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Work on £1.7m Leicester road improvements underway

Roadworks will be in place from today. Credit: PA

Work on a £1.7 million scheme to transform part of Leicester city centre with new cycle lanes and improved footpaths will get underway today.

The city council will remove the existing bus lane between Marlborough Street and Lancaster Walk, and create a two-way cycle lane and wider pavements in its place. The existing three lanes will be kept open for general traffic.

Two new pedestrian crossings will be created - one near Mill Street and the other close to Leicester Royal Infirmary on Aylestone Road as part of the hospital's ongoing work to improve access.

Three bus stops, between Tower Street and Regent Road, will also be moved a short distance along the road to help create more space at the route's narrowest point.

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Ashley makes wage pledge to Sports Direct employees

Sports Direct employs around 28,000 staff across the UK and Europe. Credit: PA

Mike Ashley has promised to spend £10 million on raising the pay of all Sport Direct employees to above the minimum wage.

The pledge comes after the company's pay and employment practices, including the use of zero hours contracts, faced criticism.

Sports Direct has since announced that Mr Ashley will oversee a review of all agency worker terms and conditions.

Announcing the move, the Newcastle United owner told the Daily Mirror: "I believe as a FTSE 100 or even 250 company we have a responsibility to set a high moral standard.

"We're putting our money where our mouth is and have notified the City we will be spending £10 million ensuring all employees are above the minimum wage."

Boxing Day sales: Midlands shopping centres "buzzing"

Boxing Day sale shoppers out in force Credit: PA

Shopping centres across the Midlands are reporting high attendance levels on Boxing Day, as thousands of shoppers hunt for that all-important bargain buy.

The Operations Director at intu, which has shopping centres across the Midlands including Derby, Merry Hill, Stoke on Trent and Nottingham's Broadmarsh and Victoria Centre, said footfall was high.

"The Christmas festivities didn’t prevent die-hard shoppers from an early start on Boxing Day and queuing up to ensure they had first pick of the bargains.

Across the UK, we witnessed large queues of shoppers all waiting to get their hands on discounted products at leading retailers.

Santa may be resting, but the Boxing Day bonanza was underway early and by mid-morning, our centres were all buzzing. People were in the mood to shop and we expect to see at least a million people walk through our doors today in search of bargains.

We’ve witnessed consistently strong footfall since Black Friday and the Christmas week was exceptionally busy. Boxing Day is no exception.

So, what we’ve seen is a prolonged period of shopping activity over the weeks leading up to Christmas, rather than just on key days in the retail calendar. Shoppers have been out in force and making a clear statement about their high level of optimism".

– Gordon McKinnon, Operations Director at intu

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2,000,000th Land Rover Defender auctioned for £400k

The two millionth Land Rover Defender to come off the production line at the luxury car maker's Solihull plant has sold for £400,000 at auction.

The famous 4x4 was first build at the manufacturers Solihull plant in 1948, and has retained elements of its original design ever since.

The car was sold at auction house Bonhams in London, with funds raised being donated to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies and the Born Free Foundation.

More than 1,000 jobs saved at Caparo

More than 1,000 jobs have been saved at the steel firm Caparo.

In October it was announced that more than 300 jobs would be lost at a number of sites across the West Midlands.

Ninder Johal, President of the Black Country Chamber of Commerce, said the news was "great news for the supply chain too".

It is as yet unclear how many of jobs saved will be in the Midlands.

Two Sisters group in talks to buy S&A Foods site

A major food manufacturer have said they are interested in buying the former S&A Foods site in Derby, after the company went into administration last month.

The Two Sisters Food Group has confirmed it wants to purchase the site. Credit: PA

More than 300 people lost their jobs at the firm, which specialised in supplying Indian ready-meals.

The Two Sisters Food Group has confirmed it wants to purchase the site on Shaftsbury Street South. S&A Foods stopped operations after they lost a major contract with ASDA.

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