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Card factory plans shares listing

A Wakefield-based greetings card retailer with more than 700 shops is to join the London stock market in a move reportedly set to value the business at £700m.

Card Factory opened its first store in Wakefield in 1997 and has grown into an operation with annual sales of £326m and 6,500 staff.

It is expected to raise £90m in the shares offer.

The move will allow the company to pay down debt and invest in expanding its store estate to more than 1,200 sites in the UK and Ireland over the next 10 years.

Despite the collapse of rival Clinton Cards in 2012, chief executive Richard Hayes said he believed the giving of physical cards was firmly established in UK culture, with the average Briton buying 30 cards a year.


Businesses 'fighting for survival' as roadworks take place

Businesses in a Lincolnshire village say they're fighting for survival because the High Street's closed for months while new sewer pipes are installed.

The work in Ruskington was supposed to be finished this month but Anglian Water says it will now last until June. The new pipes are needed to prevent flooding but local firms say the disruption is driving away customers. Adam Fowler reports.

More funding for regional investment announced

The Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today announced more funding for investment projects around the region.

A total of £15 million has been given to four projects in Yorkshire and northern Lincolnshire.

It is expected to raise £120 million worth of private investment and create and safeguard thousands of jobs.When added to previous funding for economic development, this represents a total of £270 million for 52 projects in the region.

MPs urge companies to resolve differences over £450m energy park

Lincolnshire MPs say two companies arguing over a strip of land on the south bank of the Humber, need to talk face to face.

The park could create 4,000 jobs
The park could create 4,000 jobs

Able UK want to press ahead with a £450 million marine energy park in North Killingholme, but Associated British Ports owns an 11-acre section of the site and wants to keep it for a deep water jetty.

Four MPs from North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire say with 4,000 new jobs at the energy park in the balance, the firms need to come to an agreement soon.


Finishing touches at retail park ahead of grand opening

It's been hailed as the biggest shopping development in York for more than a decade. On Thursday the Vangarde retail park will open for business.

It boasts the first out of Town flagship John Lewis department store in the North. But could this spell trouble for the high street or will it enhance the City's booming economy?

Tina Gelder reports:


David Cameron hails new Asda supermarket jobs

David Cameron said today he is "delighted" by supermarket giant Asda's plans to create 12,000 new jobs over the next five years.

David Cameron visits an Asda supermarket, pictured in 2008. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister who was visiting one of Asda's stores in south London, said: "Supporting business, creating jobs and cutting taxes are all part of our long-term economic plan.

"I am delighted that Asda is continuing to invest heavily in the UK, creating another 12,000 jobs that will give people financial security for the future."

Read: Asda to create 12,000 jobs in next five years

Able UK decision delayed further

Plans for multi-million pound developments on the South Bank of the Humber have been delayed after a Commons committee decided two separate proposals should be discussed further.

Associated British Ports and Able UK both want to build on the Humber at North Killingholme . ABP wants to develop a deep water jetty while Able UK already has permission to build a marine energy park creating four thousand jobs.

ABP say developing both projects will be the most beneficial for the area, and that a compromise will only help the port to grow.

The port operator used a special Commons process to object to plans - which were found to be valid. Able Uk says the delay is "potentially disasterous". The Cleethorpes MP Martin Vickers has raised the matter in the commons.

ABP decision to block development is a disastrous blow for the Humber - Able UK

Able UK have criticised Associated British Port's decision to use a rare Parliamentary procedure to block development in North Lincolnshire.

Artist's impression of Able's proposed Marine Energy Park
Artist's impression of Able's proposed Marine Energy Park Credit: Able UK

Able UK says the Humber’s hopes of becoming a world-class centre for the renewable energy industries have been dealt ‘a potentially disastrous’ blow as a result of objections to the project lodged by Associated British Ports.

Able UK want to develop a Marine Energy Park which could create 4,000 jobs but port operator ABP have objected to selling a portion of land needed for the project.

Able Executive Chairman Peter Stephenson said: “There is a sharp contrast between the position we have taken in consistently welcoming and supporting ABP’s plans for major wind energy developments at GreenPort Hull and the position they have adopted in trying to block our proposals at every turn.

In fact it is very much our efforts that established the sectors interest in the Humber. ABP, of course, have a virtually monopoly on the Humber but protecting that dominance is no justification for putting at risk the economic wellbeing of the entire area.”

ABP say developing both projects will be the most beneficial for the area, and that a compromise will only help the port to grow.

They say: "A compromise is the right outcome for the Humber and we urge Able UK to come to the table and work with us as quickly as possible."

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