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Profits fall at easyJet

Tough times are hitting profits at easyJet Credit: PA Images

Luton-based airline easyJet has seen profits nosedive by 28% in its first annual fall for six years.

Chief executive Carolyn McCall said it had been a year of "significant challenges" after a combination of terror attacks across Europe, Egypt and Tunisia, air traffic control strikes in France, political turmoil in Turkey, as well as intense competition in the sector.

Pre-tax profits fell to £495 million for the year to September 30, after the sharply weaker pound cost it £88 million and it suffered a blow of around £150 million from "unprecedented" events.

Ground investigations to start on Northampton's Greyfriars site

The Greyfriars site has been cleared ready for developing Credit: ITV News Anglia

The preferred developer for Northampton's Greyfriars site has begun ground investigations there.

Various checks will take place this month on the old bus station site - which was demolished last year.

Proposals include shops, restaurants, housing and a cinema. The Borough Council is expected to consider a formal agreement with the developer next year.

The Greyfriars site in Northampton Credit: ITV News Anglia

"It's great to see the company making a start on site investigations, which further demonstrates their confidence in taking the scheme forward. We believe the scheme will be of huge benefit to Northampton, bringing more people to live in the area, and creating some fantastic facilities which will tie it into the wider town centre."

– Council leader, Cllr Jonathan Nunn

During the next fortnight, the developer's construction partner, R G Carter, has arranged for its in-house soils investigation company to bore piles over 20-metres deep.

The soil conditions will be analysed to ensure that the scheme is designed as efficiently as possible, ensuring best value from the outset. It will also help determine the type of construction for the striking scheme.

Following our selection as the Council's partner in September, we are pleased to be making good progress on all fronts. In order to meet the delivery programme, we have commissioned Carter to carry out the technical due diligence like these soil surveys, commissioned Bidwells to coordinate the preparation of the planning application, and Peter Brett Associates to start the Highway design. This is all in tandem with documenting the legal arrangements."

– Tim Holmes, Greyfriars Quarter Developments

Games firm joins Inbetweeners and Catastrophe stars in campaign

A Colchester games designer has joined Inbetweeeners star Simon Bird and comedian and writer Sharon Horgan to launch a new marketing campaign for the creative industries in England.

Steven Huckle, who founded Shark Infested Custard, is helping Creative England, launches its first ever marketing campaign to promote the importance of film and TV, games and technology companies to the economy.

You can find out more here.


Vauxhall opens Europe's largest police car factory in Luton

Video report from ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers

The largest police car factory of its kind in Europe has opened at Vauxhall's manufacturing plant in Luton.

The site will convert around 2,500 ordinary cars and vans a year into emergency service vehicles.

The vehicles will be used by police, fire and ambulance crews across the UK.

Everything is done in-house - including the addition of high-vis markings, blue lights and sirens.

"We are the only vehicle manufacturer in the world that can produce a police vehicle from start to scratch and in house.

"90% of our components are sourced locally, predominantly around the Luton area as well, so it's great for employment.

"it's great for the British economy as well."

– Dick Ellam, Vauxhall

Commuters in the East face further delays in 2017

Engineering works will take place over the Christmas and News Year period Credit: ITV News Anglia

Commuters in the East of England will face further delays to train services in 2017.

There will be ten days of engineering works over the Christmas and New Year period.

Services from Cambridge to Ely, and from the Norwich to London line, will be the most affected.

Weekend services will continue to disrupted until May 2017 to allow improvements to take place. Replacement buses will operate between Essex and London.

It's part of a £250 million project to improve the reliability of the railway.

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