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Best ever year for West Midlands at business awards

The West Midlands has enjoyed its best ever year at the Queen's Awards for Enterprise which rewards outstanding achievement by a UK business or an individual.

The region saw seven companies and a professor from Aston University pick up prizes. for international trade, innovation and enterprise promotion. The winners, which also included Jaguar Land Rover, will be able to use the Queen's Award emblem on their products for the next five years.

Dr Ralf Speth from Jaguar Land Rover said the award would give the firm a boost.


JLR unveils new 'concept SUV' at New York Auto Show

A new 'concept SUV' has been unveiled by Jaguar Land Rover at this year's New York Auto Show - featuring advance new technology such as gesture control, a 'transparent' bonnet and smart glass.

The Discover Vision Concept SUV was unveiled by JLR at the New York Auto Show
The Discover Vision Concept SUV was unveiled by JLR at the New York Auto Show Credit: DNA (Digital News Agency)

The Discover Vision Concept SUV went on the stand at the show for the first time, alongside the Jaguar C-X17 which made its market debut.

New technologies being researched include a Human Machine Interface, which involves both voice and gesture control - meaning people inside the car need only to wave their hand to open a window or close their door.

The gesture control allows people to close doors with just a wave of their hand
The gesture control allows people to close doors with just a wave of their hand Credit: DNA (Digital News Agency)

Meanwhile, the 'transparent' bonnet uses virtual imaging designed to improve off-road visibility for the Land Rover.

JLR, which has factories in South Staffordshire and in Solihull, also revealed it is working on a car which - if the driver chooses - can drive itself.

Investigation into Sky Blues stadium row court documents

Documents have been released which raise questions about why Coventry City Council spent millions of pounds of taxpayers' money, taking on the mortgage debts of the city's Ricoh Arena.

The decision was taken last year, while ACL, the company which owns the stadium, was involved in a bitter row with Coventry City Football Club over rent.

New details about the process has led one group of Sky Blues supporters to set up a political party to stand in local elections, to try to question the council further. Darryl Murphy has been investigating.

GMB: 30,000 Next workers to miss out on this bonus

Next clothing at the High Cross branch in Leicester Credit: PA

Reacting to the news the chief executive of Leicester-based Next is to share his bonus of £4million with 20,000 staff, giving them the equivalent of a 1.5% pay rise as a one off payment next month, Mick Rix, the GMB union's national officer for retail staff, said:

"This pay rise, while welcome, will place Next staff 18p above the national minimum wage of £6.50. This is well below a living wage of £7.65 an hour outside London and £8.80 in London, while 30,000 of the 50,000 employees will get no share of the £4 million bonus."


Next boss shares £4m bonus with 20,000 workers

Next has its headquarters in Enderby in Leicester Credit: PA

The chief executive of Leicester-based retailer Next has announced he's sharing a £4million bonus with thousands of the firm's staff.

Lord Wolfson said in a letter to employees that an incentive scheme he was awarded in 2011 had grown and was "more valuable than I could possibly have hoped".

He said that instead of accepting the bonus he had decided to share it among staff who have worked for the company since 2011 - around 20,000 employees.

The money will be shared out in proportion to a worker's annual salary, and will equate to a 1.5% pay rise, as a one-off bonus next month.


British businessman set for £500m Candy Crush windfall

King Digital Entertainment, maker of Candy Crush Saga, has been valued £4.28bn.
King Digital Entertainment, maker of Candy Crush Saga, has been valued £4.28bn.

A businessman from the Midlands could earn more than £500 million from today's flotation of King Digital Entertainment.

Self-made millionaire Melvyn Morris has a 12.2% stake in the company behind the Candy Crush developer, which is to be valued at $7.08bn (£4.28bn) when shares are sold on the New York Stock Exchange.

The move could make Mr Morris - who left school at 16 and became a management consultant by 20 - one of the richest men in Britain.

After setting up a number of UK businesses, the entrepeneur founded dating agency uDate, which was sold for £150 million in 2002 having taken off in the dotcom boom.

He used the money he made from the sale to help found King, as well as invest in his local football team, Derby County.

Read: Candy Crush creator set to float on US stock market

Corby food company wants to minimise redundancies

The Solway Foods factory in Corby Credit: ITV News Central

A food company in Northamptonshire says it wants to minimise the number of compulsory redundancies after it announced the closure of its food processing plant.

Solways Foods in Corby announced that 900 jobs could be lost, but the firm says it will redeploy people where possible.

It is closing the site by the late summer because it says it is no longer viable.

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