10 February 2023 – Message from Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council


On Wednesday evening I attended the Solihull Apprenticeship Show at North Solihull Sports Centre, along with the Deputy Leader Cllr Karen Grinsell and the Mayor of Solihull, Cllr Ken Meeson. I’m not exaggerating when I say the event was a roaring success. The hall was packed with young people busily making their way around the stalls, finding out about the wide variety of training and careers available to them here in Solihull. We were all extremely impressed with the enthusiasm on display.

We were fortunate to have so many local employers in attendance. I can’t name all of them here, but I was pleased to see HSBC, Rolls Royce, JLR, Flannery, Solihull College & University Centre, and of course Solihull Council amongst many others in attendance. Apprenticeships are incredibly valuable, providing a route into rewarding careers in many industries for people from all backgrounds. They’re equally valuable for employers too of course - there’s no better way of making sure people have the right training for your company than by doing it yourself!

The Coronation of King Charles III takes place on Saturday 6 May. It may seem a long way off, but there are already some important deadlines coming up.

Firstly, if you’re a member of a community group and you’re planning to organise an event over the Coronation Bank Holiday weekend, you can apply for funding from the National Lottery Awards for All. I’ve been advised that it normally takes 12 weeks to process applications for funding so, to be absolutely sure, you’ll need to get your applications in by the middle of February – which is next week.

Secondly, if you’re planning a street party that requires a road closure, the deadline is 24 March, but please don’t leave it until then if you can help it.

You can also get involved in The Coronation Big Lunch on 7 May and The Big Help Out on 8 May. Details for all of these can be found here - https://www.solihull.gov.uk/news/get-ready-coronation-funding-information-and-deadlines

You may recall last month I mentioned our exciting new Chelmsley Wood Town Centre Masterplan.

Focusing initially on the Northwest quarter of the town centre, this key piece of work is all about developing a long-term plan to ensure that Chelmsley Wood continues to thrive and serve the needs of the local community as the role of our town centres continues to change, both locally and nationally.

We’re encouraging local residents, businesses and those who visit the town centre for shopping, work or leisure to find out more about the new masterplan and share their feedback. You can learn more on the Council’s new engagement platform ‘Your Voice Solihull’ or see the plans in person by visiting Chelmsley Wood Shopping Centre. Members of the project team will be set up in the vacant retail unit next to Heron Foods to answer your questions and collect feedback this Saturday (11 Feb) from 10am-2pm. If you’re in the town centre, make sure you pop along.

We know that this will be a challenging scheme to deliver and could take a number of years to complete, however having this first phase masterplan in place is really important, as it marks the first step towards a series of phased improvements that will re-energise this well used and much-loved town centre.

We enjoyed some positive engagement when we presented some of our early proposals last year and this is an opportunity to check back in. There will be plenty of other opportunities to help shape this exciting project as it progresses.

Have a good weekend,

Councillor Ian Courts, Leader of Solihull Council