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West Midlands contenders for UK City of Culture

Credit: Coventry City Council.

Coventry, Hereford and Stoke-on-Trent are the three Midlands locations to join 8 others from around the country hoping to be named the UK City of Culture for 2021.

The winner to be announced in December is promised a year of cultural attractions and a boost to their local economies.

This year's winner will be the third holder of the title following Londonderry in 2013 and Hull this year, all contenders will be whittled down to a shortlist in the summer. Culture minister Matt Hancock said:

"UK City of Culture is a fantastic opportunity for towns and cities to celebrate their creativity and use culture as a catalyst for economic growth. I am delighted to see so many bids from across the country, showing how many areas recognise the important role culture can play in the development and regeneration of communities."

– Culture minister Matt Hancock.
  1. Robert Townsend

Weekend Picks: Davayte rozvazhatysya!

De Koffie Pot, Bridge Street Hereford: Saturday 18th February - from 7pm

Don't worry - we haven't gone mad, it means "Let's party",this weekend it's the one night only, Ukranian party in Hereford.

Why not go along and party in style at De Koffie Pot where you can dance like a Dnipropetrovtsi, grab some food from a Ukrainian-inspired menu and raise some money for a youth theatre festival based out in rural Ukraine while you do it.

Performing live are Slippery Slope, (see above) who - and if you have ever seen (or heard) of them before, you will know, they provide a joyful and offbeat style of danceable folk.

They have a steel drum and a violin in the same band, and it's only £6.00 a ticket.

Google girl: 'My dad said I can sit on bean bags and go down slides'

A seven-year-old girl who loves robots and computers got something of a shock when Google chief Sundar Pichai responded personally to her job application.

Chloe Bridgewater, from Hereford, sent the letter to the technology giant's head offices in Silicon Valley in the US last Monday,


Police to use more funds from their 'healthy reserves'

Credit: PA

The Police and Crime Commissioner for West Mercia, John Campion has confirmed additional funding of over 4 million pounds in West Mercia’s policing budget over the next year.

It's hoped the investment will ensure there is continued funds to address the issues that matter most to the communities and ensure better value and use of public money.

The investment will come from West Mercia’s 'healthy reserves,' which currently stand at over 50 million pounds.

John Campion said:

“This budget shows how I am delivering on my election promises, to make sure that policing budgets are spent as wisely and efficiently as possible, and that the money gets spent on what matters most to communities. This includes improving police visibility, ensuring there is better customer service and that our most vulnerable people are protected. I also promised I would reform and modernise our police force, including new fit-for-purpose technology, bringing it up to date and in-line with other forces in the UK, and giving our officers the tools they need to do their difficult jobs better."

– PCC John Campion.
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