Skip navigation

Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, March 26

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, March 26

Update #8554 - 11.39 Retail sees slight recovery in February

Retail sales increased in February but remain well down on a year ago - the last full month before coronavirus restrictions.

According to the Office for National Statistics, sales were up 2.1 per cent last month after a sharp 8.2 per cent drop in January.

But it still leaves sales down 3.7 per cent on a year ago with clothing sales down 50.4 per cent and fuel sales 26.5 per cent on 12 months ago.

The growth of online sales reached a record 36.1 per cent of all purchases.

Update #8553 - 11.27 Asda store workers celebrate after Supreme Court ruling

Asda shop floor workers are one step closer to victory in their fight for equal pay after the Supreme Court today ruled their roles can be compared to their colleagues in distribution centres.

The five Supreme Court Justices unanimously decided that, at a time when Parliament is determined to make equal pay law effective, now is not the time to take its "foot off the pedal".

In her judgment, Lady Arden said the case was "important because otherwise an employer could avoid equal pay claims by allocating certain groups of employees to separate sites so that they can have different terms even where this is discriminatory".

The next stage in this equal pay claim is for Leigh Day solicitors, on behalf of the claimants, to argue that the roles are of equal value. This part of the claim is already underway. 

Update #8552 - 11.12 Ford says goodbye to Mondeo

Car maker Ford has revealed its Mondeo model will be phased out next year, after 29 years in production.

First launched in the UK in 1993, five million Ford Mondeos have sold in its production lifetime.

But Ford said demand continues to shift further towards SUVs and low-emission cars, with production of the vehicle set to end in early 2022.

Kieran Cahill, vice-president of manufacturing at Ford of Europe said: "Today is another step on Ford's electrification journey, providing a bridge to an all-electric passenger vehicle future." 

Update #8551 - 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 126,445 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 63 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 6,397 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,319,128 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 28,991,188 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of March 24 and 2,775,481 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,205, as of Thursday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 950 - no change on the previous day.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,314 cases (increase of six)

Cheltenham - 3,704 cases (increase of three)

Stroud - 3,710 cases (increase of three)

Tewkesbury - 2,887 cases (increase of one)

Forest of Dean - 3,066 cases (increase of five)

Cotswold - 2,524 cases (increase of two)

Thursday, March 25

Update #8550 - 11.26 Santander to close 111 branches

Spanish bank Santander has revealed plans to close 111 branches across the country, blamed on customers shifting to online banking.

It said the decision had been made as a result of less customers choosing to bank in branch.

Santander added that branch transactions had fallen by 33 per cent over the two years prior to the pandemic and dropped by a further 50 per cent in 2020.

READ MORE 

Update #8549 - 09.47 Vaccine passports for pub goers on the cards

As lockdown measures ease across England, PM Boris Johnson has hinted at plans that would could see pub goers asked to provide a vaccine certificate.

A government source told the BBC that it "may be up to individual publicans" and the option of allowing people to show a negative test was also being looked at.

The plans are being considered as part of a review into whether the general public will have to prove they have been vaccinated as lockdowns ease. However, the discussions are being met by backlash with some saying it would be unfair for those who have not yet had the chance of having a vaccine. 

Update #8548 - 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 126,382 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 98 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 5,605 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,312,908 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 28,653,523 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of March 23 and 2,532,839 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,185, as of Wednesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 950 - no change on the previous day.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,308 cases (increase of one)

Cheltenham - 3,701 cases (increase of one)

Stroud - 3,707 cases (increase of five)

Tewkesbury - 2,886 cases (no change)

Forest of Dean - 3,061 cases (increase of two)

Cotswold - 2,522 cases (no change)

Wednesday, March 24 

Update #8547 - 12.34 John Lewis to close eight more stores

Department store John Lewis has said it will not reopen eight of its stores once lockdown ends.

The move, which puts 1,465 jobs at risk, comes as the business recently reported big losses and that it expects 60-70 per cent of its sales to be made online in the future.

Closures include four 'At Home' stores in Ashford and Tunbridge Wells, Basingstoke, Hampshire, Chester, Cheshire, and four department stores in Aberdeen, Peterbrough, Cambridgeshire, Sheffield and York.

A statement read: "Given the significant shift to online shopping in recent years - and our belief that this trend will not materially reverse - we do not think the performance of these eight stores can be substantially improved." 

Update #8546 - 12.10 Ryanair takes gamble and launches 26 new routes

Ryanair has today launched an expanded UK Summer 2021 schedule, which includes more than 2,300 weekly flights across 480 routes, including 26 new routes to popular holiday destinations in France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

The budget airline said the UK's roadmap for the re-opening of air travel, coupled with their highly successful vaccination programme, gives UK families confidence that Summer 2021 holiday travel will be possible.

Ryanair's group CEO, Michael O'Leary, said: "The UK Govt has implemented a very successful vaccine rollout programme, and is on track for a re-opening of EU short-haul travel this summer." 

Update #8545 - 11.32 £50k Community Resilience Fund relaunched to support recovery

As the Covid-19 pandemic impacts continue to be felt in communities, Cheltenham Borough Council welcomes an additional £50,000 provided by Gloucestershire County Council to launch the 2021 Community Resilience Fund.

The 2021 revived grant pot will be distributed to local voluntary and community organisations to help with their continued efforts in supporting people and communities made vulnerable due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

READ MORE  

Update #8544 - 11.00 Wilko plans face mask recycling scheme

Retailer Wilko has said it will trial an in-store recycling scheme for disposable face masks, in an effort to reuse them for various purposes.

It said it would be placing special collection bins in 150 of its stores from April 1, where customers will be able to drop off used single use face masks.

Once full of masks, the bins will be taken away by recycling firm ReWorked and use them to create anything from building materials to new furniture.

Wilko chief executive Jerome Saint Marc said: "We're thrilled to have developed this scheme, which makes it super simple for shoppers to safely recycle a product which is often unavoidably discarded as a result of us all taking steps to protect the health of everyone around us." 

Update #8543 - 10.48 TUI to shut 48 more shops

Travel business TUI has revealed plans to permanently close 48 more High Street shops in the UK, potentially affecting 273 jobs.

The firm said it would offer employees at risk of redundancy redeployment to other branches or the opportunity to work from home.

TUI said in a statement: "The travel industry and the British High Street are both facing unprecedented pressure.

"We can therefore confirm that we are proposing to close 48 retail stores. All colleagues at risk of redundancy will be offered roles in other stores where there are vacancies, or in the new homeworking retail and contact centre team."

A total of 314 High Street retail sites are expected to remain after the closures. 

Update #8542 - 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 126,284 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 112 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 5,379 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,307,304 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 28,327,873 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of March 22 and 2,363,684 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,176, as of Tuesday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test has risen to 950 - an increase of one on the previous day.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,307 cases (increase of one)

Cheltenham - 3,700 cases (increase of five)

Stroud - 3,702 cases (no change)

Tewkesbury - 2,886 cases (increase of one)

Forest of Dean - 3,059 cases (increase of seven)

Cotswold - 2,522 cases (no change) 

Tuesday, March 23

Update #8541 - 13.00 Holidaying abroad will mean £5k fine under new law

New coronavirus laws set to be introduced next week will mean that attempting to take a holiday abroad will land you with a £5,000 fine.

The legislation will include a ban on leaving the UK without a reasonable excuse, and would also mean protests will become a permitted exception to the ban on mass gatherings.

MPs are expected to vote on the new laws, named the Health Protection (Coronavirus, Restrictions) (Steps) (England) Regulations 2021, on Thursday.

If approved they will come into effect next Monday, March 29. 

Update #8540 - 10.51 US fried chicken restaurant announces UK launch

The iconic US fried chicken restaurant brand, Popeyes has announced its plans to open 350 new restaurants in the UK over the next 10 years.

Founded in New Orleans in Louisiana in 1972, Popeyes is a global player in the fried chicken market and currently boasts 3,400 restaurants across 29 countries.

Popeyes will enter the UK market as part of an agreement between PLK Europe GmbH, a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International Inc. ("RBI"), Ring International Holdings ("RIH") and hospitality-industry veteran, Elias Diaz Sese.

Elias Diaz Sese, Co-founder of Popeyes® UK, said: "We are very pleased to launch Popeyes®, a brand that has brought moments of celebration to guests globally, something we believe is important more now than ever." 

Update #8539 - 10.40 Minute's silence to mark one year since the first lockdown

The UK is marking one year since the first lockdown was announced with a minute's silence.

Exactly a year ago, on March 23rd 2020, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlined the government's plan to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Between then and now, the UK's death toll has risen from 364 to 126,172.

End-of-life charity Marie Curie is leading a minute's silence across the nation at midday today as part of a day of reflection for those who have lost their lives to the pandemic.

People are also being encouraged to stand on their doorsteps at 8pm with phones, candles and torches to signify a 'beacon of remembrance'. 

Update #8538 - 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 126,172 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 17 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 5,342 people have tested positive for the virus in the last 24 hour period and 4,301,925 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 27,997,976 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of March 21 and 2,281,384 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,162, as of Monday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test has risen to 949 - no change on the previous day.

New cases for the latest 24 hour period are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,306 cases (increase of four)

Cheltenham - 3,695 cases (increase of six)

Stroud - 3,702 cases (increase of five)

Tewkesbury - 2,885 cases (increase of five)

Forest of Dean - 3,052 cases (increase of two)

Cotswold - 2,522 cases (no change)

Monday, March 22 

Update #8537 - 13.08 Screwfix and B&Q owner sees profits soar 634 per cent

The owner of DIY chains B&Q and Screwfix, Kingfisher has revealed a large jump in profits due to strong demand in the UK and France.

In its full year financial results, Kingfisher reported pre-tax profits of £756 million in the 12 months to the end of January. This is an increase of 634 per cent on last year's figure of £103m.

Total sales grew by 7.2 per cent during the same period to £12.3 billion, driven by a 158 per cent increase in online sales.

READ MORE 

Update #8536 - 13.02 Forest Live postponed to 2022

Forest Live, the outdoor summer concert series presented by Forestry England, where acts perform in spectacular woodland locations including Westonbirt Arboretum near Tetbury has been postponed to 2022.

Forestry England statement: "The Government's roadmap out of lockdown has made it clear that we cannot hold our Forest Live concerts this summer. We are extremely disappointed, but this is the best way to keep our valued customers safe, as well as the staff, volunteers, contractors and artists that make Forest Live possible.

We look forward to welcoming Forest Live fans to see their favourite artists performing in the nation's forests next year. We are delighted to confirm that all Forest Live 2021 headline acts have been able to reschedule all their performances and will be joining us in June 2022."

Update #8535 - 12.00 Cadbury owner takes £200m bite of healthy snack firm

The US owner of Cadbury is reported to be buying Grenade, a fast-growing British protein bar brand.

Sky News has revealed that New York-listed food giant Mondelez has secured a deal to purchase Grenade for an estimated £200m from its majority shareholder Lion Capital.

Grenade launched in 2010 and positioned itself as a sports nutrition product. It has sold more than 100m bars to date. 

Update #8534 - 11.26 Deliveroo targets valuation of up to £8.8bn in share listing

Food delivery platform Deliveroo is planning to sell its shares at a price of between 390p and 460p when it lists on the London Stock Market.

These share prices would value the business at between £7.6bn and £8.8bn, with the listing likely to be the biggest in more than seven years.

Will Shu, founder and chief executive of Deliveroo, said: "We are proud to be listing in London, the city where Deliveroo started.

"Becoming a public company will enable us to continue to invest in innovation, developing new tech tools to support restaurants and grocers, providing riders with more work and extending choice for consumers, bringing them the food they love from more restaurants than ever before. This will help us in our mission to become the definitive food company." 

Update #8533 - 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 126,155 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

This is an increase of 33 on the previous day's figures.

Across the UK, 5,312 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 4,296,583 since the outbreak began.

But on a more positive note, 27,630,970 people have now received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine as of March 20 and 2,228,772 have received their second dose.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the start of the pandemic sits at 22,141 as of Sunday afternoon.

The total number of deaths in Gloucestershire within 28 days of a positive test sits at 949.

Cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 6,302 cases

Cheltenham - 3,689 cases

Stroud - 3,697 cases

Tewkesbury - 2,880 cases

Forest of Dean - 3,050 cases

Cotswold - 2,523 cases 

Related Articles

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, April 16 Image

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, April 16

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

Business centre opens road for Gloucester widening scheme Image

Business centre opens road for Gloucester widening scheme

Another hurdle in the £7.45million scheme to improve a major road in Gloucester has been cleared with the departure of the last tenants on land needed for the project.

Trackwise reveals top appointment Image

Trackwise reveals top appointment

Tewkesbury-based circuit board manufacturer Trackwise Plc has announced the appointment of a new chief operating officer.

Latheram House shortlisted for design award Image

Latheram House shortlisted for design award

Later living specialist Pegasus has revealed that Latheram House, its contemporary over 60s community in Cheltenham, has been shortlisted for a Housing Design Award 2021.

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