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  1. National

Phones 4u 'heartbroken' as it enters administration

Phones 4u's official Twitter account says the team is "heartbroken" that the company has been placed into administration threatening over 5,500 jobs.

Entrepreneur John Caudwell, who founded the business in the 1980s and sold it in 2006 for nearly £1.5bn, also took to Twitter to say how "sickened and saddened" he was by the news.

Phones4U boss warns of higher prices for customers

The collapse of mobile phone chain Phones4U will mean higher prices for customers in the UK, company bosses have warned.

As he prepares to put the company into administration, Phones4U chief executive David Kassler said it was a "very sad day" for both customers and staff.

The chief executive says the firm going into administration will mean less competition and higher prices. Credit: PA

He issued a warning that less competition in the market would mean customers ultimately shouldering a higher monthly fee.

Today is a very sad day for our customers and our staff.

If the mobile network operators decline to supply us, we do not have a business. A good company making profits of over £100 million, employing thousands of decent people has been forced into administration.

The great service we have provided should have guaranteed a strong future, but unfortunately our network partners have decided otherwise.

The ultimate result will be less competition, less choice and higher prices for mobile customers in the UK.

– David Kassler, Phones4U chief executive

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  1. National

Administration decision 'comes as shock' to Phones 4u

Phones 4u remains a profitable business with a turnover of over £1 billion, the company has said after it announced it was going into administration.

In a statement, it said.

The unexpected decisions by both Vodafone and EE have come as a complete shock to the business. The company is in a healthy state and both EE and Vodafone had, until very recently, consistently indicated that they saw Phones 4u as a long-term strategic partner.

– Phones 4 U
  1. National

Existing Phones 4u 'will remain unaffected'

Phones 4u said all mobile contracts bought through Phones 4u will remain unaffected and the networks will continue to provide mobile services to these customers.

The process of appointing PwC as an administrator is expected to take place tomorrow.

A Phones 4u branch pictured in Nottingham. Credit: PA

Thousands of jobs at risk as Phones4U goes under

More than 5,500 jobs are under threat across the UK as Staffordshire-based mobile phone shop Phones4U prepares to go into administration.

The business was set up by Birmingham-born entrepreneur John Caudwell in Staffordshire in the 80s.

A Phones 4u branch pictured in Nottingham Credit: PA

The decision comes after the EE network joined Vodafone in cutting ties with the chain.

Bosses are expected to instruct administrators from PwC today.

Record numbers of young women in JCB training

JCB's factory in Rocester, Staffordshire Credit: PA

A record number of young women have started work at Staffordshire-based JCB as apprentices.

The group - who have just completed their first week at the company - have been recruited as part of JCB's Young Talent initiative, which has just created more than 100 new jobs for apprentices, graduates and undergraduates.

The new female apprentices come from all over the Midlands, including Stoke-on-Trent, Cannock, Rugeley, Stone, Solihull and Newcastle.

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Minister to launch support for businesses to grow online

A new programme of support to help growing UK companies break into the online trade market will be launched in Birmingham today.

The online trading industry is expected to be worth £68 billion by 2020 - and Trade Minister Lord Ian Livingston will be at the NEC to unveil the e-Exporting Programme.

Lord Ian Livingston will launch the e-commerce programme at the NEC Credit: PA

It means businesses of all sizes will be able to access specialised services to help boost their sales on a global scale.

Companies have also been invited to a round-table discussion with the UK Trade and Investment regional director Paul Noon, to discuss the challenges facing firms in the international market.

Train contract boost for Midlands firms

Seven Midlands firms have been chosen to supply parts for a major new rail contract.

An artist's impression of the interior of one of the new carriages Credit: Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd

They have been selected to help build trains for the first phase of the government's multibillion pound Intercity Express Programme.

The companies chosen are:

  • - Balfour Beatty Rail (unmanned geometry measurement systems – UGMS), Derby
  • - Dellner (Train gangways and couplers), Derby
  • - Eminox (exhaust systems), Gainsborough
  • - Harting (jumper cable systems), Northampton
  • - Trent Instruments (cab equipment), Nottingham
  • - Arrowvale Electronics (driver safety devices), Worcester
  • - DCA Design International (interior train design), Warwick

Business Secretary Vince Cable has described the announcement as a major boost for Midlands firms:

“The Government is committed to helping companies attract inward investment to develop strong, coordinated and competitive supply chains here in the UK.

"We have created a new Rail Supply Chain Forum to help British businesses win work both here and abroad and I am greatly encouraged to see that world leading companies such as Hitachi are placing their confidence in UK suppliers.”

– Business Secretary Vince Cable

Birmingham Selfridges to get window display

Shoppers look at Selfridges' famous Christmas window display in London Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Selfridges' famous window displays - a tourist hotspot in London - have arrived in Birmingham's Bullring.

The curved window displays will be visible from 360 degrees and will be located at the main entrances from the Bullring mall.

Each year hundreds of thousands of people visit Selfridges in Oxford Street to see the displays.

"The arrival of windows is a historic moment for us, as it presents a unique opportunity to captivate our customers before they even set foot in the store."

– Vicki Cain, general manager at Selfridges Birmingham
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