BBC News Coventry & Warwickshire
Local Democracy Reporting Service
A new student development in Coventry is to be used as apartments after sitting empty for a year during the coronavirus.Copyright: Google
A temporary change of use has been agreed for Greyfriars House to operate as both student accommodation and serviced apartments until September 2022.
The site, on Greyfriars Lane, in the city centre, was only recently renovated with an additional two storeys to create 36 student flats, taking its total capacity to 96 bedrooms.
Work was completed in February 2020 but developers Blue Bear Management Ltd said it has remained unoccupied ever since, with an “unprecedented degree of disruption” from the pandemic resulting in “lower demand” for student places.
BBC News Travel
A van has overturned on the M6 in the West Midlands causing severe delays.
There is six miles of queuing traffic ahead of the crash on the northbound carriageway between J2 and J3.
The parents of a baby girl with an aggressive form of leukaemia say she was admitted to hospital for an emergency platelet transfusion.Copyright: Ashley Cain
Eight-month-old Azaylia Diamond Cain was to undergo specialist treatment in Singapore after £1.5m was donated towards her care, but her family said on Thursday her leukaemia was too rare and aggressive.
In a post on Instagram, her Nuneaton parents, ex-Coventry City player Ashley Cain and partner Safiyya Vorajee, said she was taken to hospital on Sunday and had a transfusion "but this didn’t stop the bleeding over night".
"I have the privilege to wake up this morning and watch her open her eyes and play - this is precious," the post continued.
A pub in Coventry is under investigation by the city council after a long queue of people arrived for its opening at midnight when lockdown restrictions were eased.
Videos posted on social media showed more than 100 people lining the street outside the Oak Inn, near the city's university, after it advertised plans to open its large outdoor space with heaters, marquees and blankets.
A Coventry City Council spokeswoman confirmed the pub was under investigation and said: "We would like to remind everyone about the importance of following the rules."
West Midlands Police said it had visited the venue and found customers were following government guidelines.
"We'll be continuing to monitor the city centre and work with the council to ensure people can enjoy the reopening of pubs safely, and in accordance with the current rules," the force added.
The owner of Birmingham Bullring has confirmed it is in talks over a deal to sell its group of UK retail parks.Copyright: Reuters
Hammerson, which also owns a retail park in Rugby, Warwickshire, said it is in "discussions" with Canadian private equity firm Brookfield.
In a statement to the London Stock Exchange it said there is "no certainty that a transaction will take place."
"The company will provide a further update in due course, if appropriate," it added."
Shoppers have rushed back to the high street on Monday as non-essential retailers reopened after more than three months.
Queues formed outside branches of Primark across the West Midlands.
This was the scene in Stoke-on-Trent earlier.Copyright: Getty ImagesCopyright: BBC
About 50 people could be seen queuing outside the Hereford store, with busy scenes also spotted in Coventry and Birmingham.
Like others, it is extending its open hours from 07:00 to 22:00 to help prevent crowding in stores.
Primark boss Paul Marchant said: "We have been working really hard to get our stores ready to open safely; we are fully stocked with everything our customers have been waiting for."
M40 Warwickshire northbound severe disruption, between J15 for A46 Warwick By-Pass Warwick and M42 Interchange.
M40 Warwickshire - One lane closed on M40 northbound between J15, A46 (Warwick) and M42 Interchange, because of a box van which has broken down. Traffic is coping well.
To report traffic and travel incidents dial 0330 123 0184 at any time
Actor and former wrestler Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson has sent a message of support to the family of Azaylia Cain.
Eight-month-old Azaylia Diamond Cain was to undergo specialist treatment in Singapore after £1.5m was donated towards her care.
But her family have since been told her leukaemia was too rare and aggressive.
In a message to the family on Instagram, Johnson said he was "so sorry" to hear about Azaylia's illness and urged the family to "stay strong".
A hairdresser in Warwickshire was among the first to open after the lifting of some coronavirus restrictions.Copyright: ReutersCopyright: Reuters
Kelly Boad, owner of the Hair & Beauty Gallery in Warwick, opened her salon at midnight for a symbolic "first cut" of 2021, adding she is fully booked for the first few weeks.Copyright: Reuters
"I thought it would be nice to do a cut as soon as we possibly could and it wasn't hard to find someone who wanted their hair doing after so long.
"It felt great to have a pair of scissors back in my hands and I can't wait to see all our great customers again," she said.
Warwick residents have been "very supportive" during the months of lockdown, says the town's chamber of trade.Copyright: Getty
Sue Butcher, chair of the group, said many small independent shops had found "innovative ways" to continue to trade and the weekly market had continued.
But she said they were "excited" as many venues reopened today.
"Our highly regarded hospitality sector has had a very difficult time and we look forward to when they can fully open. In the meantime those that can have created great outdoor areas," she said.
Ms Butcher added they were grateful for the government's financial support and the district council had ensured funds were "distributed very quickly".