Express & Star

Star comment: Charging forward into electric future

The ongoing success of Jaguar Land Rover is good news for the West Midlands. We have a number of plants here, led by the i54 factory alongside the M54. The firm employs many thousands both directly and through the supply chain.

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As it transitions towards electric car manufacturing, it is essential that our region remains at the forefront. We need to have a regional economy that is diverse and that includes manufacturing at its heart. That means ensuring the i54 remains front and centre in maintaining a high calibre workforce. That means an effective partnership is essential between industry, education providers and politicians.

We ought not to underestimate the importance of the recent development at i54. It has secured huge investment and provided secure, long-term jobs at a world-leading car manufacturer. The people who work there spend money in the local economy, which provides revenue for those in retail, services and other sectors. The money spent is recirculated and trickles down to many households.

It’s essential that JLR and i54 is given every support, given its strategic importance to the local economy. It’s also important that industrialists, planners, and politicians continue to seek out new opportunities and are proactive as they look towards the future.

We are in a changing economy where greener technologies are coming to the fore and there are numerous investment opportunities in the post-Brexit landscape. It might not be easy to attract high quality manufacturers to the region, but it can be done. Continued efforts should be made to show investors how attractive, productive, and skillful the region is.


Fashions wax and wane, but one comic never falters.

Today we can say long live the Beano as the comic celebrates its 85th birthday with a special celebrity edition.

It has survived television, newspapers, the internet and social media in bringing numerous generations plenty of happiness over a prolonged period of time.

The Beano is enjoying a new generation of readers and is as irreverent as ever, gently ribbing celebrities including the King and Queen.

It is great that schools are being sent copies of the comic and all parents should be encouraging their children to pick up a copy. Anything that encourages reading and creativity is a good thing and the Beano has been putting smiles on faces for many, many years.

Long may its characters continue to bring fun and mirth to us all.