A year of good news from Sandwell

Throughout 2022, Think Sandwell shared a huge variety of stories from business across the borough. We’ve reported on opportunities opened, contracts won, leases signed and training delivered. Our news archive captures the imagination, resilience and determination of our region’s entrepreneurs. Here are just a few of the highlights.

Growth and redevelopment

In January, the Express & Star carried a special regeneration supplement, sharing news of all the exciting developments taking place across Sandwell, including the Sandwell Aquatics Centre and progress on projects financed by the Towns Fund. Screenshot of a page of an Express and Star colour supplement about Sandwell Council supporting businesses.

In February, the Labour Force Survey revealed a substantial rise in employment rates for 16-64 year olds across the borough, and in March Sandwell’s Library and Information Service was awarded £495,000 of government funding to maintain buildings and make improvements to its digital services.

Equality and diversity

In April, Natwest Group’s Rose Review Progress Report 2022 showed a third year of progress for women in business and a record number of new companies started by women. In May, Think Sandwell created three new pages to help businesses in Sandwell lead the way on sustainability, equality and social responsibility — ‘Going greener’, ‘Women in business’ and ‘Giving back, feeling good’. 

Screenshot from the Business Without Barriers hub homepage

In June the Federation of Small Businesses launched Business Without Barriers, an online resource for small businesses who want to remove workplace hurdles for disabled people and people with health conditions.

A royal seal of approval

In July the Queen’s Baton Relay came through Sandwell on its journey across the country to the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony. Competition events were live streamed from the Sandwell Festival Site at Sandwell Valley Showground in West Bromwich. 

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee logoIn August, three Sandwell community organisations won Queen’s Awards for Voluntary Service – the Sikh Helpline, the English Medical Group and Special Olympics Sandwell were all awarded this highly coveted accolade. In September, the people of Sandwell flocked to lay flowers and sign books of condolence after Her Majesty’s passing.

Celebrating success

The stage at the Black Country Chamber awardsOctober was a time to celebrate at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce Business Awards. At least one Sandwell organisation was a finalist in each of the fourteen award categories, with five Sandwell businesses announced as overall winners and four taking ‘highly commended’ awards. In November, Sandwell Council was named as winner of the large employer of the year category at the Ladder for the Black Country Apprenticeship Awards.

Looking forward

December is not only a time to look back on Sandwell’s successes, but an opportunity to look ahead, with applications opening for Venturefest, a free, one-day event in March 2023 which will bring together entrepreneurs, investors and innovators in the West Midlands to meet and discuss ideas for the future.

Eddie Hall with a hard hat and large sledge hammer attempts to break steel door.Our Think Sandwell marketing and communications apprentice, Ethan Bailey, added to his own budding career portfolio with a story about Latham’s Security Doorsets. The Tividale company invited Eddie Hall, the one-time World’s Strongest Man, to Sandwell to test the strength of their steel doors.

With the talent, hard work and community spirit of our borough, we’ll no doubt have even more good news to share throughout the coming year. Think Sandwell would like to wish you all the best for the festive season. We hope that 2023 is full of exciting challenges, new opportunities and plenty of successes to celebrate.