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Milestone in £150 million scheme to transform Chelmsford

It's hoped that a new multi-million pound redevelopment in Chelmsford will help the city compete with the shopping centres of London.

A ceremony today marked the final brick being laid at the new John Lewis store.

Once finished it will cover a floor area equivalent to four football pitches.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Serena Sandhu

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Important milestone for Chelmsford's new development

View of how the new development in Chelmsford will look Credit: ITV News Anglia

Work on a multi million pound new shopping centre in Chelmsford will reach an important milestone this morning. The last roof beam will be hoisted into place at the Bond Street development.

It's due to open this autumn with shops, a cinema multiplex, an underground carpark and restaurants.

Local school children will be there for the topping out ceremony today.

Artist impression of Chelmsford Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton best place for business start ups according to report

Northampton town centre Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton has been named one of the best places in the country when it comes to starting a new business.

According to the latest report from 'Centre for Cities' it was second only to London last year.

Northampton also had the UK's second highest rate of employment at 78.6 per cent. Only Aldershot performed better at 83.4 per cent.

Contractor appointed for Luton's Marsh Farm development

Flats at Marsh Farm, 2014 Credit: ITV News Anglia

A contractor has been appointed to work on Luton's Marsh farm development.

Housing and Construction company Keepmoat has officially started work on the £28 million regeneration scheme which will completely transform and improve the Marsh Farm area of Luton.

The development will see new modern housing and shops.

Luton Borough Council appointed the contractor to deliver the regeneration scheme over the next three years.

The first phase will see the new seven new shops built on the former Purway Close site with 24 apartments above.

"We have been waiting for this moment for a long time so it's really exciting to know our contractors are now on site and set to deliver major improvements to the Marsh Farm area. This scheme is set to make a real positive difference to the area, with high quality homes and shops bringing long-term social and economic benefits for local people."

– Cllr Tom Shaw, Portfolio Holder for housing

Luxury boatbuilders saved in sell off by administrators

Fairline Boats has been sold to a new company led by a Fairline sales dealer. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The Northamptonshire-based boatbuilder Fairline has been saved after administrators announced it has been sold to a new company.

Fairline Boats which specalises in the design, engineering, manufacture and distribution of luxury boats has been sold to new owner and investor Fairline Acquisitions.

It will be run by Russell Currie, who has been a Fairline dealer for 18 years where he has made sales of more than £90 million.

The administrators said it is anticipated that Fairline design and boat building will continue in the UK, operating from the business' premises in Oundle.

Fairline Acquisitions will take responsibility for finishing and completing any outstanding boats orders and expects to resume production after completing an assessment of the range of boat models.

Nearly 400 jobs were lost when Fairline boats went into administration. Credit: ITV News Anglia

"With the resources of the investors, coupled with the expert knowledge of the management team and our energy and passion for the brand, the structure is in place for a great future for Fairline Yachts.

"We will focus on creating high quality luxury motor yachts that boaters will want to own and dealers will want to sell.

– Russell Currie, Fairline Acquisitions

When Fairline Boats went into administration nearly 400 jobs were lost, mainly in Oundle and Corby, but 72 staff were retained.

It's not yet known if any new jobs will be created as a result of the deal.

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£100 million Luton Airport expansion begins

Luton Airport Credit: ITV News Anglia

Major work to redevelop Luton Airport gets underway today.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin will be there to mark the event.

The 100 million pound scheme aims to increase capacity at the terminal from 12 million to 18 million passengers a year by 2026. The expansion will also create a potential 5,000 new jobs.

The transformation will deliver major upgrades to the airport’s facilities, including:

  • A complete redesign of the terminal to create an efficient and convenient passenger experience.
  • Doubling of the existing retail space, introducing new shopping and dining options and a new executive lounge.
  • A new multi-storey car park with 1,700 spaces.
  • The addition of Oyster card services through to the terminal building.

Borough Council launches own investigation into Cobblers loan

Borough council launch investigation into Cobblers loan Credit: ITV News Anglia

Northampton Borough Council has launched its own investigation into the authority's £10.25 million loan to the town's football team, the Cobblers.

It is looking at the procedures and processes in place at the council when it loaned the money in 2013. The police are also conducting a criminal investigation the transaction.

Businessman Kelvin Thomas recently took over Northampton Town and reached a settlement with the council over repaying the loan.

Tata Steel set to axe jobs in Corby as steel crisis worsens

Around 30 jobs will be lost at the steel mill in Corby

Tata Steel has announced another round of job cuts in Britain as it significantly reduces production- including at it's mill in Northamptonshire.

1050 jobs are set to go, 7% of the workforce. 750 jobs will go in Port Talbot in Wales, 200 jobs in support functions. Another 100 jobs will go at steel mills in Corby, Trostre and Hartlepool. Around 30 will be lost in Corby.

The proposed changes follow continued falls in the European steel price caused by a flood of cheap imports, particularly from China.

“I know this news will be unsettling for all those affected, but these tough actions are critical in the face of extremely difficult market conditions which are expected to continue for the foreseeable future.

“We need the European Commission to accelerate its response to unfairly traded imports and increase the robustness of its actions. Not doing so threatens the future of the entire European steel industry. And while we welcome progress on UK energy costs, the Government must take urgent action to increase the competitiveness of the UK for its vital steel sector."

– Karl Koehler, Chief Executive of Tata Steel’s European operations

Jobs fair held in Corby to try and find work for staff axed by boat company

Just before Christmas, Fairline boats, based in Northamptonshire announced it was going into administration.

Suddenly 300, mostly highly skilled staff, faced redundancy late in life.

So how much of a struggle is it finding work in your fifties? A special jobs fair has been held in Corby to try to find employment for those who've lost their jobs.

Click below to watch a report from ITV News Anglia's Matthew Hudson

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