Live updates

Virgin expansion brings 1,400 jobs to the Midlands

A major expansion of Virgin Media's broadband network is set to bring 1,400 jobs to the Midlands ITV News Central has been told.

Virgin Media is expanding its broadband network Credit: PA

The jobs will be in construction, engineering, sales and support roles.

The expansion will see 6,000 jobs created across the country under the £3 billion plans, with 1,000 apprenticeships trained at Virgin's Birmingham headquarters.

The company, which is owned by US firm Liberty Global, has described the five year plan as the single biggest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade.

  1. National

Poundland takes over rival 99p Stores in £55m deal

Discount chain Poundland is set to take over its rival 99p Stores in a £55 million deal.

The 99p Stores brand, which also includes Family Bargains stores, boasted £370.4m in annual sales last year.

ITV News' Consumer Editor Chris Choi reports:

Family-owned 99p Stores was founded 14 years ago as a single shop, run by Nadir Lalani. It quickly expanded, adding three more stores that same year, and now runs a total of 251 shops across the country.

99p Stores is to be bought by Poundland Credit: PA

Poundland, based in Willenhall near Walsall in the West Midlands, has around 600 shops, including some in Spain and the Republic of Ireland. It is paying £47.5m in cash, plus £7.5m in new shares in the buy-out.


Exclusive: The secret meeting behind Tata JLR takeover

In an exclusive interview, the man who saved Jaguar Land Rover - the Indian billionaire Ratan Tata, has described a secret meeting in an airport hotel to secure the deal.

He said how he wasn't allowed to set foot in any of the factories while the negotiations were taking place and how Jaguar Land Rover will be staying and expanding in the Midlands.

Despite pumping £5billion into the business he says he's done very little to help the company - he just stood back and supported the workforce in doing what they do best.

He's been in the Midlands to open an engineering college and he spoke to Mark Gough.

Traders say more should be done to get investment in Burslem

Towns in the West Midlands have some of the highest number of empty shops in the country.

That's according to The Local Data Company, which monitors shopping centres and retail parks in the UK.

They found that Burslem in Staffordshire is the worst for vacant shops in England. Traders told ITV News Central more needs to be done to attract businesses to the area. Rajiv Popat reports.

Stoke-on-Trent City Council say the report confirms what they already knew from their own retail report last June.

It is a complex issue that is not going to be solved overnight and isn’t unique to this area.

Our regeneration strategy is about working closely with private sector partners, helping to create the space and conditions for businesses to thrive and focusing on the unique strengths of our individual towns.

At the same time we are striving to build commercial confidence in our transformed city centre and broadening our economic outlook beyond retail space in favour of more sustainable alternatives such as enterprise and educational usage.

– Cllr Mohammed Pervez, Stoke-on-Trent City Council
  1. Chris Halpin

Birmingham planners' vision to recreate Canary Wharf

Ambitious plans have been revealed to transform part of Birmingham city centre - in the hope it can become the next Canary Wharf.

The £600 million vision shows shiny office blocks rising around the 1980s built Snow Hill Station, as well as the remodelling of the A38.

It's hoped up to ten thousand new jobs could be created by revamping the area, as well as making it a more attractive place to live.

The city council hopes the money will come mainly from the private sector - but any building work could be a while off yet - as Chris Halpin reports.

Damaged Land Rovers driven off stricken cargo ship

Damaged cars including Land Rovers have been driven off the stricken carrier Hoegh Osaka in Southampton.

The 51,000-tonne ship has a cargo for 1,400 cars and 105 pieces of construction equipment worth a total of £60 million.

Of the 1,400 cars onboard, 1,200 were made by Coventry-based Jaguar Land Rover.

The carrier docked in Southampton Credit: PA

ITV News Meridian has filmed a number of damaged vehicles being removed today.


NFU stage dairy debate in Staffordshire

A debate on falling milk prices and the challenges faced by local dairy farmers will be held in Staffordshire today.

The price of milk has fallen to its lowest since 2007 Credit: Dave Thompson/PA Wire

The event has been organised by the National Farmers Union which says the number of dairy farmers will continue to decrease unless market conditions improve.

Farmers have seen the price of milk fall to around 20p per litre - its lowest since 2007.

New facilities for Derbyshire Cricket Club

The City Council has approved a £2 million pound loan for work to start next winter.

A general view a Derbyshire County Cricket Club sign at the County Ground, Derbyshire Credit: Simon Cooper/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Derbyshire Cricket Club will get new facilities including a new media centre as part of its bid to host matches at the County ground in the 2017 Women's Cricket World Cup.

It is one of six venues chosen to host the tournament in two years' time.

Load more updates