Published: 08 March 2021
Travellers from England face fines and being denied access to flights under new travel rules coming into force today, as the UK government now requires a "Declaration to Travel" permit to prove travel overseas is for ‘legally exempt reasons.’ Those who fail to comply with the rules – even if their travel is deemed ‘legitimate,’ face a fine of between £200 and £6,400, the Department for Transport warns.
An FOI request by the PA news agency has revealed that Downing Street has splashed out more than £2.6m on a new media briefing room. The Cabinet Office confirmed that the room cost £1.8m for the "main works", nearly £200,000 for long lead items, and more than £33,000 for broadband equipment.
All businesses across England are now able to sign up to the government’s free COVID-19 workplace testing programme, meaning free rapid tests will now be available to companies of all sizes, including those with fewer than 50 employees.
The UK government is likely to join Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson as a shareholder in an aviation startup that is trying to bring Zeppelins back to Britain's skies. The Future Fund lent £30m to Hybrid Air Vehicles as part of a crowdfunding round last year, and that loan is now likely to become an equity stake. The Bedfordshire-based startup has spent the last fourteen years building a "hybrid" airship that looks like a Zeppelin or blimp, and which uses a combination of helium gas, aerodynamic lift, and rotating blades to gain altitude and navigate through the skies.
Shellfish companies in Cumbria are calling on the government to change the monitoring system that grades the county's fishing waters, by using EU testing regimes instead. Since 1 January British fishermen have been unable to sell live, untreated shellfish caught in the UK's Class B waters to the EU. The government said it was seeking "an urgent resolution on this matter".
Mike Ashley’s Frasers Group has slammed the business rates relief announced in the chancellor’s budget last week, calling it “near worthless” and a “disappointment. In a brief statement, the company, which owns Sports Direct, Jack Wills and Evans Cycles, said it will have to review its entire portfolio to “ascertain stores that are unviable to unrealistic business rates”. “Whilst the retail industry as a whole has repeatedly asked for structural reform of business rates, none has been forthcoming,” the company said.
Starling Bank will this morning announce it has secured more than £270m from investors, including one of the world's biggest sovereign wealth funds. City sources said last night that the fundraising had taken place at a pre-money valuation of £1.1bn, confirming Starling's status as the newest British banking "unicorn".
Deliveroo customers will be offered up to £50m of shares in the company's blockbuster flotation, with the offer branded "Great food with a side of shares". The food delivery app will begin an IPO process today, with a potential value of £7.5bn, making it the biggest market debut in Britain for three years.
Lloyds Banking Group is planning to become a large private landlord as it seeks new sources of revenue with interest rates at record lows, the Financial Times reports. Under the plan, called "Project Generation", Britain's biggest retail bank will buy and rent out new and existing properties across the UK, and aims to have its first tenants by the end of this year.
Luxury car maker Aston Martin says it will build its electric models in the UK from 2025. Boss Lawrence Stroll, who drove a £500m rescue deal for the struggling company last year, told the Financial Times that a "battery sports car and sport utility vehicle" will be made at the carmaker's plants in Gaydon in the Midlands and St Athan in Wales, rather than by its partner Mercedes-Benz, which owns a 20% share of Aston.
The busiest Deliveroo riders could be in for a windfall of £10,000 in the takeaway delivery company's IPO, as it gears up to offer £16m to thank its drivers. The company said yesterday there will be payments of £10,000, £1,000, £500 and £200, or local currency equivalents, with all riders who have worked with Deliveroo for at least one year and completed 2,000 orders receiving £200. The average payment per eligible rider will be £440.
Parsley Box says it will float on the London Stock Exchange in late March or early April. The company sells approximately 900,000 ready meals a month to the over 60s. There are plans to give Parsley Box’s 154,000 customers the chance to buy shares in the initial public offering.
The Telegraph reports that the planned return of budget airline Flybe could be shelved, following the resignation of Lucien Farrell of Cyrus Capital, who was driving the revival of the collapsed business,. He has quit his role as director of the company Thyme Opco, a firm linked to former owners Cyrus Capital, which bought Flybe’s remaining assets in October from administrators EY last year, and planned to relaunch Flybe this year.
The founder of Cazoo, the fledgling online car retailer, is weighing a merger with a 'blank cheque' company involving some of the best-known names in American finance and technology that could value it at as much as $8bn (£6bn). Sky News has learnt that Alex Chesterman, who set up Cazoo just two years ago, has been holding discussions with Ajax I, which raised $750m when it floated in New York last autumn.
Power generator company Aggreko has agreed a private equity takeover worth £2.3bn from a consortium led by Britain’s TDR Capital, which is buying Asda with the billionaire Issa brothers, and Florida-headquartered infrastructure fund I Squared Capital.
British Airways has warned that some of its executive club members’ information may have been put at risk after a cyber hack. In an email seen by the Telegraph on Friday, the UK flag carrier warned that some of its executive club members’ “names, membership numbers and some of their preferences, such as seating, had been impacted” via information it shares with partner airlines.
Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Enterprises is suing a US rail company for $251m (£182m) over its decision to drop the Virgin name from its trains. A 20-year licensing deal allowed Brightline to rebrand as Virgin Trains USA in exchange for royalties, but Brightline is reneging on the agreement, claiming the Virgin name is no longer “a brand of international high repute." Virgin says it has maintained its status as an internationally reputed brand, and described the allegation as "cynical and spurious".
British Gas engineers launched a fresh wave of strikes on Friday after overwhelmingly rejecting an offer aimed at resolving a dispute over pay and conditions. The GMB said its members had voted by almost 4-1 against a revised offer, and walked out on Friday for four days.
Ralph & Russo, the British couture fashion brand which came to prominence in 2017 when the Duchess of Sussex wore one of the designer’s dresses in her engagement photographs, was unable to pay some of its employees last month, after seeing sales slump during the coronavirus pandemic. The firm employs roughly 100 people in central London.
Italian fashion house Dolce and Gabbana (D&G) has filed a legal suit against two fashion bloggers who reposted anti-Asian comments allegedly made by one of the designers. D&G is seeking $600m (£434m) in damages after the post led to a boycott of the brand by Asian customers — a move the company says has led to loss in revenue and deals. Bloggers Diet Prada posted a screenshot of messages reportedly made by Stefano Gabbana in 2018, which made racist remarks about China.
Restaurant workers, bricklayers, IT engineers and air cabin crew are amongst the professions worst hit by pay cuts since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, new research by the Office for National Statistics reveals. These jobs are classed as “high vulnerability,” meaning that they are non-key worker positions unlikely to be done from home. About a third of the working population falls into this classification.
One in four women in the UK have experienced a drop in their income last year due to the pandemic, according to a study by Fidelity International, which suggest those women lost, on average, £5,500 of their annual salary, or roughly a quarter of their income in 2020. One in eight (13%) women have also decreased the amount they put towards their pension during the coronavirus pandemic, Fidelity International found. A separate study by Avon found almost half (47%) of women across the world have experienced financial stress due to the coronavirus pandemic, while 92% feel increased pressure; 57% of women have increased feelings of doubt in themselves; and 41% have lost confidence.
UK gyms have collectively taken a £2.3bn hit to their revenue since the start of the pandemic, according to calculations made by Pharma Nord. Another £46.6m will have been lost because 1,164,000 people who might have expected to join in January 2021, haven’t.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey's first ever tweet is up for sale. So far, bids for the tweet, which was published on 21 March 2006 and reads: "just setting up my twttr" have reached $2.5m (£1.8m). The tweet will be sold as a ‘non-fungible token’ (NFT) — a digital certificate that attests who owns a photo, video or other form of online media – but it will remain publicly available.
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