The latest news, sport and weather for the Midlands.
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And we will ask why so many more people over the age of 65 are
Good evening. getting married these
The future of Wolverhampton has gone on show on the French Riviera.
It's hoped businesses attending an international property convention
in Cannes will help to regenerate the city and create 2,500 jobs.
It's part of a multi-million-pound redevelopment of Wolverhampton.
As our Black Country reporter Ben Godfrey has been discovering,
the investment has been a long time coming.
Wolverhampton, busy, sharing in the prosperity of the Midlands, this old
market town is now a flourishing centre.
You have to go back a long way to hear people
talking up Wolverhampton as a place of prosperity.
But after years of failed regeneration, of missed opportunity,
A staggering ?3.7 billion is currently being invested
It's the largest investment in over 50 years.
Proving Wolverhampton is coming out of the economic doldrums.
Grim old market buildings are making way for a massive retail
corridor on the Westside, and the decaying railway station
will be rebuilt as part of a ?130 million transport interchange.
And this is i9 - a prestige office development, occupying 50,000 square
feet of land near the historic Chubb buildings.
Today, the plans went on show in Cannes, where international
recession, Wolverhampton was hit the same as other people.
We had a big retail development ground to a halt.
The last few years, we've been moving into
Now we're into the really confident phase where
Around 2,500 jobs will be created in the city centre
when the Wolverhampton interchange is complete.
There's some brilliant work being done about how
Those that can retain the 20, 35-year-olds, if you keep the
publicity the city will naturally regenerate and businesses will move
here. But for many Wulfrunians,
large scale regeneration like this is decades overdue,
so you can forgive some cynicism. You've got places like
Bentley Bridge, St John's retail centre, you can actually
do your shopping without You have people who live
on the street and that is not good You have to take
care of your people. With a growing student population,
the city is becoming one Investment brings new challenges
then, and here the demand for affordable homes has
never been higher. Ben Godfrey, BBC Midlands
Today, Wolverhampton. Staffordshire Police have become
the 12th force to have sent files to the Crown Prosecution Service
as part of investigations into allegations of overspending
during the general election in 2015. They're looking into whether strict
spending limits in target seats were breached
during the Conservatives' The CPS will now decide
if charges should be brought. Unemployment in the region
has bucked the national trend and is on the rise,
according to new figures. The jobless total in
the West Midlands rose by 9,000 in the last quarter -
meaning 160,000 people That's the equivalent of 5.6%
of the working population - BMW workers at the Hams Hall engine
plant in Warwickshire could be going out on strike
in protest at the car maker's plans BMW wants the current scheme
to close at the end of May. Workers say they stand to lose
thousands of pounds. Hands off our pensions!
Hands off our pensions! They've never protested like this
before, but then there's never That's what they reckon they'll lose
if BMW push through with a plan to end the current final salary
pension scheme by May of this year. Last year, BMW recorded record
profits of ?6 billion. In fact, industrial relations
are said to be at their most fraught They say they are proud
of what they call excellent pension provision in the past,
but, crucially, they want to ensure and protect pension
provision in the future. With an ageing population, though,
some argue that big companies like BMW can't afford final salary
pensions any more. Profitable companies,
it's part of the package they offer. Our members have actually given up
some of their pay in the past to make sure this pension
scheme operates properly. Many of the 600 staff
here transferred from BMW's Steven McWilliams was one of them.
The agreement was that when we came over here
they would keep our And we feel let down
that they haven't done that and honoured that agreement
for when we did come over here. Because they needed skills to come
into this factory from day one. A ballot for industrial action
will close at the end of March. Unions say a strike is imminent
unless BMW do a U-turn. Sarah Bishop, BBC Midlands
Today, near Coleshill. 261 motorists have been
given new, heavier fines for using mobile phones
while driving in the West Midlands. In a week-long clampdown,
offenders included 30 lorry drivers, a driving instructor,
and a driver accessing mobile All those caught have
been fined ?200 Fundraisers trying to keep a rare
piece of Wedgwood pottery in Stoke-on-Trent have been given
until July to find the money. Yesterday's deadline
was extended after a ?90,000 But a total of ?482,500 is needed
to stop the First Day's vase from going abroad,
rather than being returned An eco-dome has been built up
in the grounds of a stately home in Warwickshire as part
of a thought-provoking Hundreds of so-called caretakers
have volunteered to live without modern comforts
and technology in the structure It's set across the lake
from the mansion of Compton Verney. In a forest clearing
in the Warwickshire countryside stands the Clearing - a creation
of environmental art facing the I know they seem quite different,
if you look over the river, yes, they are very, very different,
but actually they really balance of the landscape and the mansion
house with something that actually is very 21st century -
for me is really, really important. Built with temporary
planning permission, scrap metal and recycled industrial
plywood, the ?60,000 Heritage Lottery-funded dome will be
in place for three years. But can the experiment
with other people's What we're trying
to do is we're trying to do a project
about climate change. It's the idea that if this world
without traffic jams and central heating and Kim Kardashian
and big supermarkets - is that actually a nightmare or is it
actually an opportunity to live in a Capability Brown
carefully designed this Now it is hoped the people
of the 21st century will get a You don't have to like it -
art's always like that, isn't it? If you make art that pleases
everyone, it's really rubbish art. So, yeah, we're not even
trying to please everyone. We're confident that we've
made a good thing here. From next week, a series
of volunteer caretakers will live in the dome for a week at a time,
turning their back on the comforts of home for a once-in-a-lifetime
experience. I think there's plenty
of people that put their names down to be caretakers,
so we're one of the lucky ones, There's everything
here you need, so... To survive, anyway,
let's put it that way. When you live in a space
like this you make with what you have and you appreciate
everything you have, so it's an exercise of...it's
almost a social experiment If you fancy a peek
at an artistic life off the grid, the dome opens
to the public this weekend. Finally, on Midlands Today tomorrow
at 6:30, we'll meet Herefordshire's
champion jockey Richard Johnson as he prepares for
Friday's Gold Cup. Johnson will be on the joint
favourite Native River He last won the Gold
Cup 17 years ago. That horse, Looks Like Trouble,
lives at Johnson's home For me the Gold Cup
is the race of the year. The Grand National is a fantastic
race, but for me, the Gold Cup, if I could win any race in the UK,
any season, that would be the best Obviously, the Championship
is what I set out every year to try and do, but the Gold Cup
is the blue riband. It is called the Gold Cup and it is
the biggest race of the year. It has been a glorious start to the
festival. We should see lows of around five
Celsius and that cloud continues to picking up continually from the
West. Cold front draped across the north and west of the country
driving in that cloud and it will give us a little bit of drizzle as
we enter the day tomorrow. It will be a cloudy start to the day. A
touch better for a time but very limited sunshine and by the end of
the day, we start to get that drizzle pushing its way down across
the North and west of the region. Temperatures are starting to
struggle a little bit for that. Sunshine certainly not getting back
up to 17 Celsius. We will still be into double figures. Rain is
arriving on Friday, wet and windy. More information on
been. The outlook, rain around, if it stays dry I will be surprised.
Here is Nick with the national headlines.
For large parts of Wales and England there was blue sky and warmth.
Warmest day of the year, a clumsy way of saying the UK had the highest