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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.

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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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Cambridge to London rail line 'not changed since 1840s'

The campaign is calling for 60 minute journey between Cambridge and London. Credit: ITV News Anglia

A campaign is calling for improvements to one of the key commuter routes in the East of England, linking Cambridge and London.

The West Anglia Taskforce want to see trains travel from London to Cambridge in 60 minutes.

It follows the start of Greater Anglia's nine year deal to run the franchise.

Speaking at the campaign launch this morning, Rail Minister Paul Maynard said the line was "still the same as it was in the 1840s".

"You are a vital economic part of the country, yet the line is still the same as it was in the 1840s.

"Passenger growth has outpaced investment... All the recommendations from the report deserve very careful consideration."

– Paul Maynard MP, Rail Minister

Campaign to re-brand Northamptonshire as top destination

A campaign's being launched to re-brand Northamptonshire as one of the country's top tourist destinations.

The region's beautiful countryside and stately homes already attract 20 million visitors a year generating around a billion pounds.

Organisers want to double that in the next five years. The man behind the campaign is James Lowther, a former advertising guru at Saatchi and Saatchi.

Businesses bouncing back after building collapse

Video report from ITV News Anglia's Sarah Cooper

Nearly six months after a fire ripped through an historic high street near Milton Keynes, local businesses say they're finally getting back on track.

A three storey house in Stony Stratford collapsed in May - when an electrical fault set the property alight.

It could be years before the historic high street is rebuilt, but the community has come together to get the town back on its feet.

"We're six weeks back in since we've been re-opened and turnover in the businesses affected is generally about 25% down. That's going to take time to recover, but, hopefully, in time it will."

– Ross Ellens, Chairman, Stony Stratford Business Association
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