24 Design

2424 is a multidisciplinary creative design and make studio specialising in serving the museum and gallery sector. Committed to applying creative thinking backed by the experience to deliver, the team at 24 work closely with clients to define solutions appropriate to their needs.

The company is now well established within the Museums and Galleries sector having designed and manufactured permanent and temporary furniture and installations for clients such as The British Museum, The National Media Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and The Lowry.

Acme Whistles

Founded in the 1870s in Birmingham by Joseph Hudson and his brother James Hudson as J Hudson & Co. Today Acme Whistles are the world’s largest and most famous producer of whistles. Headquartered in the Jewellery Quarter district of Birmingham, England, their patented whistle designs are the recognized standard in loud noise production.

They moved into their factory on Barr Street a century ago. They currently make around six million whistles, sirens and hooters every year. They still have the original bench at which the founder, Joseph Hudson, made the very first police whistle in the 1880s, replacing wooden rattles that the “peelers” had previously used to sound the alert. And they also have some of the original Acme Thunderers used for decades by football referees.

“The very first soccer whistles were made in 1884,” says Simon Topman, Acme’s owner and a man with a clear passion for whistles and their history. “Joseph Hudson’s great invention was to pop the pea into the whistle and so the familiar trill of the Acme Thunderer was heard.” He tried to sell the invention to Aston Villa, his local team, who weren’t interested so he went across the Midlands to Nottingham Forest who were more enthusiastic.

The novelty soon caught on and referees no longer had to signal foul play by waving handkerchiefs. To most England football fans their finest hour was signalled with the words “they think it’s all over…” but it was an Acme Thunderer used by Swiss referee Gottfried Dienst which brought the 1966 World Cup final to an end. The whistle now resides in a football museum in Switzerland.

Acme whistles also played their part in the tragedy of World War I. More than a million were issued to infantrymen and the sound of the police-style whistles was the signal for the troops to leave the relative safety of the trenches and advance in the face of machine gun fire. At one point they ran out of brass and instead used recycled biscuit tins to make the whistle cylinders.

Acme also supplied whistles to the White Star Line (makers of the Titanic) and it’s likely that the sound would have been used to assemble passengers at the lifeboats, or to call out for help across the water as the Titanic sank. Acme used the original tools to sell thousands of special Titanic whistles on the back of the film’s popularity. (Source BBC News Channel, Sunday, 24 May 2009)

AGA Rangemaster

AGA is a brand that has a great heritage and is also futuristic and energetic. The AGA is made in Coalbrookdale at the World Heritage site foundry of Abraham Darby who was given a patent by Queen Anne in 1707 to make cast iron cooking pots which AGA still does there today seen in our new Jubilee collection. The AGA itself was first made in the UK in 1929 in Smethwick and has been made in Coalbrookdale since 1946. It has become embedded in British life and culture – having a great marketing history inspired first by David Ogilvy and then through outstanding campaigns for the ‘AGAstocracy’ in the 1950s and the ‘Iron Age Man and Woman’ from 2001.

The AGA is the world’s best cooker using radiant heat from all around the food to lock in taste and goodness. It is the heart of the home and acts as a people magnet. The AGA provides the context in which generations remember growing up. First it ran on solid fuels and then with an oil or gas equivalent. AGA has always been ready to modernise changing fuel types.

Now to the electric generation and increasing programmability. In 2011 the AGA Total Control was launched – a factory-finished product which has great international potential as an AGA that is ‘on when you want it and off when you don’t’. Now it can also be turned on and off using a standard mobile phone, smartphone, PC, laptop, iPad or tablet. The AGA is a design classic and is like a little black dress – always classy, always appropriate. The AGA brand is not only a great British cooker but also a great Midlands brand icon.

Amery Brothers

ameryWe are committed to developing and supporting the capacity and ambition for enterprise within the UK, in all incarnations.

We work with young people to nurture their entrepreneurial qualities and raise their aspirations and awareness of the opportunities they have in building their future through enterprise.

We encourage and enable early stage businesses and third sector organisations to take the necessary steps to becoming sustainable productive entities. We aim to build the impact of an organisation, be it social or financial – we do this through bespoke personal solutions; guided progress with efficient identification of need.

All organisations must regularly if not frequently step back and take stock of their current position and what they want to achieve in the future. This should be an exciting and positive experience for all, and one which is vital in establishing, securing or reviving organisational health.

We can steer the process and provide support ensuring that the goals are clear and ever closer.

Aston Martin

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Renowned for designing and producing the world’s most beautiful sports cars – starring in James Bond films including the DB5 in Goldfinger, the V12 Vanquish in Die another Day

and the DBS in Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, they are framed in our consciousness as automotive icons.

Speaking about the brand, Chief Executive, Dr Ulrich Bez, has said, “An Aston Martin combines three important elements: power, beauty, soul.” In 2013 Aston Martin,, will celebrate a century producing hand-crafted luxury sports cars. Aston Martin continues to produce bespoke, hand-built cars within a state-of-art facility in Gaydon, Warwickshire. Around 1200 people are employed at Gaydon which remains the focal point of the business with all design and engineering carried out there. Opened in 2007, the Design studio is the company’s first stand-alone design facility.

Providing a tailor-made space for the Aston Martin design team, the facility has enabled Aston Martin to tightly integrate its renowned design capability with the engineering and production processes already based at Gaydon.Today the range includes the DBS, DB9, Virage, V8 Vantage, V8 Vantage S, V12 Vantage, V12 Zagato, One-77 super car and their luxury commuter car, the Cygnet. In 2010, Aston Martin launched the Rapide, their first four door sports car.

Other Archive marques include the DB4, DB5, DB6 and DB7. The Aston Martin Heritage Trust, Heritage Trust, states, “There is no marque of excellence in the British motor industry more revered for its special qualities than Aston Martin. Since it was founded by Lionel Martin in 1913, the company has provided inspiration to generations of craftsmen and designers – and a galaxy of great drivers.

Aston Martin - Stradstone

“It was one of the first classic automobile companies combining beauty with excellence of function. The Company has built around 57,000 cars, 85% of which are still on the road and bring a unique kind of pleasure to owners and enthusiasts all over the world.”

Aston Martin Stratstone Hagley

Aston Martin - Stradstone Stratstone, Europe’s largest Aston Martin dealer network with locations throughout England.

The Stratstone Aston Martin dealer network offers an unrivalled quality of service and expertise for the purchase of both new and pre-owned models. Manufacturer approved to sell, service and repair Aston Martin vehicles as well as providing you market leading finance offers and aftersales services.

The past decade has seen Aston Martin transform from a small-scale manufacturer of specialist sports cars to one of the world’s best-known luxury brands, boasting its strongest ever line-up.

As an authorised Aston Martin dealer network, Stratstone are committed to supporting all your Aston Martin needs and delivering outstanding service levels whether you have a sales or service requirement from any of our dealers.

Stratstone can offer you the very best choice when it comes to New Aston Martin vehicles. Our Team Members are passionate about the brand and through completing extensive manufacturer training, can offer you unrivalled product knowledge on any of the models in the range.

With Stratstone you can be sure to choose the right vehicle as we listen to your indiviual purchase requirements.

As the UK’s leading luxury automotive retailer. Stratstone can offer a wide range of competitive flexible finance packages, individually tailored to suit your requirements owning an Aston Martin has never been easier.

Aston University

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Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established research-led University known for its world-class teaching quality and strong links to industry, government and commerce. Professor Dame Julia King became Vice-Chancellor of the University in 2006.

Aston has been a leading university for graduate employment success for over 25 years. The University is currently ranked 8th overall for graduate employment putting even the likes of Oxford in the shade (2013 Sunday Times University Guide). The University is consistently ranked in the UK’s top 40 universities confirming our place amongst the elite.

Aston’s four Schools of Study offer a range of undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes, and also work with the public and private sectors to develop tailored Foundation Degree programmes.

Aston University is based in the centre of Birmingham, home to over 65,000 students and one of Europe’s liveliest and most welcoming cities.

Our friendly and safe 40 acre campus houses all the University’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our 9,500 students.

Big Cat

Big_Cat_GroupIn the early 90s, Nick Morgan and Anthony Tattum met on the crowded dance floor of a Birmingham club night. After throwing some shapes the pair bonded over 80’s music, their similar haircuts and, most importantly, their passion for the delivery & promotion of events within the city.

Over the coming months Nick and Anthony joined forces and created some of the Midlands biggest nationally recognised club nights. The duo were later employed by the Coventry University Student Union to ensure that the venue created, promoted and delivered the best student nights in the Midlands, and then Big Cat was born.

A lot has changed since the early 90s, Big Cat now boasts 4 departments delivering Events, Marketing, Creative Design and Public Relations for its UK client base, providing them and their customers with ‘amazing’ experiences… (the clients’ words not ours).

In 2009 Big Cat opened offices in Barcelona and Paris to service our European client demands. During this expansion the team worked for some of the world’s best; REED Midem (Paris), Príncipe Felipe Science Museum (Valencia) and Semmel Concerts (Germany) and continue to do so.

Expanding into Europe gave the team the opportunity to learn how to deliver high profile events and marketing campaigns in different territories and best of all the chance to drink good coffee and sample the best home-made tapas.

2012 sees Nick and Anthony announce a dedicated London events function with offices in Bow. The London office has been created to strengthen the relationships Big Cat have in the UK’s capital, as well as making some new ones.

Big Cat deliver Big audiences Big concepts and Big experiences, and we are proud to do so. Check out some of our case studies from the past few years to see some examples of the work they have delivered.

Birmingham Chamber of Commerce Sculpture

Chamber Birmingham
Birmingham Chamber of Commerce is steeped in history having been established for nearly 200 years but, like the business environment over the decades, it has changed and adapted accordingly. The group now comprises:

•   Birmingham Chamber of Commerce
•   Burton & District Chamber of Commerce
•   Chase Chamber of Commerce
•   Lichfield & Tamworth Chamber of Commerce
•   Solihull Chamber of Commerce
•   British American Business Council
•   Chamber Executive Club
•   Institute of Asian Businesses
•   Future Faces

Today’s Chamber is a modern, innovative, membership-based business support organisation that exists to connect its members to opportunity. Birmingham Chamber is an accredited member of the British Chambers of Commerce and over the years has established itself to become the prominent independent business voice in Birmingham and the West Midlands.

Membership benefits include:

•   Free legal advice helpline. 24/7 support on all matters and available for all colleagues
•   Member to member offers – Opportunity to promote products and services to other members via the website
•   Free listing on Birmingham Chamber Group website – Over 1 million visits per year
•   Access to online business support package – including HR, book-keeping, business planning and
health and safety templates
•   Lobbying support – we will give your business a voice from red tape to skills, transport and regulation
•   Access to international trade advice, trade missions and exhibitions
•   Discounted rates for essential business support including marketing, translations, recruitment
•   Discounted rates on a comprehensive range of training courses

Birmingham City Business School, Birmingham City University

BCBS BCUBirmingham City Business School is one of the longest established and most respected business schools in the UK. With over 3,200 students, it’s also one of the largest.

Internationally recognised for practice-based learning and links to business, its three specialist centres are leading the way in finance, international business, marketing and management.

Its Centre for Leadership and Management Practice, renowned for blending academic rigour with practical experiential learning, has been delivering measurable performance improvement combined with genuine innovation in business, helping to achieve successful strategy implementation and change – particularly within multi-unit retail, leisure and hospitality organisations.

This thinking underpins its Master’s programme in Multi-Unit Leadership and Strategy as well as an in-company BA degree in Leadership and Management Practice which can be tailored to meet specific needs.

Birmingham City Council

Birmingham City CouncilBirmingham City Council is the local government body responsible for the governance of the City of Birmingham in England, which has been ametropolitan district since 1974.

It is the most populated local authority in theUnited Kingdom (excluding counties) with, following a reorganisation of boundaries in June 2004, 120 Birmingham City councillors representing over one million people, in 40 wards.

The council headquarters are based at theCouncil House in the city centre. The council is responsible for running nearly all local services, with the exception of those run by joint boards.

The provision of certain services has in recent years been devolved to several council constituencies, which each have a constituency committee made up of councillors from that district.

Birmingham Institute of Art and Design, Birmingham City Universirty

Birmingham City University, home to Birmingham’s Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), is one of the largest providers of art and design education outside London. Its research performance resulted in the University being recognised as a rising star institution with one of the highest percentages of submitted work rated as world leading compared to other modern universities in the UK.

Birmingham Institute of Art and Design (BIAD), founded in 1843, is one of the most established, largest and most significant centres for jewellery, art, design and architecture education in the world. Ranked in the UK top 10 for its research during the last Research Assessment Exercise, it has a consistent focus on excellence in practice and collaborative partnership.

Industry collaborations are fundamental to course design, the delivery of curriculum and a key reason why students enjoy a rich study experience. In recent years partnerships and collaborations with Cartier, Natural History Museum, Global Color ResearchTM, UBM Live, Tektura, AGA Rangemaster, Triumph Motorcycles and Pashley Cycles have resulted in new product developments, company-wide innovations, new work opportunities for high quality graduates and innovation in the teaching curriculum.

Birmingham Metropolitan College

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Birmingham Metropolitan College has invested considerably in their campuses in recent years – including a full refurbishment of their Sutton Coldfield and James Watt Campuses, and upgrading of their Erdington and Castle Vale Skills Centres. The Matthew Boulton Campus, winner of the RIBA Design Excellence and Innovation Award, has received a number of accolades for its innovative use of learning space.

Their aim is to support, guide, encourage and teach our learners to the best of their ability. They aim to continue being an inspirational organisation, delivering excellence by giving learners the opportunity to excel in all that they study. They are also supporting the regeneration of the local area by working in partnership with employers to help fill the regional skills gaps.

Birmingham Museums & Art Gallery

bmag_logoIn April 2012, Birmingham Museums and Art Galley joined forces with Thinktank, Birmingham Science Museum to form the UK’s largest independent museums trust. This new city wide trust means that visitors to all venues can take advantage of even more educational and entertaining events and activities, ranging from arts and crafts to history and culture from around the world.

Birmingham Museums is now responsible for governing and managing the museum sites and collections owned by Birmingham City Council, including Aston Hall, Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Blakesley Hall, Museum Collections Centre, Museum of the Jewellery Quarter, Sarehole Mill, Soho House, Thinktank and Weoley Castle.

The new independent organisation is focused on sustaining and developing key partnerships within the city and beyond, in order to deliver high quality, audience, focussed museum services, and meeting the needs of Birmingham communities as well as its wider audiences.

Brooks England

JB Brooks & Co. became known and respected for its beautiful leather handcrafted saddles, and soon started to make cycle and motorcycle bags and other accessories.

Traditional techniques in manufacturing leather saddles were passed down from generation to generation of craftsmen as the company grew under the guidance of the Brooks family until 1958.

In 1962 Brooks became part of Raleigh and moved to the current works in Smethwick in the West Midlands, just a few miles away from the original premises.

In the last decade, we have struck out on our own again as Brooks England, following a new course that honours the company’s heritage. Inspired by the timeless products designed by our predecessors, we have revived the original slogan ‘Saddles, Bags, Etc’ and introduced a range of cycle bags and other cycling accessories.

Brooks England is steeped in history, a prestige brand that boasts almost 150 years of tradition and expertise. But quality and style never age.

Business Birmingham

From large-scale relocation projects for international and UK companies to raising the city’s status as a key business destination, Business Birmingham gets the job done.

Our services are driven entirely by your needs and are independent and free of charge.

CMA MoldForm

CMA Moldform Ltd has been producing high quality rapid prototypes, assemblies and components for over 20 years, using vacuum, pressure and RIM casting, which has led to Tier One status in numerous industries.

CMA Moldform started off 25 years ago producing fine Scale Models, which is still a large part of the business today and they also have a very active Art Department, catering for specialist design work and installations having produced the Prometheus Helmet for the recent blockbuster film, Prometheus.

Based in the Midlands, CMA have a highly skilled, creative and resourceful team to meet their client’s design and production requirements.

They have developed a comprehensive range of high quality processes providing the best possible standards in both production and quality of service. They continually research new methods and materials to help both broaden their product offering and satisfy the stringent demands of their clients. They have three picture galleries that can be viewed, covering ArtRapid Prototyping and Scale Models.


Cogent Elliott

CogentLogo-suppliedCogent Elliott is the UK’s number one integrated agency as voted by readers of Marketing Week. We are in the business of building our clients’ businesses and solving commercial problems through creative insight.

We pride ourselves on our craft skills and the quality of our creative output.

Our history has been one of continuous growth to respond to new opportunities. Today we are a truly integrated agency that encompasses brand strategy, digital marketing, advertising, PR, brochure design and CRM.

Coventry University

coventry_logoCoventry University is located in Coventry, West Midlands, England but also offers a wide range of courses in its campus in London.

Coventry is an evolving and innovative university and their aim is to keep on improving: they’re investing heavily in developing their state-of-the-art facilities.

Quality teaching, employable graduates, strong links with industry and an innovative and dynamic approach to learning – just a few highlights of studying with Coventry University

Over 20,000 students, including 5,000 international students from more than 130 countries are a part of the diverse and vibrant campus. Opportunities to benefit from a global culture are embedded into the curriculum, research, student services and societies.

Voted Entrepreneurial University of the Year by the Times Higher Education Awards 2011, Coventry has a long tradition as a provider of education with strong links to business and industry.


Deakin & Francis

Henry and James Deakin are Joint MDs of this 8th generation family business started 225 years ago in 1786 and located in the heart of Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.

“This building is where James Watts worked,” says Henry. Their showroom is located in James Watt’s sitting room and their heritage – an omnipresent mascot – hangs in the air. “It’s well known here that we share this place with many ghosts. Captain Francis, the last in the Francis line, has been spotted in full military uniform on several occasions upstairs, directly above our showroom here,” he adds.

The business produces 1000 different types of enamelled cufflinks in 97 colour-ways, some of which have been sold for £1m a pair. Henry Deakin, who has now spent 9 years as Joint MD says of his role, “Generally it’s awesome. I get to travel and meet different people and be my own boss. I like working alongside my brother who is the creative one.”

“Our customer base is made up of high end independent retailers and we work with many of the major international brands such as Ralph Lauren.”

“Our vision is to be even better known as a brand in our own right. Four years ago no one had heard of Deakin & Francis, now all our products are branded and carry a certificate of authenticity. We have a great story and our name is trusted as the quality it represents and we really enjoy selling an honest product.”


Disorder Boutique

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Disorder Ltd is Birmingham’s Award Winning Best Independent Retailer, and it is easy to see why once you enter the unique store, located on Needless Alley, just off New Street. Defined as, ‘super cool’ by Sixty Nine Magazine, recommended as one of 5 reasons to visit Birmingham by The Guardian, and endorsed as, ‘one of the cleverest retailers I have seen in the UK in years,’ by international Brand Consultant, Mary Portas.

Disorder has its own menswear label, specializing in truly ground breaking tailoring and made in the city itself  it combines art with graphics giving it an inconceivable edge. A beacon to those who love creatively made clothes with design integrity. ‘A very special shop even by world standards,’ Vogue Magazine. A ‘must visit’ next time you are in Birmingham.


Dunlop Motorsport

Motorsport is not only in our blood, it’s in our tyres. Motorsport has always been where Dunlop pushes boundaries, develops technologies and builds partnerships. What is learned on the track is applied on the road. Our engineers were the first to apply race tyre performance standards to tyres designed for everyday motoring. This unique approach offered motorists and their vehicles the quality, durability, and endurance of tyres designed for the racetrack.

Victory in the 1902 Paris-Vienna race gave Dunlop an appetite for motorsport success, and by the 1920’s we were producing tyres capable of speeds over 300 km/h, helping Henry Segrave to establish a land speed record of 372 km/h in 1927. Dunlop continued to develop record-breaking tyres, eventually pushing the boundary to 634 km/h by 1947 with John Cobb’s Railton Mobil Special, establishing a record that would remain unbroken for 23 years.

Throughout this time, all the major car and motorcycle manufacturers looked to Dunlop for the tyres they needed to win races. Dunlop’s first Grand Prix victory came in 1923, its first victory at Le Mans 24h a year later. By the 1950’s and 1960’s Dunlop dominated the racing scene on two wheels and four. 8 Formula One World Championship titles and 82 Grand Prix victories were celebrated with drivers such as Jack Brabham (Cooper), Phil Hill (Ferrari) and Graham Hill (BRM), Jim Clark (Lotus), John Surtees (Ferrari), and Jackie Stewart (Matra). That score keeps Dunlop in third place on the all-time list of Formula 1 Grand Prix victories.

Dunlop’s tally of victories at Le Mans 24h – the oldest, toughest, and longest race in the calendar – rose inexorably with five wins with Jaguar in the 1950s, five more with Ferrari in the 1960’s, and no fewer than nine with Porsche in the 1970’s and 1980’s. In all, 34 of the 71 Le Mans 24h races held have been won on Dunlop. Little wonder that Dunlop chose Le Mans as the focus of the company’s 100th birthday celebrations in 1988 and fittingly being rewarded with another one-two in the race that year.

It’s been a similar story on two wheels ever since the Motorcycle Grand Prix World Championships were started in 1949. Dunlop riders have won more than 50% of all the 2321 Grand Prix held, collecting 105 World Championship titles along the way. In 2002 we won our 100th consecutive 250cc GP, and have just celebrated our 11th consecutive World Championship title in that category.

But these are merely some highlights of an involvement that covers over 100 years and every type of motorsport – rallies, circuit races, hill climbs, trials, and motocross. In every corner of the world Dunlop has left its sporting footprint.

Today, the motorsport industry knows there’s still no better way to test groundbreaking tyres than during the intensity of competition. Dunlop agrees, with the German touring car series DTM being our main testing ground for our newest UHP tyre, the SP Sport Maxx, and the World Supersport motorcycle category as the development bed for the D208. Dunlop has always been and remains committed to ensuring our tyres deliver complete control and confidence – whatever the race, track, road, vehicle, or driver.


DWFDWF is a business law firm with a distinctive approach. We’re attentive listeners and problem solvers, and we always tell it like it is – but never without providing useful, practical advice that cuts through to the results you need.

We believe in combining excellent commercial guidance with a straightforward, approachable style. Call us ambitious, but we want to be your law firm of choice. As a leading law firm we were named ‘national law firm of the year’ in the prestigious Legal Business Awards 2011.

Our values as an organisation underpin not just our culture, but they also set the future course we want to take as a business.

Eastside Projects

eastsideEastside Projects (EP) is an exhibition space with many differences. It is a free, public space that is being imagined and organised by artists. We commission and present experimental contemporary art exhibitions, and propose ways in which art may be useful to society.

EP is a questioning structure that in turn produces more questions and also, of course, possible answers. Their ambition is to incorporate the methodologies of art-making at all scales and functions of the organisation.

They believe in working collaboratively towards change and do so to support the cultural growth of Birmingham. They do not make art for the public. But they are the public that makes art. The artist run space is not a stop gap. The artist run space is a public good.

EC Arts

EC-Arts is a not for profit organisation, established in 2006 by Claire Farrell, Director MA Visual Communication, FRSA. We write and produce creative projects, provide public platforms for artists work and engage people within the process. EC-Arts are passionate about public art, the built environment and changing people’s perception and experience of both, through artistic intervention.

Inspiration is not confined to a specific venue; we believe that by giving artists public platforms for their work we can transform the everyday into something extraordinary, creating artistic experiences for everyone to enjoy. We believe that engaging people within the creative process is integral to the development success of the project or artistic outcome. The public realm is a space shared by all, and by encouraging public participation within our projects we can truly make a significant impact.

EC-Arts invite people to get involved. We work in partnership with a cross sector of organisations to provide learning and participation opportunities.

Ember Television


Ember Television uses broadcast-quality video content to gain exposure for our clients, and ultimately to establish them as thought leaders.

Gone are the days when a company would commission an expensive “corporate video” and make it last for two or three years. Businesses are increasingly seeing video as a crucial part of their everyday communications – a powerful and cost-effective way of building and retaining an audience.

We do still make one-off films. But 81% of our clients work with us on an on-going basis. For some we make two or three videos every month.

But creating original and engaging content is just part of what we do. You can have the best video in the world, but if the right people don’t see it, you’ll have wasted your time and money.

That’s why all our content is tailored to a specific target audience, and why we also provide a comprehensive distribution package, which includes PR, social media and guaranteed views starting from just 12p each.

Faculty of Performance Media and English, Birmingham City University

PME BCU logoBirmingham City University’s Faculty of Performance Media and English brings together several nationally and internationally renowned institutions with the common aim of developing creative individuals.

Birmingham Conservatoire educates and trains musicians to professional standards in solo performance, composition, chamber music, orchestral playing and jazz. Birmingham School of Acting specialises in professional training for actors, stage managers, community theatre practitioners and voice practitioners.

Birmingham School of Media is committed to producing professionals who can lead the UK’s creative industries to the forefront of productivity and innovation on a global scale.

Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment, Birmingham City University

TEE BCULocated at Millennium Point, Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment is a national centre of excellence for learning, innovation and technology transfer.

The Faculty includes the School of Digital Media Technology, Birmingham School of the Built Environment, the School of Engineering Design and Manufacturing Systems, and the School of Computing, Telecommunications and Networks.

A feature for the School of Engineering, Design and Manufacturing Systems has been its participation in the Formula Student competition, a testing ground for the next generation of world- class engineers, challenging students around the world to design and build a single-seat racing car, put to the test at the famous Silverstone Circuit. View:

Fazeley Studios

fazeley-studiosFazeley Studios  is a work space for Digital & Creative businesses in Birmingham. Set around breathtaking common spaces and comprehensive facilities are 45 studio offices flooded in natural daylight for 5 – 200 person businesses which deliver the Digital & Creative way of working. We have the latest technology, high-speed internet and our very own bar and cafe, Fazeley Social.

Just a stone’s throw away from Birmingham City Centre, they are at the hub of the burgeoning Digbeth creative quarter which is redefining our city. The lifeblood of this revolution is entrepreneurial Digital & Creative enterprises. They have secured significant public funding to keep rents low to ensure the growth doesn’t abate even in the current climate.

Fazeley Studios

fazeley_studios_grand_gallery_reception_for_webFazeley Studios – work space for Digital & Creative businesses in Birmingham.

Set around breathtaking common spaces and comprehensive facilities are 45 studio offices flooded in natural daylight for 5 – 200 person businesses which deliver the Digital & Creative way of working. We have the latest technology, high-speed internet and our very own bar and cafe, Fazeley Social.

FISH Innovation

fish innovationInspired creativity. We are a product innovation company creating unique acoustic solutions. Everyone can testify to the profound impact of sound on our daily lives, yet acoustics is often considered a ‘black art’ because it concerns something that cannot be seen or touched. The twentieth century saw a huge advance in our understanding of acoustics meaning that the way in which sound behaves can now be explained and controlled.

Formed in 2012 FISH Innovation develops optimised products across multiple sectors, creating beauty in form and acoustic function.

Free Radio

idea-free-radioRadio is a network of five Independent Local Radio stations in the West Midlands of England. The network, owned and operated by Orion Media, was launched on Monday 26 March 2012 as a result of the rebranding of four stations – BRMB, Beacon, Mercia and Wyvern.

On Tuesday 4 September 2012, a secondary AM station broadcasting 1980s chart music and football commentaries, Free Radio 80s, was launched. ‘Free Radio, playing Today’s Best Music Mix across the Midlands. Between the songs we’ll do our best to make you smile. We like living round here too.’

Glenn Howells Architects

Glenn Howells is a British born architect. His practice, Glenn Howells Architects, has offices in Birmingham & London Howells founded his practice in London in 1990 but later moved the main office to Birmingham in 1992. His first big break was being appointed architect for the Custard Factory in Birmingham by developer Bennie Gray.

The Custard Factory has gone to become an award winning example of affordable office development, aimed at small arts and design businesses, such as the Maverick TV production company.

Their diverse range of national and international projects include offices, sustainable housing communities, theatres, visitor centres, aparthotels, education buildings and mixed use schemes for both private and public clients.

Harvey Nichols

Harvey-Nichols Logo_greyHarvey Nichols is the world’s leading international luxury fashion destination, a one-stop-shop for the most exclusive brands in fashion, beauty and food.

The stores host a range of women’s and men’s leading brands and world-renowned designers such as Alexander McQueen, Lanvin, Stella McCartney, Vivienne Westwood, Polo Ralph Lauren, Chloé, Michael Kors and Dolce and Gabbana enabling customers to shop by brand, or browse by category across designer dresses, handbags, shoes, accessories and much more.

Their beauty and fragrances are from the leading brands in make-up, perfumery, skincare, lifestyle and haircare such as Tom Ford, Balenciaga, Molecule 01, by Kilian and Elemis. Renowned for sourcing the best in food and wine from around the world, they have this year an inspired collection of luxury festive foods, wines, spirits and champagnes to make any party pop!

With their flagship store in Knightsbridge, London, the business has six other stores including in Birmingham, and five other branches across the world, offering the best in luxury fashion, fragrance, food and wine.

Heavy Object

heavy objectIan Richards heads up the design company specialising in illustration and communication. Featuring designs as large as vinyl wall coverings and also commercial communications. Ian went to art school in Bath and is alumni of Birmingham’s renowned Institute of Art & Design. Under the name of Heavy Object he has worked for 11 years as a print-based graphic designer. Ian refers to himself as a fine-artist with an interest in graphic design.

A portfolio of client-based commercial work bridges the mediums of print, web, interior spaces and outdoor projects. Each piece is individual, set to different scales, and shows a strong visual language. This comes from his passion for doing graphic illustration which seems to creep into many of the text-based commissions. His work has been picked up in the glossy industry monthly Creative Review.


Hille has had the good fortune to have worked with some of England’s most prolific furniture designers including Robin Day, Fred Scott and more recently Prf Richard Snell, on the SE Ergonomic Chair. Prf Snell, has together with independent furniture designer, David Rowe, initiatied many successful applied business-education research collaborations, having been based at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design.

Hille is known to all in the industry as a company of design excellence, having produced one of the UK’s most well-known design classics – the Polypropylene chair – and they continue to provide new designs and new technology combined with a wealth of knowledge.


HME Technology

hme_technology_logoHME is a family run business, based in Bromsgrove in the heart of England, and founded in 1984. Over the past two and a half decades they have dedicated themselves to the educational market, having become the leading supplier and installer of Design & Technology and Science equipment for schools.

They aim to make it as easy as possible for educational customers to get the equipment they want; to ensuring the safety of users of their equipment and to building and maintaining friendly relationships with clients.

Institute of Directors

institute of directors logoAt the Institute of Directors, we have been supporting businesses and the people who run them since 1903.

As the UK’s longest running organisation for professional leaders, we are dedicated to supporting our 38,000 members, encouraging entrepreneurial activity and promoting responsible business practice for the benefit of the business community and society as a whole.

We are your representative and voice in business, no matter what your company size. We support our 38,000 members through 48 regional branches across the UK, allowing us to be influential at a local level, as well as nationally.

Our members are some of the most skilled and prominent leaders in the UK, from start-up entrepreneurs to directors in the public sector and CEOs of multinational organisations.

As an independent association of business leaders, our objective is to make sure your views are taken into account when the government is reviewing policy, legislation or seeking the views of the wider business community.

High standards of excellence and professionalism in the boardroom are essential for businesses to succeed. We have been supporting leaders in their professional development for many years and our highly regarded programmes provide creative and flexible training opportunities, including our exclusive and industry-recognised qualification, Chartered Director.

Jaguar Land Rover

 – Known for ‘Grace, Space, Pace’, the iconic Jaguar brand is part of the Jaguar Land Rover business and a subsidiary of the Indian company Tata Motors employing 19,000 employees. Jaguar’s sleek elegant designs and high performance luxury is enjoyed by many, including the British Prime Minister. Founded as the Swallow Sidecar Company by Sir William Lyons in 1922, Jaguar made its name by producing a series of eye-catching, high performance sports cars, including the E Type of 1961, displayed in New York’s MoMA.

Ian Callum, RDI, Director of Design, has referenced Sir William Lyons vision of a ‘modern and technically sound car’, paving the way for the XK, XF and XJ models as well as the C-X75 groundbreaking supercar hybrid concept. These demonstrate the best in British creativity and industry-leading engineering, looking firmly to the future and have provoked such a strong reaction that the C-X75 is now intended to reach production.

It promises to be the fastest, most innovative Jaguar ever created. The C-X75 will lead a range of contemporary production Jaguars designed, developed and manufactured in the Midlands. Ian Callum has stated, “Over the past four years the average age of a Jaguar owner has gone down by 10 years. As a designer I want to keep pushing as far as we can the boundaries of what we are capable of and what people will accept.”

Land Rover – An iconic Midlands brand, the first Land Rover made its debut in 1948. It was designed with brilliant simplicity for extraordinary ability and unrivalled strength and durability. In fact, six decades on, it is estimated that two-thirds of all these incredible vehicles are still at work – many of them in some of the most extreme conditions and inhospitable places on earth.

Its high performance credentials have been tested in James Bond films including in: ‘The Living Daylights’, and ‘Tomorrow Never Dies’,

Headquartered in Gaydon, Warwickshire Land Rover specialises in producing four-wheel-drive vehicles. It is owned by the Indian company Tata Motors, forming part of their Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) group. It is the second oldest four-wheel-drive car brand in the world (after Jeep). It has developed into a marque encompassing a range of four-wheel-drive models, including the Defender, Discovery, Freelander, Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Range Rover Evoque.

Land Rovers are currently assembled in the company’s Halewood and Solihull plants, with research and development taking place at JLR’s Gaydon and Whitley engineering centres. Land Rover is selling around 200,000 vehicles worldwide. The company has had several owners during its history. In 1994 Rover Group was acquired by BMW. In 2000 Rover Group was broken-up by BMW and Land Rover was sold to Ford Motor Company, becoming part of its Premier Automotive Group. In June 2008 Ford sold both Land Rover and Jaguar Cars to Tata Motors.

The design for the original Land Rover vehicle was started in 1947 by Maurice Wilks, chief designer at the Rover Company, on his farm in Newborough, Anglesey. It is said that he was inspired by an American World War II Jeep that he used one summer at his holiday home in Wales.

The Land Rover was the product of continuous evolution and refinement throughout the 1950s and 1960s including developments. It was a period in which Land Rover took the lead in the emerging market for four-wheel drive vehicles. As a tough, reliable mobility platform, countless organisations came to depend on Land Rover vehicles to get personnel and equipment into the most challenging situations and then safely out again. From organisations such as Born Free Foundation to The Royal Geographical Society and Biosphere Expeditions.

In keeping with the forward-thinking philosophy that founded Land Rover, a radical, entirely new product was introduced in 1970 and created its very own vehicle category. This overnight sensation was the original Range Rover. It had all the capability of a Land Rover with the comfort and performance of an on-road car.

This culture of innovation has developed ever since with both Land Rover and Range Rover vehicles: new models, more refinement, more innovative technology, more efficiency and fewer emissions. And it continues with initiatives such as e_Terrain Technologies (which improves the environmental performance of vehicles by reducing CO2 emissions), Sustainable Manufacturing and CO2 Offsetting. Land Rover will remain at the forefront of advanced design – the new small Range Rover is a testament to the vision that takes the company forward and keeps it at the cutting edge of technology and engineering.

Today, Land Rover Design Director, Gerry McGovern, a strong advocate of design’s relevance to brand equity, is respected internationally for work in bringing contemporary classic designs to market, such as the 2010 Range Rover, Range Rover Sport and Discovery 4 and the Range Rover Evoque, a Compact crossover SUV which went into production in July 2011 and is designed to appeal to urban buyers whilst meeting increased CO2 emissions and fuel economy requirements.


jc100x200JCDecaux is the world’s number one outdoor advertising company and by revenue the largest in Europe with presence in 3,600 cities across 56 countries, reaching 150 million people throughout the world every day. For over 40 years JCDecaux has delivered quality and innovative outdoor advertising solutions.

We are the only company worldwide to focus exclusively on out-of-home media and have a presence in all areas of the market – Street Furniture, Retail, Billboards, Transport and Digital.

A cultural focus underscores the values on which JCDecaux has been built – a respect for the urban environment and its cultural heritage. It is a philosophy that permeates the company worldwide.

Some of the world’s most celebrated architects and designers have over the years worked in partnership with the company to create Street Furniture that is innovative and exacting in standards of design and functionality.

Lord Norman Foster, Mario Bellini, Philippe Starck, Jean-Michel Wilmotte, Martin Szekely, Phillip Cox, Porsche Design, are just some of 52 world-renowned designers or groups that have created JCDecaux Street Furniture found throughout the most beautiful and cosmopolitan cities in the world.

JCDecaux continues to grow and to innovate, venturing into new markets and investing in research and development.

Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District

JQDTThe Jewellery Quarter is well defined and historically referred to as the Hockley area. However, the Jewellery Quarter Business Improvement District (JQ BID) extends far beyond this. In fact it covers 300 acres, making it the largest BID area in Birmingham.

The JQ BID area is bounded by the JQ side of Great Charles Street, Livery Street, Great Hampton Street, Hockley Hill, Key Hill Drive, Icknield Street, Sandpits and Summer Row.  The area includes St Paul’s, the main Jewellery Quarter shopping and manufacturing areas, and all the strategically important areas that connect the Quarter to the city centre and Hockley.

With such a large area and a diverse mix of business uses, this area rightly deserves its affectionate nickname ‘Birmingham’s Gem’.  Its future depends on the community working together to preserve its heritage as well as adding to its history.

Internationally acclaimed photographer, Tom Hunter  has recently taken photographs that reveal some of the spaces and places that are both everyday and architecturally significant to the area.

Working from the Newhall Street area (Newhall Square, St. John’s Ambulance, Assay Office, Coffin Works) down as far as Icknield Street (The Kettleworks), Tom has photographed the canals, the arches, the Bullion Room, the Standard Works, the cemeteries, Brook Welding, and our museums, which demonstrates that everywhere we look we are surrounded by history and heritage.

These images will be the first of many legacies that the Jewellery Quarter Development Trust and BID will deliver to the community in an exhibition called The Findings. The exhibition which will be displayed in St. Paul’s Square between 25th April – 19th July 2013.

Laney Amplification


Manufacturer and supplier of world-renowned amplification equipment.




mailbox-founder-memberThe Mailbox is Birmingham’s most stylish shopping and lifestyle destination with exclusive stores, waterside restaurants, cafe bars, hotels, salons and 24 hr parking.

The Mailbox is home to designer stores including Harvey Nichols, Emporio Armani, Hugo Boss and many more, offering the latest men’s and women’s fashion and accessories.


Today, MG is more than an iconic octagonal badge; it is once again a motoring force to be reckoned with. Our much-loved British brand has been re-launched with the financial backing of one of the world’s largest car manufacturers, allowing the business to stand tall in the global market.

A new range of models has been designed and engineered at  their 69-acre site in Longbridge, Birmingham. These include the new MG6 GT, MG6 MAGNETTE and the MG6 BTCC EDITION. The MG6 GT is the first in a new generation of MG cars. It’s a contemporary fastback, specifically designed to meet the varied needs of busy customers. With strong financial backing and a bright future, MG is ready to write the most exciting chapter in what is already a very colourful story.

MG’s site in Birmingham is home to the European Engineering Technical Centre and Design Studio, as well as a manufacturing facility and the Headquarters of MG Motor UK. It is at the Headquarters that Guy Jones, the UK Sales and Marketing Director, and his team have re-launched the MG brand  in its home market – British engineered and designed.

Millennium Point


Millennium Point is an inspirational building that incorporates two popular visitor attractions, Birmingham City University’s Faculty of Technology, Engineering and the Environment together with commercial office tenants from the government and private sectors.

It was designed by architects Nicholas Grimshaw & Partners and built at for £114 million, including £50 million of Millennium Commission lottery funding with £25.6 million from the European Regional Development Fund.

Millennium Point’s mission is to:

  • Provide a focus for activities aimed at developing the technological base of the region and providing a catalyst for the continued regeneration of Birmingham
  • To provide a major visitor attraction on science and technology themes
  • To provide a central facility for the Academy of Youth/University of the First Age learning initiative
  • To act as a beacon for technological development both by its design and linkages between the key elements
  • To provide a high quality social space for residents of the region and visitors, creating a new focus of activity for the continued regeneration of the city centre.

Miller & Carter

Miller and CarterBeef is a labour of love at Miller & Carter steakhouses. They put everything into pursuing the perfect steak, from the field to the butcher’s block to the grill, so only the finest, most flavoursome cuts make the plate. The best of British beef: It might sound obvious, but the only restaurant you’ll find serving Miller & Carter steak is a Miller & Carter steakhouse.

That’s because our premium graded Ashdale beef is reared especially for them on sustainable West Country farms. It’s then matured for at least 28 days, hand-prepared by their master butcher and expertly cooked by their chefs – for our customers to savour in relaxed, elegant surroundings that are a cut above the rest.

Pashley Cycles





Founded in 1926 and based in Stratford-upon-Avon, Pashley Cycles dedicated team design and hand-build a unique range of specialist bicycles and tricycles. From their flagship traditional Princess and Roadster models to the exclusive Guv’nor Path Racer, every one of their bicycles is built to exacting standards.

Their range includes classic and commuter bikes as well as retro beach cruisers . Adult and children’s tricycles provide stability and pleasure on three wheels, with a range of trikes for those with special needs. Pashley also supplies high-quality work bikes, cargo bikes and load carrier tricycles for industrial and commercial use, offering companies an economical and environmentally friendly alternative for transporting food and equipment, vending, or delivering post.

Speaking about this iconic business located in his constituency, MP Nadhim Zahawi, Stratford on Avon, said, “Pashley Cycles has been manufacturing bicycles since 1926 making it the longest established bicycle manufacturer in England and I am extremely proud that they are based in my constituency in Stratford-upon-Avon.

Their team design and hand-build a unique range of specialist bicycles and tricycles showing off the best in British design, engineering and hand manufacturing. The Guv’nor itself is based on the company’s 1930s design, bringing it up to date with modern components and design.” Associated Parliamentary Manufacturing Group, Made By Britain Project


SCCSCC is Europe’s largest independent technology solutions provider and a UK top 10 privately owned business. With a successful heritage of 37 years of profitable, sustainable growth, SCC is well positioned to help its clients release immediate cost savings and get more for less out of their investment in IT infrastructure.

As both the marketplace and technologies get ever more complex, businesses are demanding a profitable return on infrastructure investment. They continue to make significant investments in improved services and better ways to deliver what their customers really want.

The Custard Factory

custard factoryThe Custard Factory, Birmingham’s revolutionary arts and media quarter is JUST 800 paces from the Bull Ring. This 5-acre sprawl of riverside factories was built 100 years ago by Sir Alfred Bird, the inventor of custard. At one time he had a thousand people making the stuff. Some even say it helped create the British Empire. But by the early 1980s it had long since lost its mysterious appeal and the factories fell derelict.

They took it over in 1990. They began to restore the buildings and announced open house (and studio) to the best of Birmingham’s young creative talent. The rush to come in was overwhelming. Since then a whole new inner city neighbourhood has begun to emerge – intricate, fine grained and threaded by green spaces, fountains and sculpture.

The award-winning first phase is now home to a dynamic community of over 500 artists and small creative enterprises,  affordable studios and offices are complemented by a theatre, café, antique shops, meeting rooms, dance studios, holistic therapy rooms, art galleries, bars and restaurants.

The second phase has seen the Custard Factory grow even further, with Zellig adding 101 new offices, studios, retail units and galleries to the quarter. Our community becomes more diverse every day, from fine dining restaurants to skate board ramps creating a dynamic and thriving quarter in Birmingham.

The Design Council





The Design Council champions great design. For us that means design which improves lives and makes things better.

As an enterprising charity, our work places design at the heart of creating value by stimulating innovation in business and public services, improving our built environment and tackling complex social issues such as ageing and obesity.

We inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and inform government policy to improve everyday life and help meet tomorrow’s challenges today.


We champion great design that improves lives.

Mountain with path - our missionWe do this through our long term aims to:


    • Enable people to use design to transform business and communities for the better


    • Stimulate innovation in business and public services, improving our built environment and tackling complex social issues


  • Inspire new design thinking, encourage public debate and inform policy to improve everyday life and help meet tomorrow’s challenges today

Our priorities


    • Design for Growth – Harnessing design’s potential to create growth, jobs and prosperity


    • Communities by Design – Enabling communities to use design to improve places and lives


    • Ageing Better by Design – Enhancing life as we grow older by using design to better enable independence and provide assistance


  • Active by Design – Tackling obesity and inactivity head on by designing a more active future

Our programmes

We’re a think-do organisation which means we combine research, debate and knowledge-sharing with practical demonstration, real advice and enabling ideas that work.

We have four programmes to deliver our mission:


The Insight team provides information and new evidence on the value of design. We stimulate debate, influence policy and build networks to promote the benefits of design for everyone. Find out more


The Challenges team runs competitions that use design to address societal issues. We show how design can create practical solutions to complex problems and stimulate opportunities for enterprise. Find out more


The Leadership team works at a senior level with businesses and public service providers to help them realise the ambitions of the organisation by identifying practical ways that design can deliver tangible long term results. Find out more


The Cabe team makes places better for people. We focus on ensuring places and communities are sustainable, adaptable and resilient. Find out more


thinktank logoThinktank is Birmingham’s museum and science attraction. It examines the past, investigates the present and explores what the future may bring. Thinktank’s job is to help us all interact with science.

This museum and science attraction is both educational and fun, appealing to adults and kids alike. It examines the past, presents today’s technology, and explores future breakthroughs that might occur scientifically. Science and history meet in 10 different galleries where you can have close encounters with the exhibits, which are spread across four floors. Children can do everything from grabbing a handful of polar bear blubber to taking control of a digger.

Various sections deal with such subjects as ‘Medicine Matters,’ exploring surgical instruments and health in general. Nature is uncovered in the ‘Wild Life’ section, as you learn how scientists study the wild world and how animals adapt to change. ‘Futures’ gives you a look into a living tomorrow. An IMAX theater plays educational movies.

University of Birmingham

uni of birmingham
Birmingham has been challenging and developing great minds for more than a century. Characterised by a tradition of innovation, research at the University has broken new ground, pushed forward the boundaries of knowledge and made an impact on people’s lives.

We continue this tradition today and have ambitions for a future that will embed our work and recognition of the Birmingham name on the international stage.

Universities are never complete. They develop as new challenges and opportunities occur. At Birmingham we innovate, we push the frontiers of understanding; we ask new research questions, we turn theory through experiment into practice – because that’s what great universities do.

University of Warwick

University of Warwick logoThe University of Warwick is one of the UK’s leading universities with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry.

Founded in 1965 with an initial intake of 450 undergraduates, Warwick now has in excess of 22,000 students and is ranked comfortably in the top 10 of all UK university league tables.

Warwick is one of the top ten universities targeted by the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Warwick is renowned for excellence and innovation within research and in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, was ranked seventh overall in the UK, with 65% of the University’s research rated as 3* (internationally excellent) or 4* (world leading).

Warwick’s mission is to become a world leader in research and teaching.


Vax is the UK’s best-selling floorcare brand, thanks to the fact that we’ve always listened so carefully to our customers. And we always will.

Our iconic multi-vax orange tub was first developed in the Midlands in the late 1970s. It transformed UK homes, rapidly becoming the UK’s bestselling vacuum cleaner. When Vax first launched, we led the way with simple, white packaging, bold use of the colour orange, strong performance messages and a brand name that said exactly what it did… Vax.

Today our brand still encapsulates what Vax has always been about, but delivers it in a style that’s designed for the modern world. Our brand philosophy ‘Performance is everything’ is at the heart of everything we do, from designing market-leading products to providing the best after sales care. At a time when many companies were outsourcing their customer service departments, we brought ours in-house so we could deliver better service, seven days a week.

We’ve always made it our business to listen carefully to our customers. Our brand promise is ‘Designed with you in mind’ and our Birmingham-based design team makes continual improvements to stay in tune with our customers’ needs. They have told us they want high performance appliances that are manoeuvrable, quiet, durable and easy to store. Vax delivers in each of these areas. Efficient, effortless to use and elegantly good looking, our cleaners are British design at its world-beating best.

The success of our brand is borne out by our results. In a tough economic climate we have consistently expanded in the UK and globally. Since 2007 Vax has launched in Russia, Poland, France, Ireland and Germany. In 2011 our UK market share grew by 21% and we opened a new head office in Birmingham, expanding our Midlands workforce by a third.

WB The Creative Jewellery Group

wbWeston Beamor was founded in the 1940’s by John Beale, father of one of it’s current directors Vivian Fuller, who with her husband and groups Chairman, Patrick Fuller, have overseen its ongoing growth and development.

As the first jewellery lost-wax company in the UK, Weston Beamor subsequently established Domino to supply jewellery components and semi-finished jewellery to the trade in 1983.

Both Domino and Weston Beamor are leaders in their field, maintaining pre-eminence through a dedicated and forward looking team and heavy investment in the technology required to keep its facilities at the forefront of a rapidly changing market.

Weston Beamor is a member of The British Jewellers’ Association and a supporter of the aims of the Responsible Jewellery Council and The Kimberley Process.

WB The Creative Jewellery Group

Weston Beamor, is well known as one of around ten or so larger employers in Birmingham’s renowned Jewellery Quarter, that between them employ around half the total employees in the sector, or about 700 people out of 1400. It has established itself as a major European manufacturing and design house in the bespoke, 18ct gold and platinum precious jewellery arena.

“The business was started by my father-in-law in 1947,” says Company Chairman, Patrick Fuller.  “Today we have an annual turnover of £22m with 116 employees – many of whom have been with the business for a very long time indeed. We export about 15% of our output selling into 10 different countries.

This year we will be celebrating 65 years in business, so it’s a big year. British-made jewellery accounts for between 25-30% of all jewellery sold in the UK. I think as much as 60% of that is produced in Birmingham’s jewellery quarter.” He sees potential for the jewellery sector by teaming up with Birmingham’s cultural brands such as the Birmingham Royal Ballet (BRB) and providing mobile exhibits that accompany them on tour.

“We used BRB in China and got people to come and see our products who would never have otherwise had any exposure to it. The great thing about design is it transcends language. You understand it straight away. I would like to see more of these sorts of cultural liaisons. Ballet and Opera have similar cachet to jewellery and other high value added brands produced in the Midlands such as Morgan, AGA, Jaguar, Land Rover.

There’s an opportunity to get to a wider audience through collaborations of this sort – not only through the potential to promote and sell but also by getting more people interested in designing and making things. By bringing together a serious group of people we can facilitate these activities.”

In 1983 he launched a new B2B range, branding it ‘Domino’ – a comprehensive range of jewellery components for retailers, designer-makers, craftsmen and women, students and hobbyists. He was first in the country to pioneer the use of jewellery catalogues as working documents in the UK and Europe, enabling customers to order with confidence by telephone and online.

“We sell into around 4,500 retail outlets in the UK and have extended our B2B brand offering to include two new B2B ranges, ‘Rosabella’ and ‘Sienna’ moving from rings into earrings, necklaces and bracelets, often as sets, where our retailers were previously assuring us that there was no market appetite. Last year alone we sold 3,500 diamond necklaces at price points of between £15-16k. Rosabella targets the young, professional woman in mid-price points, where self-purchase has grown dramatically.

Sienna uses a semi-cluster diamond-set styling for rings and necklaces with multiple settings. With these ranges we’re offering not only the jewellery, but packaging and displays to help retailers promote the complete ‘lifestyle’ offer. All too often our retailers are taking items out of our brands and re-packaging into their own brands. I believe the conservatism of the retailers in our sector is holding back consumers who are not nearly as conservative as the buyers.

“Recently we have launched a new range, ‘Sassolini’. Here we’ve moved away from the diamond market into fashion pieces focussed on colour and unusual stones and settings intended to complement the wearers’ outfits. Price points are very competitive starting at £120. Too often we find that if we use brand names associated with Birmingham or the UK they do not have sufficient appeal for our UK consumer. We find we have to use Italian names to ensure brand appeal, which surely says something about the state of the brand, ‘Birmingham’.

The company has just acquired a new brand, Gecko, a leading fashion silver and gold jewellery brand which won the Supplier of the Year award in the UK Jewellery Awards in 2010 and is particularly well known for its Elements and Fiorelli collections for women, its Fred Bennett range for men and it’s D for Diamond jewellery for children.

New product development is vital in this business which is producing around 6 new ranges a year. “New Product Introduction (NPI) accounts for between 20-25% of turnover a year and is really important for us as it is filling the void as a percentage of turnover falls off the other end each year,” states Patrick.

“We’d like the turnover from new products to be higher. We’re interested in all consumer goods. When we’re exploring new markets we go and try out all the products in associated areas, taking as much inspiration as we can from other consumer sectors, china, lighting.

Developing a feel for new market opportunities is something that requires an intuitive feel for products and sectors. Sometimes this comes with experience. At times marketing people can be too focussed on immediate market research on what consumers want now. You really have to move beyond that. Marketing seems to have become a buzz thing, but a lot of it is learnt by going out and seeing things. Marketing is not simply a technical discipline. You need to love the product and like the market.”

Westfield Sports Cars

Westfield logo
In the spring of 1982 historic grand prix competitor and engineer, Chris Smith decided to design and build a replica of one of his all-time favourite race cars, the gorgeous 1956 Lotus XI Le Mans car. Such was the accuracy and beauty of the car he produced in his home garage at Westfield House, Armitage, he was immediately inundated with requests from enthusiasts wanting one for themselves.

By the following Easter in 1983 the company, Westfield Sportscars, had been created. Further demand for the new Westfield XI replica kit meant bigger premises and staff were required and the fledgling sportscar company was under way.

After the introduction of a new car, the equally well received Westfield 7SE, a decision was taken to fade out the XI allowing the team to concentrate on production of the new kit. The company continued expanding rapidly to cope with ever growing demand, which became even stronger after the bodywork was redesigned and modernised. Westfield were now firmly established.

In 1991, Westfield expanded again, moving to the impressive factory and office block in Kingswinford where they are still manufacturing today. It was here that the incredible V8-powered SEIGHT first caused the earth to shake. With monster power and an incredible 0-60mph time of 3.6 seconds it was Westfield’s fastest machine thus far and received critical acclaim from the motoring press.

It would be hard to follow a car like that but Westfield went on to become one of the first car manufacturers to harness bike power. The small, but very powerful, high revving machines enabled incredible feats of speed, agility and offered fantastic performance at a low price.

In December 2006 ownership of Westfield Sportscars transferred to Potenza Sports Cars, a family company with a strong vision: To be the first choice sportscar provider and one of the world’s most admired niche vehicle manufacturers.

Potenza are continuing the investment and development with the expansion of the business and products into new markets. In 2007 Potenza continued their product development strategy and purchased GTM Cars, integrating the GTM into the Westfield production system in almost two months. Then, six months later acquiring a controlling stake in Roadster Bil AB (A Swedish car manufacturer).

In June 2009 Westfield became the first Niche Vehicle Manufacturer to be awarded European Small Series Production Status with the new land mark Sport Turbo.  Utilising the VXR 1.6 GM Engine and new lightweight design chassis production of the vehicle started with immediate unprecedented orders from Europe.

Launch of the IRacer at Geneva Motor Show 2010 saw Westfield move into the Electric vehicle market utilising some advanced materials for components of the vehicle.  One month following the show the world’s first Electric Vehicle Drift reliability trials took place and Westfield successfully demonstrated its new design and development capabilities.  The capabilities are further extended in to the hybrid market with the successful demonstration and trials of the Sport Turbo (hybrid) at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

September 2010 sees the land mark announcement of a Joint Venture Partnership being created in Malaysia with DRB-HICOM – Malaysia’s largest vehicle manufacturer.  The partnership will enable the design and development of new eco-friendly niche vehicles for the global marketplace.

Westfield has sold over 12,000 cars world-wide since 1983 and currently produce over 400 cars a year for driving enthusiasts the world over. In an age of manufacturing imports Westfield are proud to boast high quality British craftsmanship in every aspect of production, and they build them right here in the heart of the United Kingdom.


whisk-logoWhisk was founded in June 2012 by Nick Holzherr and Craig Edmunds. In the final of the BBC Apprentice 2012 Nick pitched Whisk to Lord Sugar for his investment. After not winning Lord Sugar’s investment, private Angel investors and institutional investors backed the company with an investment of £170k. In December 2012 the company was backed with an additional £360k investment.

The team has grown from the two co-founders to a team of over 15 people. Most of our staff work from our Birmingham, UK office but we are slowly recruiting people based around the world.

The company launched it’s first public-facing functionality in January 2013 on publisher websites and on Apple and Android smart-phone app stores. For the first half of 2013 Whisk grocery checkout functionality will be available in the UK only.

Zytek Automotive

zytek automotive logoZytek is one of the very best automotive engineering consultancies across the world but, crucially, it differentiates itself from the others in several key areas:

• By delivering comprehensive and exceptional resolutions to engineering challenges, and not just “meeting the customer’s spec”.
• By consideration of both the whole life-cycle and the context in which the engineering is to be carried out as this often reveals other associated opportunities for adding value for the client.
• By working sensitively and harmoniously with the client’s own departments and workforce to ensure the optimum integration of Zytek’s work into the product and client organisation.
• By keeping project teams small and flexible so that overheads are minimised, communications are optimised, and maximum focus is retained on the clients project targets.

Through the application of these principles, Zytek has built up an enviable reputation for the quality and value of its engineering within its OEM and Tier-1 client base across the world, and this customer satisfaction is evidenced by the large amount of repeat business that Zytek enjoys.

Zytek’s outstanding engineering capability is primarily attributable to its engineering staff. They are a group of experienced, highly qualified, and industry-respected individuals who are well integrated into functional and specialist disciplines. This ensures good peer review of work whilst combining stimulating environment for the engineers to create new ideas and solve the challenges of bringing tomorrow’s low-carbon, high-performance vehicles to market.