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Gloucestershire Business News

Coronavirus LIVE Updates: The latest news from across Gloucestershire on Friday, September 11

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 that 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, September 11

Update #1448 - 15.52 Fresh initiative to keep Cheltenham moving

Cheltenham has launched a new campaign to encourage business growth and investment in the town.

The We're Moving to Cheltenham initiative follows the creation of an economic recovery task force and is designed to highlight opportunities in the town and businesses which have been attracted to the area.

It has been developed by Cheltenham Borough Council with Marketing Cheltenham, Cheltenham BID and brand agency ASHA.

Council leader Councillor Steve Jordan said: "Despite the many challenges that COVID-19 has thrown at us, as a local authority we have continued to act and respond as proactively as we've been able to in supporting our community and economy.

READ MORE 

Update #1447 - 15.50 "Now is the time" for training insists minister

"Now is the time" is the simple message for anyone considering taking on apprentices from Apprenticeships and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan.

She was among the speakers at the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeships Lift Off at Kingsholm.

And she told Punchline-Gloucester.com editor Mark Owen that help was at hand for anyone looking to take on trainees, including the Government's new Kickstart Scheme.

WATCH VIDEO 

Update #1446 - 15.45 Libraries reopening quietly

More libraries are due to reopen their doors in Gloucestershire in the next week after a positive response to the initial return from lockdown of 14 venues.

Cinderford, Coleford, Stroud and Tewkesbury libraries will open on Monday with Stow-on-the-Wold and Stroud following on September 18.

Each library will have limited numbers with social distancing and health precautions in place.

Councillor Dave Norman, cabinet member for libraries at Gloucestershire County Council, said: "We know how much people value their local library so it's great news that more are being reopened.

"It's really important that everyone follows the social distancing measures so we can make sure all our libraries remain safe for our staff and customers and we can continue to open more over the coming weeks.

Update #1445 - 11.12 Minister launches Gloucestershire College cyber apprenticeship

Apprenticeship and Skills Minister Gillian Keegan has launched Gloucestershire College's cyber security degree apprenticeship.

She visited the college ahead of hosting a session at the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeship Lift Off at Kingsholm, meeting apprentices and lecturers.

The minister, a former degree apprentice, said, "The academic and work-based skills these apprentices will learn will offer a lifetime of opportunity - making them highly sought after and valuable employees.

"I'm also delighted to be able to experience first hand the brand new cyber teaching rooms funded by the Government's West of England Institute of Technology."

The cyber security degree apprenticeship is accredited by UWE Bristol and is dedicated to supporting the region's cyber ambitions.

READ MORE 

Update #1444 - 11.06 Demand for recovery grants set to outstrip demand

Gloucestershire Growth Hub has been allocated more than £460,000 in SME Recovery Grants. 

The Growth Hub has been allocated £464,655 to distribute with an estimated grant size of £3,000 per business - although many applicants will miss out on the funding

Growth Hub manager Alex Cottrell said: "We have more than 1,000 businesses that have registered an interest in the grants.

"This is totally understandable given the current circumstances and the pressures that business continue to face.

"This does present us with a key challenge as we know that the funding that we have been allocated is likely to support about 150 businesses."

READ MORE 

Update #1443 - 11.03 Games Workshops not playing as sales soar

Games Workshop saw sales rise by £12million over the last three months with profits rising by more than 50 per cent.

The retailer had sales of £90million in the period up to August 30, compared with £78million last year, as profits rose from £28million to £48million.

The company runs 531 stores - 411 of them with just one employee - said online and trade sales were behind the rise with shops remaining quiet after reopening from lockdown.

Update #1442 - 11.01 Tesco look to the skies for deliveries

Tesco is planning to trial a new grocery home delivery system - drones.

The UK's biggest retailed is launching the test in Ireland next month with partner Manna, initially for a limited number of grocery items delivered within an hour being processed.

Tesco's group innovation director Claire Lorains said: "We're really interested to see how drones could be part of the solution to deliver to our customers on-demand small baskets.

"If our trial with Manna is successful, we really think there is an opportunity to reach many customers through our stores extending with a drones service."

Update #1441 - 09.59 Latest coronavirus figures for 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.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Government figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the pandemic began sits at 2,075 as of Thursday afternoon - an increase of 3 on the day before.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 592 cases

Cheltenham - 484 cases

Stroud - 300 cases

Tewkesbury - 286 cases

Cotswolds - 234 cases

Forest of Dean - 179 cases

Thursday, September 10 

Update #1440 - 16.52 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 14 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 16.11 today (September 10).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,608 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 2,919 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 358,138 since the outbreak began.

Update #1439 - 16.45 Community grants for mental wellbeing get the GloW ahead

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day today (10th September), Gloucestershire Suicide Prevention Partnership is announcing the launch of GloW (Gloucestershire Wellbeing) Community Grants.

Following funding from NHS England and NHS Improvement's national Suicide Prevention Transformation Programme, the grants will invest in community-based activities and projects that support individuals and groups in Gloucestershire to have better mental wellbeing.

The grants, which launch on 1 October 2020, will last for three years. Each year will have a budget of £50,000, with individual funding awards of up to £5,000.

SEE MORE 

Update #1438 - 14.59 Online sales up at Dixons Carphone

Online sales across Dixons Carphone more than tripled while stores were closed this year, with a 14 per cent rise in like-for-like electrical sales.

The company, which owns Currys, PC World and Carphone Warehouse and has stores in Gloucester and Cheltenham, said sales of computers and appliances soared during April, as people started working from home, as reported by Reuters.

But mobile phone sales were down 56 per cent in the UK and Ireland, as a result of the closure of stand-alone Carphone Warehouse stores and as the trend for people changing their phones less often continues.

 READ MORE  

Update #1437 - 14.38 Gloucester Rugby welcome back fans for Quins clash

Gloucester Rugby fans will be able to watch their team in person on Monday for the first time since the resumption of the season - but only 1,000 of them.

Gloucester's Gallagher Premiership match is the only rugby fixture on the Government's latest list of pilot sporting events for limited numbers of spectators.

Around 3,000 fans were allowed to watch the match between Harlequins and Bath at the Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, but stronger restrictions announced yesterday have limited the number allowed into Kingsholm to 1,000.

READ MORE  

Update #1436 - 13.27 Gloucester's latest redevelopment plans take a step forward

Plans have been submitted to Gloucester City Council for new flats and retail place on Market Parade in Gloucester.

Homes with views of Gloucester Cathedral could be the first step in the King's Quarter redevelopment if the plans are approved.

A total of 43 apartments, ground floor retail unit and the city's first rooftop garden are proposed for the site on Market Parade, currently home to car parks and a takeaway restaurant.

Redevelopment of the site between the Chambers pub and the corner of Spread Eagle Road would see the demolition of the takeaway building prior to construction.

READ THE FULL STORY 

Update #1435 - 13.21 Cheltenham Task Force mapping road to recovery

Diane Savory will chair a task force of council and business figures designed to lead Cheltenham's economic response to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The group, which met for the first time this week, takes over from the former Cheltenham Development Task Force.

Ms Savory, who also chairs the local enterprise partnership GFirst LEP, is a member of the national High Streets Task Force and ministerial-chaired Economic Recovery Workgroup.

READ MORE  

Update #1434 - 12.04 Retail job losses top 125,000

Retail job losses across the first eight months of the year are higher than previously forecast according to new figures.

The Centre for Retail Research said 125,515 jobs were lost in that time as 13,867 shops shut their doors for good.

Centre director Professor Joshua Bamfield said: "There are some good times being had, but the majority of retailers are under incredible pressure.

"Many retailers really missed the opportunity in the early 2010s to recast their businesses.

"They're being forced to do it now and they have to move more quickly because what should've been done over five years is being done over six months."

Update #1433 - 12.02 Flights stay grounded amid wait for revival

British Airways' owner IAG is cutting flights over the coming months and predicted air travel will not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023.

IAG is reducing the number of flights by across its airlines, which also include Aer Lingus and Iberia, for the next three months are saying a slight recovery had left capacity 60 per cent below last year.

Flights will be down around 46 per cent on 2019 levels between October and December.

IAG said it was raising £2.5billion from shareholders who were able to buy new shares at a deeply discounted price.

Update #1432 - 10.30 Deal charges up Delphi to drive electric change

Delphi Technologies has secured its second largest power electrics deal which will support the next generation of electric vehicles.

The global provider of automotive propulsion systems, which has its base in Stonehouse, has announced it has won the business with a European original equipment manufacturers (OEM) to supply 800-volt inverters for the next generation of battery electric vehicles (BEV).

It follows recent links with China for power electronics and, combined with its largest award last year, positions Delphi to be the major inverter supplier to three of the world's four premium OEMs.

SEE MORE 

Update #1431 - 08.22 Latest coronavirus figures for 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.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Government figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the pandemic began sits at 2,072 as of Wednesday afternoon - an increase of 13 on the day before.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 592 cases

Cheltenham - 483 cases

Stroud - 298 cases

Tewkesbury - 286 cases

Cotswolds - 234 cases

Forest of Dean - 179 cases 

Wednesday, September 9

Update #1430 - 17.01 Minister to launch LiftOff with Kickstart call

Employment Minister Mims Davies will launch the Gloucestershire Jobs, Skills and Apprenticeship LiftOff by encouraging employers to take advantage of the Government's Kickstart scheme.

The initiative well see the Government fund six-month work placements at the relevant National Minimum Wage for 25 hours a week, plus employer National Insurance contributions and minimum automatic enrolment contributions.

The minister, who will open Friday's event at Kingsholm with a virtual address and Q&A session, said: "A localised and community-led response is vital to ensuring there are not only opportunities for young jobseekers throughout the UK, but people know what support is available in their local area - and the Gloucestershire LiftOff portal does just that."

READ MORE 

Update #1429 - 16.54 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 8 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 15.50 today (September 9).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,594 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 2,659 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 355,219 since the outbreak began. 

Update #1428 - 15.48 Cargo service takes off at Gloucestershire Airport

Gloucestershire Airport has welcomed its first cargo operator to meet an urgent need for a new venue for urgent automotive and just-in-time logistics.

The new service was launched with Global Airlift Solutions operating a PC12NG Cargo aircraft into the airport.

Cargo aircraft will be handled by Weston Aviation at its fixed-base operator (FBO) facility and private ramp area.

READ THE FULL STORY 

Update #1427 - 15.11 New CEO for Cirencester charity

The Churn Project, which supports young families and people at risk from isolation and loneliness in Cirencester and the surrounding area, has appointed a new chief executive officer.

Juliet Cocks took up her appointment on 1st September, as reported by Charity Today.

She joined The Churn Project from social housing group, GreenSquare. The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way The Churn Project delivers its services to meet new demands. It said Juliet's invaluable community experience will help to shape the charity's future.

READ MORE  

Update #1426 - 13.11 Council tallies up cost of coronavirus

The coronavirus pandemic looks likely to cost Cotswold District Council more than £1million.

Forecasted costs from the pandemic for 2020-21 is £977,000 while the council is expecting an income of £2.81million - £1.68million of which came from lost car parking charges.

With an expected £2.77million from the Government to cover pandemic costs, that leaves a funding gap of £1.02million.

Council leader Councillor Joe Harris said: "I am exceptionally proud of the way the council and its staff have responded to the pandemic."

SEE MORE 

Update #1425 - 12.35 Iceland adds 3,000 to its workforce to ease online shopping demand

Supermarket chain Iceland has announced that it will create a further 3,000 new jobs to cope with an increased online grocery demand.

Well-known for its frozen foods, the business said that online orders had surged by more than 300 per cent since April.

Iceland has a planned 30 per cent increase in the size of its delivery fleet allowing the business to handle 750,000 orders each week. New jobs will include delivery drivers and more workers in stores to pick online orders.

David Devany, chief customer and digital officer at Iceland said: "We've been blown away by the demand for deliveries over the past six months with a four-fold increase in online orders since the beginning of lockdown.

"We see no sign of a slowdown in the demand for deliveries in the run up to Christmas, so a recruitment drive for more permanent staff was essential." 

Update #1424 - 12.28 Pizza Hut looks at closures amid rent proposals

Pizza Hut Restaurants has said it intends to shut 29 of its UK outlets with 450 jobs at risk.

The chain, which employs more than 5,000 people at 245 restaurants, is exploring a company voluntary arrangement which is understood to include to pay rent based on revenue levels.

A spokesperson said: "We are committed to doing the right thing and, in order to secure as many jobs as possible and continue serving our communities, we are working to reach an agreement with our creditors.

"We are doing everything we can to help our team members during this process, including speaking with those affected by the consultation."

Update #1423 - 12.26 Lloyds Bank cutting jobs as restructuring restarts

Lloyds Bank is to cut 865 jobs after temporarily halting job losses and restructuring during the coronavirus pandemic.

That delay ends in October and the restructuring will go ahead with 226 new roles created alongside the redundancies.

Lloyds said the majority of the cuts came from simplifying its business.

A spokesman said: "These changes primarily reflect our existing plans to simplify parts of our businesses which were in place prior to COVID-19.

"Any colleague impacted by today's announcement will not leave the Group until November at the earliest."

Update #1422 - 11.51 Eat Out to Help Out pays back £250million

The Eat Out to Help Out Scheme has earned the Government around £250million - almost half of the cost of the initiative designed to help the hospitality business recover from the effects of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Treasury revealed 130,000 claims had received £522million claimed back from half-price meals before the last day on August 31.

But figures from the British Beer & Pub Association, British Institute of Innkeeping and UK Hospitality said the scheme had generated almost £250million in additional revenue for the Treasury.

The scheme helped 200,000 staff come off furlough, saving £150million, as well as generating £30million in VAT and £65million in associated duty and VAT sales.

Update #1421 - 11.49 More than £1billion of support unclaimed

Coronavirus support worth more than £1billion is expected to be returned to the Government by councils across England after going unclaimed.

Figures from data solutions company Altus Group said around 900,000 business properties received grants worth up to £25,000 before the August 28 deadline.

But £1.32billion - 11 per cent of the more than £12billion allocated for the schemes - remained unclaimed.

Update #1420 - 11.46 Gloucester opens the gates to global tastes

The streets of Gloucester city centre will be filled with smells and tastes from around the world for the next few days with the return of the Continental Street Market.

The market will run in Eastgate and Southgate Streets until Saturday from 10am-6pm each day.

Food will be available from a range of international themed traders with a mix of craft items.

The market, which is run by RR Events, last took over the Gate Streets in August.

Update #1419 - 11.02 Amazon pays three per cent more tax

Latest records show that e-commerce giant Amazon UK paid just three per cent more tax last year, even though profits rose by more than a third.

Thought to be down to an increase in the public switching to home shopping, the business saw pre-tax profits rise by 35 percent to nearly £102million.

Accounts filed with Companies House show that total sales across the UK part of the business also rose by 29 percent to just shy of £3 billion.

It said that it's tax bill had been reduced by government incentives for infrastructure investments which allowed it to cope with increased home shopping demand.

Update #1418 - 10.35 Man sentenced after pleading guilty to attempted burglaries in Tewkesbury

A man has been sentenced to six months in prison after pleading guilty to several attempted burglaries which took place in Tewkesbury at the end of last month.

Richard Francis, 31 and of The Cloisters in Bishop's Cleeve pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted burglary with intent to steal after appearing at Cheltenham Magistrates' Court last Thursday (3 September).

Police were called to a business on Nelson Street in Tewkesbury during the early hours of Saturday 29 August following reports that a member of the public had witnessed someone forcing entry.

READ MORE 

Update #1417 - 08.40 Latest coronavirus figures for 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.

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Government figures show that the total number of cases within the county since the pandemic began sits at 2,059 as of Tuesday afternoon - an increase of five on the day before.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 588 cases

Cheltenham - 480 cases

Stroud - 297 cases

Tewkesbury - 286 cases

Cotswolds - 231 cases

Forest of Dean - 177 cases

Update #1416 - 08.28 Sainsbury's to shut Gloucester city centre shop

Sainsbury's is to shut its supermarket in the city centre, placing jobs at risk and leaving a hole in part of Northgate Street.

Staff are believed to have been told of the decision last week.

A Sainsbury's spokesperson said: "We have updated colleagues on the difficult decision to close our Gloucester store and we are doing everything we can to find alternative roles within Sainsbury's for those affected.

"Customers can continue to shop with us at a number of nearby stores."

READ THE FULL STORY 

Tuesday, September 8

Update #1415 - 16.43 Update on coronavirus cases in the UK

The Government's Department of Health and Social Care has released the latest figures on the coronavirus outbreak in the UK.

It has been said that a further 30 people have sadly passed away after testing positive for the coronavirus, as of 15.54 today (September 8).

The latest total COVID death toll for the UK now sits at 41,584 - which specifically includes those that have died within 28 days of a laboratory-confirmed positive COVID test.

Across the UK, 2,420 people have tested positive for the virus over the last 24 hours and 352,520 since the outbreak began. 

Update #1414 - 16.01 ScS profits from lockdown demand

Furniture firm ScS saw addition sales of £19million during the coronavirus lockdown as people turned to spending on their homes.

The chain, which has outlets in Gloucester and Cheltenham, said group order intake rebounded to more than 92 per cent of last year's levels from reopening on May 24 to July 25.

A company statement said: "We believe current performance continues to benefit from pent-up demand and an increased investment by UK consumers in their homes.

"This growth, which is equivalent to £19 million of additional revenue, has significantly exceeded our expectations and the board continues to be encouraged by recent trading."

Update #1413 - 15.59 Virtual return in  line for Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook is set for a return to the beleaguered travel industry - but only online.

The company collapsed last year, sparking a huge repatriation of 150,000 UK holidaymakers, after 179 years in operation.

Chinese firm Fosun, who already owned a large chunk of the business and owns Club Med, bought Thomas Cook's trademarks, websites and social media accounts for £11million and is looking to secure the necessary regulatory licences to relaunch.

A website is up and running but is not selling any holidays at the moment.

When the relaunch is complete, it will be without the aircraft, hotels and shops of the previous business.

Update #1412 - 15.32 Positive outlook for JD Sports

Britain's biggest sportswear retailer JD Sports said it has been encouraged by its performance since stores reopened following coronavirus restrictions.

The retailer, which has a store in Gloucester, said first half pre-tax profit fell 68 per cent to £41.5m due to the effects of Covid-19 store closures. But it predicts full year profits to be at least £256m, as reported by Reuters.

SEE MORE 

Update #1411 - 14.39 Travis Perkins getting back on its feet

While profits have fallen at Travis Perkins, Britain's largest distributor of building materials, stores in Gloucestershire are starting to get back on their feet.

Profits at the company fell 81 per cent in the first half of the year (to 30th June), as coroanvirus halted construction work and slashed sales by a fifth, as reported by Reuters.

With many UK construction sites closed between late March and early May, the company, which also owns Wickes and Toolstation, cut 2,500 jobs and closed 165 stores.

The good news is that stores in Gloucestershire escaped the chop.

There are 10 Travis Pekins stores in the county - in Cinderford, Coleford, Lydney, Gloucester, Stroud, Tewkesbury, Cirencester, Bourton-on-the Water, Moreton-in-Marsh and two in Cheltenham. There are also branches of Wickes in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and Toolstation in Gloucester and Cheltenham.

READ MORE 

Update #1410 - 13.24 Furloughs may have cost £3.5billion in error

Up to £3.5billion of furlough payments have been paid in error or claimed fraudulently, according to HMRC.

HMRC permanent secretary Jim Harra told the Public Accounts Committee that the "error and fraud rate" in the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme had been placed at five to 10 per cent of the payments which have totalled £35.4billion.

He said: "That will range from deliberate fraud through to error.

"What we have said in our risk assessment is we are not going to set out to try to find employers who have made legitimate mistakes in compiling their claims, because this is obviously something new that everybody had to get to grips with in a very difficult time.

"Although we will expect employers to check their claims and repay any excess amount, what we will be focusing on is tackling abuse and fraud."

Update #1409 - 13.19 Adventure travel company forced off the road

Trek America has become the latest victim of the coronavirus pandemic in the travel industry.

The adventure company, which started in 1972, has specialised in group travel in the US, Canada and Latin America.

A company statement said: "For almost 50 years, we've been honoured to be part of your incredible travel stories.

"Even though we're driving off into the sunset, we hope the friends and memories our Trek community have made will live on in our Trekkers for many more years to come."

Anyone with a booking will be offered a refund or a transfer to sister company Exodus.

Update #1408 - 12.52 Morrisons to take on thousands of additional staff

Supermarket chain Morrisons has announced that it will hire thousands more permanent staff as it grows its online delivery offering.

The business employed around 97,000 workers at the start of the year and hired 45,000 extra temporary staff at the start of the coronavirus crisis, reports The Guardian.

But how Morrisons has said that 25,000 workers taken on at the start of lockdown are still working within the business, with 6,000 being taken on for good. It also plans to make thousands more of these temporary staff permanent in coming weeks.

Home delivery of groceries has increased substantially during the coronavirus pandemic, with more than 13 per cent now bought online compared with about seven per cent at the start of the year, according to Kantar.

Morrisons is due to report its financial figures on Thursday.

Update #1407 - 12.07 EasyJet to further capacity over coming months

Budget airline EasyJet has warned of a smaller flight programme than it had hoped for in coming months because of increasing coronavirus pressures.

The business said in a statement that was clear than airline passenger confidence had taken a large hit and also mentioned continuing pandemic-related restrictions across Europe.

It said: "In response to this reduced demand for travel... easyJet now expects to fly slightly less than the 40 per cent of planned capacity for Q4 2020 which was highlighted at our Q3 trading update.

"This is the result of continued schedule thinning as we continue to focus on profitable flying." 

Update #1406 - 11.45 Cleeve Hill Golf Club closing as tenants pull out

Golf will come to an end at Cleeve Hill next year after 130 years with its tenants ending their stay at the end of March.

And Tewkesbury Borough Council has decided to end the licence for the historic course on Cleeve Hill Common after a report said it was not "financially sustainable".

Cleeve Hill Golf Club tenants The Share Club Ltd blamed financial unviability on its decision to serve notice on its 25-year lease.

Latest financial documents show the company had nine employees but a shareholders' deficit of more than £130,000.

READ MORE 

Update #1405 - 11.11 Royal mail expects loss despite increased demand

Postal service Royal Mail has said that it predicts a "material loss" this year even though parcel deliveries increased by more than a third during lockdown.

The business has reported revenues over the five months to the end of August as being stronger than expected due to the surge in parcel post.

But despite this, traditional letter deliveries have continued to fall, and the business said it had increased costs due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Royal Mail said in its latest trading update: "We are failing to adapt our business to fundamentally lower letter volumes and are holding on to outdated working practices and a delivery structure that no longer meets customer needs."

Update #1404 - 10.53 "It's good to be back" at Lilian Faithfull

Day guests have been reunited with staff after Lilian Faithfull Care reopened its two day care hubs.

The Secret Garden in Cheltenham and Uplands in Stroud have returned after lockdown, providing weekly visits which offer care, companionship, activities and freshly-cooked food.

Lilian Faithfull offers flexible, tailored day care for older people in Gloucestershire, with an expertise in caring for those living with dementia, providing respite and support to families and carers.

And the return to familiar surroundings has been met with delight by regular visitors.

SEE MORE 

Update #1403 - 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 figures released on Monday show the UK death toll of people with coronavirus rose to 41,554 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

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

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,054 as of Monday afternoon.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 587 cases 

Cheltenham - 475 cases

Stroud - 294 cases

Tewkesbury - 286 cases

Cotswolds - 231 cases

Forest of Dean - 177 cases

Update #1402 - 08.26 FREE webinar: How do I grow my food and drink business after lockdown?

As one of the worst affected sectors during lockdown, the food and drink sector needs to understand industry trends quickly to adjust their strategy and grow businesses again.

On September 17, Will Abbott, business coach and strategist at Randall & Payne, will question food and drink sector expert Paul Drabble on the latest industry statistics and demonstrate to businesses they need to act now in order to grow.

Latest research from Marketing Week and E-consultancy suggests that as a result of the pandemic, consumers are changing their buying habits and 55 per cent of SMEs are adapting their strategy to build on this.

This may act as a wake-up call for the 45 per cent who are missing out on the opportunities presenting themselves.

READ MORE 

Monday, September 7

Update #1401 - 17.09 Respite centres for adults reopen

Residents and their carers who benefit from the support of the county council's respite facilities have welcomed their safe reopening.

Respite care allows unpaid carers (usually family members) to take a much needed break from their caring responsibilities, whilst their loved ones are able to socialise with others and take part in activities that support their needs.

During lockdown, the vast majority of the council's residential respite centres and day care units were forced to close. Residents received remote support instead, including a weekly welfare call and the offer of alternative activities, such as a walk in their local community.

READ MORE 

Update #1400 - 15.24 High streets welcomes slow rise in shopper numbers

UK high streets saw a rise in shoppers last week as workers began returning to offices after the August bank holiday.

Figures from market researcher Springboard showed total football for the week to Saturday was up 0.4 per cent over all destinations.

But while high street numbers rose from the previous week, shoppers were down 2.7 per cent at shopping centres and 0.9 per cent for retails parks.

The weekly footfall was down 25 per cent, the lowest fall since the start of lockdown.

Update #1399 -15.15 October too soon to remove furlough warn business groups

Fresh calls have been made for the Government to extend or replace the furlough scheme beyond October to prevent a further influx of job cuts.

The CBI warned a replacement for the job retention scheme, which is being phased out after paying 80 per cent of workers' pay up to £2,500 a month since March, is need to avoid reaching a "cliff edge".

And manufacturing trade body Make UK said support needs to remain in place for the hardest-hit sectors which have already been forced to make huge cuts in numbers.

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Update #1398 - 15.09 Update on Gloucestershire's mobile testing unit locations

An important part of minimising and managing any future spread of Covid-19 is the speed at which people can be tested and isolation measures put in place, should an outbreak occur.

The mobile testing unit is now available at other locations across the county. 

Please see this week's locations here. 

Update #1397 - 13.24 Iceland founder gets a £50m bargain

The man who founded frozen food chain Iceland 50 years ago has bought the company back at a bargain price.

Malcolm Walker bought back a 63 per cent stake in the business, which has stores in Gloucester, Cheltenham and Stroud, at a discount price from Brait.

Walkeer paid an initial £60m for the company in June and was set to pay £26.9m due on 30 July next year, and £28.1m 12 months later. Instead, the two side agreed to settle the full sum now with a £50m one-off payment - saving around £5m on the original purchase price.

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Update #1396 - 13.23 Second wave would finish us warn small business owners

Almost one in five SMEs do not think they would survive another lockdown caused by a second wave of the coronavirus pandemic, according to a new report.

Research by insurer Small Business found 17 per cent of respondents would be forced to stop trading while 32 per cent felt they would suffer worse than the first lockdown but would survive.

The study spoke to more than 500 SME owners with 34 per cent saying a further lockdown would have the same impact as the first while five per cent feeling they would cope better.

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Update #1395 - 11.12 Restaurants to close as creditors agree Pizza Express rescue deal

Pizza Express has confirmed it is to close 73 restaurants after plans for a company voluntary agreement were approved by creditors.

Outlets in Gloucester Quays, Cheltenham and Cirencester are not on the list of closures announced last month which will put 1,100 jobs at risk, although the company says the restructuring plan will secure 9,000 jobs.

Creditors have agreed to spend £144million to help reopen restaurants which have remained closed since the coronavirus lockdown started in March.

More than 30 of the existing 454 UK outlets are due to open are due to reopen in the coming weeks with 355 already reopened.

A company statement said: "The successful vote unlocks the company's ability to actively address the challenges brought by COVID-19."

Update #1394 - 11.07 Post-lockdown Primark sales set to reach £2bn

High street fashion brand Primark has saidsales have been higher than expected since stores reopened post-lockdown.

Owners of the business, Associated British Foods, said that sales since reopening are expected to still be lower than last year, but hit £2 billion by the end of the year.

"After a period of store closure, we are encouraged by the strength of our sales. In the latest four‐week UK market data for sales in all channels Primark achieved our highest ever value and volume shares for this time of year," Associated British Foods said in a trading statement.

They also added that full-year profits in the year to September 12 would be at least at the top end of its previously mentioned £300m to £350m range.

Update #1393 - 08.40 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 figures released yesterday show the UK death toll of people with coronavirus rose to 41,551 - which includes those in care homes, hospitals and in the community.

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

In Gloucestershire, confirmed coronavirus deaths remain at 230 according to figures released by NHS England - no increase since August 19.

It has been reported that of those who have died, 195 were being cared for at Gloucestershire Hospitals while 35 were being treated through Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust.

Latest Public Health England figures show that the total number of cases within the county sits at 2,044 as of Sunday afternoon.

These cases are split across the following regions:

Gloucester - 583 cases

Cheltenham - 475 cases

Stroud - 294 cases

Tewkesbury - 284 cases

Cotswolds - 231 cases

Forest of Dean - 177 cases

Update #1392 - 08.32 Digital Forum at heart of £85m King's Quarter plan

One of the largest digital quarters in the UK will form part of the £85million King's Quarter project to redevelop part of Gloucester city centre.

Plans for The Forum, which will form part of the regeneration of King's Square, have been revealed as part of today's Gloucester Day commemorations.

Comprising office space, a hotel and car park, The Forum will create a social and digital campus designed to act as a catalyst for the emerging digital and cyber security sector.

Work on the 600,000sq ft plan for The Forum, which will sit alongside more than an acre of public and landscaping, is scheduled to start next year.

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