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Nigel Mansell: 'Safety standards in F1 are a zillion times better'

The AutoSport International show has opened its doors to the public, giving visitors the chance to see some of the greatest machines in motorsport, both past and present.

Alongside the incredible cars - there's the opportunity to hear from some of the talented people who've been behind the wheel - and local legend Nigel Mansell was the one drawing the crowds earlier this afternoon at the NEC.

Union concerned about jobs and costs if NEC Group sold off

The GMB Union says they're pleased Birmingham City Council intends to honour equal pay settlements for women but is concerned about jobs and costs for users if the NEC group is sold off. The council says it can't afford to invest in the complex and help it grow.

Whilst happy that BCC intend to honour their obligations in respect of equal pay settlements we in the GMB have grave concerns that the NEC group is to be sold off to the private sector. This will inevitably lead to increased costs to the residents of Birmingham and the wider users of these prime facilities and could lead to either job losses or reduction in terms and conditions of employment.

– Joe Morgan Regional Secretary


Birmingham City Council puts NEC up for sale

Birmingham City Council has announced it is selling off the NEC group. The council, which is facing a £1.1 billion bill for equal pay settlements, says it wants to ensure its existing uses are preserved.

The venue is one of the biggest exhibition centres in Europe and also houses the 16 thousand seat LG Arena which hosts concerts and conventions.

Watch Callum Watkinson's report on the council's decision to put one of the city's best-loved assets up for sale.

Birmingham City Council: NEC announcement 'historic'

Calling today's announcement "historic", Council leader Sir Albert Bore said the sale was necessary for the venue and events company to grow.

"The NEC Group has reached a point in its evolution where it needs to be able to adopt the financial disciplines of a private, rather than council-owned company," he said.

NEC Group put up for sale by Birmingham City Council

The NEC in Birmingham Credit: Associated Press

Birmingham City Council is putting the NEC Group up for sale. The group includes the National Exhibition Centre, the International Convention Centre, the National Indoor Arena and the LG Arena.

It is claimed the group brings in four million visitors and £2 billion to the region every year, and supports 30,000 jobs.

Cash-strapped council makes plans to sell-off parts of NEC Group

Inside the NEC during Autosport International. Credit: Associated Press

Birmingham City Council have announced they will be reviewing their ownership of buildings within the NEC Group, including the National Exhibition Centre (NEC), the National Indoor Arena (NIA) and the LG arena, in a bid to ease budget challenges.

NEC from above Credit: Associated Press

The LG Arena alone boasts a capacity of up to 14,000 people. But after a review of their commercial holdings, the council may still decide to sell the venues to private buyers.

The council has disposed of assets to the value of £76m over the past two years consisting mostly of excess land and office accommodation.

Inside Birmingham's Symphony Hall, also owned by the council Credit: Associated Press


Life-sized Johnny Depp in Birmingham cake competition

"Johnny Depp" has been entered in the large decorative exhibit section of the competition Credit: ITV News Central

A woman has baked a "life-sized" Johnny Depp cake for the Cake International competition in Birmingham.

Amateur baker Lara Clarke, from Brownhills in the West Midlands, made the cake in the form of the actor's famous character Jack Sparrow for the large decorative exhibit section of the competition.

TV presenter to open NEC caravan show

A camper van at last year's show Credit: Bob Collier/PA Archive/Press Association Images

TV presenter, Melanie Sykes, will open the Motorhome and Caravan Show today at the NEC in Birmingham.

Melanie Sykes Credit: Doug Peters/Doug Peters/EMPICS Entertainment

The event will give manufacturers the opportunity to showcase new models, with 700 expected including caravans, motorhomes, camper vans and conversions.

The event is on at the exhibition centre until Sunday, which will also see special vintage restored caravans from the 1960s and 1970s.

Dame Kelly to honour women in business

Athletics champion Dame Kelly Holmes will be the guest speaker at the Woman of the Year Awards today.

Dame Kelly Holmes will be guest speaker at the Woman of the Year Awards Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA

The ceremony, to be held at the NEC in Birmingham, honours the achievements of women in business.

She said she was delighted to be involved in the event.

"I find award ceremonies such as this hugely inspiring because every nominee will have a fantastic story to tell of the obstacles they have had to overcome,” she said.

“I will be talking about my own experiences and encouraging everyone not to be afraid to follow their instincts and to take a chance.

“I am sure it will be a fantastic event with hundreds of businesswomen who are working extremely hard to turn their ambitions into reality. I know I will be inspired further by hearing their own experiences.”

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