Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, December 18

The ongoing coronavirus situation is changing by the hour with announcements being made about businesses and services that are being forced to adapt and change.

Punchline is committed to trying to keep you up to date with all the news that matters to you and your business.

Our team will update this story throughout the day, to ensure the latest important developments can be found in one - clickbait free - place.

If you or your business has any news, views or advice to share with the Gloucestershire business community, get in touch with Punchline team at news@moosemarketingandpr.co.uk.  

Friday, December 18

Update #8202 - 12.03 ISD Solutions provides fast-track firewall at the new UK vaccines centre

Gloucester-based fire safety construction specialists ISD Solutions are delivering a fast-track firewall element at the UK's new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC) at Harwell in Oxfordshire.

Installation of ISD Solutions firewalls at the new Vaccines Manufacturing and Innovation Centre (VMIC)

The firewall division of the business was recently contracted to provide the two-storey building with almost 5,000m2 of extensive certified fireproof separation walls.

VMIC was established to provide the UK's first strategic vaccine development and advanced manufacturing capability. It has taken a leading role in advising Government teams on vaccines manufacturing in response to Covid-19.

READ MORE  

Update #8201 - 12.01 Openreach promises 5,000 new jobs as part of broadband upgrade

Openreach today bucked the prevailing economic trend by revealing plans to create 5,300 new UK-based engineering jobs, to be filled during 2021.

The new roles, located in communities throughout the country, will enable the company to continue improving service levels across its existing networks, whilst building and connecting customers to its new, ultrafast, ultra-reliable 'Full Fibre' broadband network at a record pace.

Openreach CEO, Clive Selley, said: "As a major employer and infrastructure builder, we believe Openreach can play a leading role in helping the UK to build back better and greener.

"Our Full Fibre network build is going faster than ever and we're now looking for thousands more people to build a career with Openreach and help us upgrade broadband connections and continue improving service levels. We're also investing in our supply chain, which will support the creation of thousands of jobs based all over the UK." 

Update #8200 - 08.35 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 66,052 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 532 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 35,383 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 1,948,660 since the outbreak began.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 9,762 as of Thursday afternoon - an increase of 149.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 544 - a rise of two on the day before.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 2,800 cases (increase of 49)

Cheltenham - 1,801 cases (increase of 24)

Stroud - 1,706 cases (increase of 30)

Tewkesbury - 1,226 cases (increase of 14)

Cotswolds - 1,105 cases (increase of 12)

Forest of Dean - 1,124 cases (increase of 20)

Thursday, December 17

Update #8199 - 14.35 Chancellor extends furlough by extra month

Chancellor RIshi Sunak has announced the furlough scheme has been extended by a month to the end of April.

And Mr Sunak, who confirmed the Budget will take place on March 3, also confirmed the coronavirus business loan schemes guaranteed by the Government will be extended to the end of March.

Mr Sunak said: "We know the premium businesses place on certainty, so it is right that we enable businesses to plan ahead regardless of the path the virus takes, which is why we're providing certainty and clarity by extending this support."

He had said he would review the employer contribution element of the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme in January, but brought the announcement forward.

While the Government will continue to pay 80 per cent of employees for hours not worked with employers required to pay wages for hours worked, plus National Insurance and pension contributions.

Update #8198 - 11.44 Stroud's Vue Cinema reopens in time for Christmas

Vue Cinema at Five Valleys Shopping Centre in Stroud has now reopened and is showing a selection of festive film screenings as well as an exciting film exclusive.

From December 16 up until Christmas Eve the cinema will be screening plenty of festive classics including Elf, Die Hard, It's a Wonderful Life, Love Actually, Home Alone and Frozen.

Vue is also exclusively the only cinema company where film goers can watch the new 'Wonder Woman 1984' from DC Films.

READ MORE 

Update #8197 - 11.07 Big businesses give food, tech and care essentials in South West

A charity set up by The Prince of Wales has got businesses to step up and help more than 86,7000 people in the South West, as they struggled to get the food, digital technology and care essentials they needed to survive the impact of Covid-19 on their jobs, lives and communities.

Since the start of the pandemic,  the  National Business Response Network  (created  by Business in the Community)  has been  tracking down business support for  local community groups, schools and charities in need, matching them with big businesses which can donate goods or services.

So far, the charity has helped half a million people across the UK to get what they need - from food parcels to laptops.

SEE MORE  

Update #8196 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 65,520 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 612 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 25,161 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 1,913,277 since the outbreak began.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 9,613 as of Wednesday afternoon - an increase of 158.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 542 - a rise of four on the day before.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 2,751 cases (increase of 44)

Cheltenham - 1,777 cases (increase of 19)

Stroud - 1,676 cases (increase of 22)

Tewkesbury - 1,212 cases (increase of 23)

Cotswolds - 1,093 cases (increase of 14)

Forest of Dean - 1,104 cases (increase of 36)

Wednesday, December 16

Update #8195 - 12.51 Airlines to be investigated over refunds

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating whether airlines have breached consumers' legal rights by failing to offer cash refunds for flights they could not lawfully take.

The CMA said it is aware that, in some cases where flights were not cancelled, customers were not offered refunds even though they could not lawfully travel. Instead, many were offered the option to rebook or to receive a voucher.

Chief executive Andrea Coscelli said: "We will be carefully analysing all the evidence to see whether any airlines breached consumers' legal rights by refusing people cash refunds for flights they could not lawfully take.

"We recognise the continued pressure that businesses are currently facing, but they have a responsibility to treat consumers fairly and abide by their legal obligations." 

Update #8194 - 12.49 Travis Perkins to return government funds

Travis Perkins is set to return business rates relief and job retention scheme money for its Wickes and Toolstation stores.

The company, which has both Wickes and Toolstation stores in Cheltenham, Gloucester and Cirencester, said it continued to see strong demand in the DIY market throughout periods of lockdowns and restrictions, as reported by Reuters.

READ MORE  

Update #8193 - 12.31 Black Friday helps sharp dip in inflation

Black Friday sales helped drive a sharp fall in the UK's inflation rates during November.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed inflation fell from 0.7 per cent in October to 0.3 per cent in November, well below the Bank of England's two per cent target.

Discounted clothing, food and non-alcoholic drinks were the biggest contributors to the fall during a month which saw most of the country under tight coronavirus restrictions for much of the month.

A rise in prices for games and hobbies helped offset the falls as people looked for things to do during lockdown.

Update #8192 - 12.05 Rail fare rise is bigger than predicted

Rail fares will rise by a bigger than expected 2.6 per cent next year, although the increase will be delayed from January to March.

Regulated fares had been predicted to rise by 1.6 per cent with annual rises linked to July's inflation rate.

The Transport Salaried Staffs' Association described the rise as "a kick in the teeth for passengers".

Update #8191 - 11.20 Vaccine bill reaches £3.7billion

The cost of Covid-19 vaccines to the UK has been put at £3.7billion by the National Audit Office.

The Government has agreed deals to supply 357 million doses of seven potential vaccines - only one of which has been cleared for use - and will bear the liability of most claims against pharmaceutical firms.

Vaccinations were today being administered at GP surgeries across Gloucestershire for the first time with more than 130,000 people receiving the Pfizer/BioNtech vaccine in the first week.

Update #8190 - 11.00 Heathrow third runway cleared for next step

Plans for a third runway at Heathrow Airport have been given a lift after the Supreme Court over-ruled an Appeal Court verdict.

The Appeal Court had said the Government airports strategy did not meet UK climate targets, but the Supreme Court today ruled it had been based on the targets when it was agreed.

Planning permission for the runway can be sought but expansion plans will still have to go through a public enquiry before a final verdict from the Government.

Update #8189 - 08.25 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 64,908 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 506 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 18,450 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 1,888,116 since the outbreak began.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 9,455 as of Monday afternoon - an increase of 102.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 538 - a rise of seven on the day before. 

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 2,707 cases (increase of 27)

Cheltenham - 1,758 cases (increase of 12)

Stroud - 1,654 cases (increase of 13)

Tewkesbury - 1,189 cases (increase of 13)

Cotswolds - 1,079 cases (increase of 19)

Forest of Dean - 1,068 cases (increase of 18)

Tuesday, December 15

Update #8188 - 12.42 Ericsson's 5G rollout creates 800 jobs in the UK

Up to 800 jobs are expected to be generated by 2022 as Swedish telecoms firm Ericsson takes a leading role in accelerating the UK's deployment of 5G and delivering the next generation of connectivity.

The 5G rollout project involves upgrading 20,000 network sites and through contracts with the four major UK mobile operators, the business said build engineering, project management and field operations roles would be available.

John Griffin, CEO of Ericsson UK & Ireland said: "Investment in 5G technology is fundamental to the future of the UK and as a global leader in 5G, we are putting in place all of our technology and expertise to deliver a cutting-edge telecommunications infrastructure that will support the growth of new jobs, kick start the UK economy and create a platform of unparalleled innovation." 

Update #8187 - 12.25 LoveHolidays to refund over £18 million for cancelled holidays

Following Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) action, LoveHolidays has committed to pay out over £18 million to 44,000 customers waiting for money back after their holidays were cancelled due to coronavirus.

It follows an investigation after the regulator received hundreds of complaints that people were still awaiting refunds.

When customers contacted LoveHolidays to request a refund for a cancelled holiday, they were told they would only receive money back for their flights once the firm had received refunds from the respective airlines.

But following CMA intervention, LoveHolidays has now signed formal commitments - known as undertakings - that ensure these customers receive all their money back. 

Update #8186 - 11.44 H&M sales hit by coronavirus second wave

Sales at the world's second-biggest fashion retailer, H&M, fell 10 per cent in its fourth quarter, with a significant slowdown in the final month as the second wave of coronavirus restrictions curbed spending.

The Swedish retailer, which has stores in Gloucester and Cheltenham, said a recovery seen in the previous quarter had continued through much of the fourth quarter but that sales had been hit again from the end of October, as reported by Reuters.

SEE MORE  

Update #8185 - 11.41 FCA fines Barclays £26 million over treatment of customers

The Financial Conduct Authority has fined Barclays £26 million for failures in relation to their treatment of consumer credit customers who fell into arrears or experienced financial difficulties.

Between April 2014 and December 2018 some retail and small business customers who had been offered consumer credit were treated poorly when they fell into arrears.

The FCA found that Barclays failed to treat customers fairly or to act with due skill, care and diligence.

Barclays has now pro-actively redressed these customers, paying more than £273 million to at least 1,530,000 customer accounts since 2017. The redress programme is close to completion.

Mark Steward, executive director of Enforcement and Market Oversight, said: "Consumers should feel reassured that their lender will work with them to help resolve any financial difficulties, whereas Barclays's poor treatment of its customers risked making these difficulties worse." 

Update #8184 - 11.31 Construction firm builds Covid secure visitor rooms to enable care home visits this Christmas

Over the last three weeks, Gloucester-based E G Carter & Co Ltd have constructed visitor rooms at 17 local care homes ready for family and friends to visit their loved ones over Christmas.

Works started at the end of November and took around three weeks for all 17 care homes visitor rooms to be complete.

Care group The Orders of St John Care Trust (OSJCT) employed E G Carter & Co Ltd to construct Covid secure visitor rooms to enable family and friends to visit their loved ones over Christmas and remain safe.

READ MORE 

Update #8183 - 11.21 Full opening sees shopping numbers rise

Christmas shopping and the reopening of non-essential stores across the UK saw football rise by almost 20 per cent over the weekend.

With no shops forced to close in the UK for the first time since mid-October, customer numbers were up 19.5 per cent on the previous week.

High street numbers rose 21.1 per cent with shopping centres up 26.3 per cent and retail parks rising nine per cent.

But over the past two weeks, figures from retail analysts Springboard showed a 29.9 per cent drop in all destinations compared with the same period last year.

In high streets, that figure was down 38.1 per cent with a 33.2 per cent drop in shopping centres and retail parks down 8.6 per cent.

Update #8182 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 64,402 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 232 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 20,263 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 1,869,666 since the outbreak began.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 9,353 as of Monday afternoon - an increase of 106.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 531 - a rise of three on the day before.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 2,680 cases (increase of 27)

Cheltenham - 1,746 cases (increase of 14)

Stroud - 1,641 cases (increase of 19)

Tewkesbury - 1,176 cases (increase of 17)

Cotswolds - 1,060 cases (increase of 12)

Forest of Dean - 1,050 cases (increase of 17)

Monday, December 14

Update #8181 - 12.41 Unilever puts climate plan to a vote

Shareholders at consumer goods manufacturers Unilever will vote on the company's climate strategy.

Measures by the firm, which has a base in Gloucester, including cutting emissions to net zero by 2030 and halving the environmental impact of its products will be put to the annual general meeting in May.

A company statement said: "Unilever believes that the economy-wide shift to net-zero emissions will require a greater and deeper level of engagement between companies and their investors about their climate transition plans."

Update #8180 - 12.36 Google services unavailable in major outage

Google services have become unavailable for many users after the technology giant suffered a major outage.

Services including Gmail, Google Drive, Maps Google were not accessible to many users this morning with some issues reported accessing Google-owned You Tube.

The UK appeared to be the hardest hit by the problem, although users are believed to be experiencing issues around the world.

The problem started just before noon in the UK with Google confirming the majority of worldwide users are locked out of many services.

Update #8179 - 08.30 Latest coronavirus figures for the UK and Gloucestershire

The latest data for coronavirus cases and deaths of patients with COVID-19 were released yesterday by the Government's department of health and social care and NHS England.

Updated UK figures show the total number of deaths within 28 days of positive test rose to 64,170 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 144 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 18,447 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 1,849,403 since the outbreak began.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 9,247 as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 528.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 2,653 cases

Cheltenham - 1,732 cases

Stroud - 1,622 cases

Tewkesbury - 1,159 cases

Cotswolds - 1,048 cases

Forest of Dean - 1,033 cases

Related Articles

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, January 28 Image

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Thursday, January 28

The latest important news and updates from across Gloucestershire as the coronavirus crisis continues.

Newmedica invests more than £1m in new Gloucester site Image

Newmedica invests more than £1m in new Gloucester site

Sight-saving specialists Newmedica have revealed a £1million investment in the new state-of-the-art facilities.

St James's Place hits record funds after strong quarter Image

St James's Place hits record funds after strong quarter

St James's Place Wealth Management saw record funds under management grow to almost £130billion during a strong end to 2020.

Perry Bishop expands into commercial property Image

Perry Bishop expands into commercial property

Gloucestershire estate agents Perry Bishop and Chambers has announced the creation of a commercial property arm.

Copyright 2021 Moose Partnership Ltd. All rights reserved. Reproduction of any content is strictly forbidden without prior permission.