West Midlands (region) facts for kids

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West Midlands

The West Midlands is an official Region of England, covering the western half of the Midlands.

Geography

The official region contains the large conurbation that includes Birmingham and Wolverhampton and includes also the mainly rural shire counties of Herefordshire, Shropshire, Staffordshire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire. (Unofficially the West Midlands region also spreads as far as Cheshire, Gloucestershire and Oxfordshire, but these are not part of the official region.)

There is some confusion in the use of the term "West Midlands", as the name is also used for the much smaller West Midlands county, and is still used by various organisations within that area such as West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service.

The highest point in the region is Black Mountain, at 703 metres.

Towns and cities

Major towns and cities in the West Midlands region include:

Regional Assembly

The official representative body of the region is the West Midlands Regional Assembly which has limited administrative functions such as regional planning and economic development. The assembly is not an elected body, but is made up of members appointed from local councils across the region, and members from regional interest groups such as business and environmental groups and trade unions.

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Ceremonial county County/ unitary Districts
Herefordshire
Shropshire Shropshire † Bridgnorth, North Shropshire, Oswestry, Shrewsbury and Atcham, South Shropshire
Telford and Wrekin
Staffordshire Staffordshire † Cannock Chase, East Staffordshire, Lichfield, Newcastle-under-Lyme, South Staffordshire, Stafford, Staffordshire Moorlands, Tamworth,
Stoke-on-Trent
Warwickshire North Warwickshire, Nuneaton and Bedworth, Rugby, Stratford-on-Avon, Warwick
West Midlands * Birmingham, Coventry, Dudley, Sandwell, Solihull, Walsall, Wolverhampton
Worcestershire Bromsgrove, Malvern Hills, Redditch, Worcester, Wychavon, Wyre Forest

Key: shire county = † | metropolitan county = *

Economy

Coal mining used to be the main industry of the Black Country. Nationally famous companies in the West Midlands are Cadbury's in Bournville, Birmingham; the brewing companies such as Coors Brewers in Burton on Trent, as well as Marmite; JCB is based in Staffordshire.

Local media

  • The West Midlands region of the BBC is based at the Mailbox in Birmingham. From there, the regional programme Midlands Today is produced. ITV Central broadcasts from Birmingham, with its Central Tonight regional programme.
  • BBC Radios WM, Coventry & Warwickshire, Stoke, Hereford & Worcester and Shropshire.
  • Commercial radio stations: BRMB, Beacon Radio in Wolverhampton, Mercia FM in Coventry, Touch FM (Burton, Lichfield and Tamworth) in Tamworth, Touch FM (Coventry), Kerrang! 105.2 in Birmingham, Wyvern FM in Worcester, 100.7 Heart FM in Birmingham, and Signal 1 from Stoke.
  • Newspapers - the Birmingham Post, Birmingham Mail, Express & Star in Wolverhampton, The Sentinel in Stoke-on-Trent and Coventry Evening Telegraph.

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