Page last updated at 03:37 GMT, Friday, 21 August 2009 04:37 UK

First Black Country maps produced

Ordnance Survey map

The Black Country is being highlighted for the first time in a set of Ordnance Survey maps.

The OS Landranger Map 139 shows the region by name and has been retitled "Birmingham and Wolverhampton including the Black Country".

The Black Country Chamber of Commerce led a campaign to help raise the profile of the area nationally.

The map does not geographically define the area as its boundaries are the subject of debate.

Strong feeling

Peter Mathews, president of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said: "For the Black Country, which is where the Industrial Revolution started, to be officially recognised by Ordance Survey, is a great plus for Black Country and West Midlands business."

The Black Country includes towns and villages west of Birmingham but its exact boundaries are frequently disputed.

Traditionally, it is seen as the area where the coal seam came to the surface and includes West Bromwich, Oldbury, Blackheath, Cradley Heath, Old Hill, Bilston, Dudley, Tipton, Wednesfield and parts of Halesowen, Wednesbury and Walsall.

The new map will officially be presented at the Black Country Chamber of Commerce's Exhibition and Awards on 11 September.

Copies are being printed on Friday and they will go on sale in the middle of next month.

An OS spokeswoman said it did not usually show places that are not geographically defined but felt moved to react to the strong feeling in the region.



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