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West Midlands (region)
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:
- Birmingham, Bromsgrove, Burton upon Trent
- Droitwich Spa, Dudley
- Kenilworth, Kidderminster
- Leamington Spa, Lichfield
- Newcastle-under-Lyme, Nuneaton
- Redditch, Rugby
- Shrewsbury, Stafford, Stoke-on-Trent, Stratford-upon-Avon, Solihull,Sutton Coldfield
- Tamworth, Telford
- Walsall, Warwick, West Bromwich, Wolverhampton, Worcester
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.
The official region consists of the following subdivisions:
|Ceremonial county||County/ unitary||Districts|
|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,|
|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|
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.
- 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.
- Advantage West Midlands - Regional Development Agency
- Government Office for the West Midlands
- West Midlands Regional Assembly
- Government's list of councils in the West Midlands
- MLA West Midlands - Museums, Libraries and Archives Regional Agency
- West Midlands NO! - campaign against regional government in the West Midlands