Quiz This month Walkabout brings you their magical Disney quiz (fancy dress encouraged.) As well as having 5 quiz rounds all dedicated to the wonder of Disney films both classic and new, we will also be doing a huge sing along in-between the rounds to keep you entertained. Expect the entire pub singing along to your favourite Disney songs: Let it go, Hakuna Matata and Bear Necessities just to name a few. Link for tickets will be on Walkabout Solihull’s Facebook page near the time so be quick as they sell out quickly! NOV


NOVEMBER 2018 - JANUARY 2019 Santa’s Grotto The festive season will officially begin at Touchwood as Santa arrives in his magical grotto. Taking residence until Christmas Eve, he'll be showering the region’s lucky boys and girls with early Christmas gifts. As well as meeting Santa, guests will be treated to breathtaking performances from acrobats in a giant snow globe, whilst youngsters say hello to The Stickman, the much-loved children’s book character created by Julia Donaldson. For a full schedule of events, grotto opening times, or for further information, visit www.touchwoodsolihull. or telephone 0121 709 6900. NOV


Opera Evening at Carluccio’s Celebrate the fantastic combination of good food, great company and wonderful music. You will be greeted with prosecco and canapés on arrival, followed by a specially selected 3 course dinner of authentic Italian fare whilst their much-loved opera singers create the perfect ambience to enjoy your meal. £40 per person (includes glass of prosecco, canapés, 3 course dinner and entertainment). To book, please call 0121 704 5215. NOV


Solihull BID Excellence Awards An evening celebrating the success of Solihull town centre businesses. Enjoy a 3 course dinner with entertainment. £30 per head. The St Johns Hotel, Solihull. Call 0121 285 1370 to book now. NOV


Christmas Wrapping Service This Christmas, for the second year running, Mell Square are teaming up with local charities to provide a gift-wrapping service within the square – with all proceeds going towards the chosen charity. Keep an eye on the Mell Square website and social channels for more details over the coming weeks. Visit DEC

The Snowman in Touchwood Following the launch event, The Snowman will be popping to Touchwood. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the classic Christmas book, the beloved star will be greeting guests as they enjoy their Christmas shopping. For a full schedule of events, grotto opening times, or for further information, visit www.touchwoodsolihull. or telephone 0121 709 6900. DEC


Shoppers Haven, Free Outdoor Cinema Solihull BID presents 10-22 to you the ultimate shoppers haven in the busy Christmas period. A marquee in Mell Square will be home to 2 free Christmas films a day from White Christmas to Home Alone and many more. Add to this hot chocolate, food and a bar and you have the perfect relaxing zone, to take your mind off the stress of Christmas. Keep an eye on the Solihull BID Website for full film listing. DEC

Sleeping Beauty The pantomime of your dreams. Inside Bromwich Castle the royal family are preparing for the christening of their baby daughter, Princess Rose. The family get more than they bargained for when a wicked fairy hears of the celebrations and sets out to ruin their happiness. With daring duels, doting dragons, lavish sets and bucket loads of laughs. Join us this Christmas for a brandnew spin on an old yarn. On selected dates between 14th December and the 6th January. The Core Theatre, visit www.thecoretheatre. to book now or call 0121 704 6962. DEC-JAN

14 - 6

Solihull Festive Feast To compliment the last few days of shoppers haven, we present to you the Solihull Festive Feast. Join us to taste food from all over the globe and celebrate this festival season with family and friends. Visit for full details. DEC


Christmas Day Lunch at Terrace Restaurant, Crowne Plaza Solihull 12 noon and 3.30pm. £74.95 per person, £34.95 for children aged 3 to 12 years, free for children under 3 years. Call to book on 0121 623 9988. DEC


New Year’s Eve family disco at Terrace Restaurant, Crowne Plaza Solihull Dinner served at 7pm, disco until 1am. £45 per person, £22.50 for children aged 3 to 12 years, £99.50 per person including overnight accommodation and breakfast. Additional supplement for family rooms will apply. Call to book on 0121 623 9988. DEC


The Billy Fury Years One of the best-selling recording artists of the 1960s with a string of hits, health problems since childhood led to the singer’s untimely death in 1983. Hailed as "the best Fury since Fury”, Michael King and his fantastic collection of musicians take you on a journey through the musical career of Britain's best loved rock n roll legend. An exciting 2-hour show filled with Billy Fury's greatest hits and more delivered live in true Fury style. This is a night of pure breath-taking Billy Fury entertainment. Visit www.thecoretheatre. to book now or call 0121 704 6962. JAN


Santa in Love Have You Ever Wanted To Know A Secret? A Christmas secret! Maybe you’d like to know where the fairy on top of the Christmas tree comes from, or maybe you’d like to know the greatest secret of them all... the one about Santa Claus and the thing he secretly loves best. Could it be presents?

Opera Evening at Carluccio’s Celebrate the fantastic combination of good food, great company and wonderful music. You will be greeted with prosecco and canapés on arrival, followed by a specially selected 3 course dinner of authentic Italian fare whilst their much-loved opera singers create the perfect ambience to enjoy your meal. £40 per person (includes glass of prosecco, canapés, 3 course dinner and entertainment). To book, please call 0121 704 5215.

Mary Poppins Returns




For more information about these events and what else is happening in Solihull, visit:

Could it be reindeer? Could it be snow? If you want to find out then join Santa and his friends in this fun filled family musical complete with games, giggles and all your favourite Christmas songs. A short show (around 40mins) is then followed by a photo opportunity with Santa and a gift for each child. The Core Theatre Studio. Visit to book now or call 0121 704 6962.





Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes Of Grindelwald

16/11/18 The second instalment of five all new adventures in J.K. Rowling's Wizarding World. Staring Johnny Depp as the powerful Dark wizard Gellert Grindelwald, who hatches an evil plan.

21/12/18 Staring Emily Blunt as the practicallyperfect nanny with unique magical skills who can turn any task into an unforgettable, fantastic adventure - Set 25 years after the events of the original film.

11/01/19 An upcoming American supernatural superhero film based on the Dark Horse Comics character of the same name. Staring David Harbour, It's a reboot of the Hellboy film series and is the third live-action instalment in the film series.

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The Local Market

Even during stable periods, where Interest Rates produce viable returns and the Stock Market provides a reliable income, prudent investors will look to diversify their investments to best manage the risks investment portfolios are exposed to.

Whilst the residential market in Solihull has long since been identified as a great place to invest, the opportunities in the Borough’s commercial property market are becoming increasingly apparent to both large and small scale investors. With great transport links, including an airport, major employers, such as JLR and a highly skilled workforce the advantages of investing in Solihull are evident.

During recent years investing in the “buy to let” residential market has been one method of diversification however increasing competition and recent legislative changes have made “buy to let” less attractive. As a result commercial property has come under increasing consideration by both large and small investors looking to spread their investments.

Different Types of Commercial Property Generally speaking there are four categories, retail, office, leisure and industrial. The Q2 2018 figures recently published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors suggest that the commercial property market remains robust. Whilst demand in the retail sector has weakened the demand for industrial and office space remains strong. Notably there are a number of localised “hot spots” through-out the country with Solihull being one of those.

Rob Pettigrew Commercial Property Director

Solihull currently has around 8,200 businesses with economic output way ahead of the UK average. As it continues attracting businesses, both large and small, the demand for industrial and office space (of all sizes) is increasing.

Different Ways of Investing in Commercial Property There are a variety of ways of investing in Commercial Property, from direct investments (purchasing all or part of a property) to investment via a fund or investment scheme.

At Thursfields we have expert knowledge in both the local market and the best way for you to invest, please call Robert Pettigrew on 0121 796 4022 or email to discuss.

Solihull 0121 624 4000 | Birmingham 0121 231 3230 Worcester | Kidderminster | Stourport | Halesowen | Sedgley

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