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Leicester fire residents unable to assess damage

Residents and traders who were forced to leave their properties due to a major factory fire in Leicester two days ago, say they still haven't been able to assess the damage caused.

Hundreds were evacuated from their homes after the blaze ripped through the factory in Belgrave.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

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MEP for the West Midlands is new working peer

MEP for the West Midlands constituency Michael Cashman CBE. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Archive/Press Association Images

MEP for the West Midlands constituency and former Eastenders actor Michael Cashman CBE, has been included among a list of new working peers.

Issued by Downing Street, the list of newly-appointed working peers also includes businesswoman Karren Brady, former managing director of Birmingham City.

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Major development in Grantham gets boost from council

Plans for a new £5 million development in Grantham - including a multiplex cinema and a food court -have been given a major boost after South Kesteven District Council's cabinet recommended the project go ahead as part of the town's regeneration.

Artist's impressions of the new development Credit: South Kesteven District Council
Artist's impressions of the new development Credit: South Kesteven District Council

Boots expects 'no job losses' ahead of Walgreens takeover

No job losses are expected at Nottingham-based Boots Credit: PA Wire

Nottingham-based Boots says no job losses are expected ahead of the full takeover of the company by American drug-store giants Walgreens.

Walgreens, which also trades as Duane Reade, is set to spend around £5 billion on the outstanding 55% stake in Alliance Boots.

Given the complementary geographic footprints of Walgreens and Alliance Boots, job reductions are not expected at either company as a result of the merger.

Nottingham is at the heart of the Boots heritage (it has been the home of Boots for over 160 years) and it will continue to be a very important hub in the future within the global enterprise.

Nottingham is a key site for our activities in pharmacy, retailing, R&D, product manufacturing and pharmaceutical wholesale.

We firmly believe that our employees will benefit from being part of an even stronger and much larger organisation, and that this merger is a vital step in achieving our vision of becoming a global healthcare leader and Boots, our principal retail brand, will play a pivotal role.

– Alliance Boots spokesperson

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Centre for Retail Research: Boots takeover could be 'bad news' for Nottingham

Professor Joshua Bamfield, from the Centre for Retail Research, based in Newark, has told ITV News Central he's concerned about the impact the takeover of Boots may have on employees here in the UK:

"Walgreens haven't announced what they're going to do so we don't know what impact this will have on Nottingham just yet, but in the medium term, I think job opportunities will be curtailed. It's bad news.

"It's possible that the new company will be vibrant and exciting and everything will go well but the reality is that Walgreens will want to run everything from the US.

"The firm will now try to work out where they make savings. They'll be asking 'where can we make the savings to justify this purchase?' They tend to be made in staff numbers."

– Professor Joshua Bamfield, from the Centre for Retail Research

Boots operations HQ to remain in Nottingham

The Boots HQ in Nottingham Credit: ITV News Central

US retailer, Walgreens, has confirmed that the headquarters of Boots operations will remain in Nottingham.

Directors at the American company decided to purchase the remaining shares in Boots Alliance - the company that owns boots. They originally bought a 45% stake in 2012.

It means Walgreens and Boots Alliance will become a fully combined company, subject to shareholder and regulatory approvals.

This holding company will be headquartered in Illinois, USA, but Boots operations will stay at its current location in Nottingham.

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US retailer Walgreens to buy the rest of Boots' owner

US retailer Walgreens has confirmed it will take up its option to buy the rest of Boots the Chemist owner Alliance Boots.

The owner of Boots the Chemist is Alliance Boots. Credit: Sean Dempsey/PA Wire

Walgreens, which also trades as Duane Reade, is set to spend around £5 billion on the outstanding 55% stake in Alliance Boots.

An announcement is expected later today.

Midlands businesses: 'Significant' skills shortage on way

More than three quarters of Midlands businesses say a skills shortage is Credit: ITV News Central

Action is required to stem a skills crisis in the Midlands, warns new research out today.

The Prince's Trust and HSBC research suggests that more than three-quarters of businesses in the Midlands believe a "significant skills crisis" will hit their organisations within the next three years (77 per cent), while nearly a half (47 per cent) predict this will happen within the next 12 months.

More than two-thirds of Midlands businesses surveyed fear skills shortages will slam the brakes on the UK's economic recovery (69 per cent); while more than a third fear it would cause their business to fold (38 per cent).

The report, based on interviews with UK business leaders, including those from the Midlands, suggests 69 per cent believe that the recruitment of young people into the workforce is vital to avert a skills crisis.

More than half of businesses surveyed in the Midlands (41 per cent) are already experiencing skills gaps within their organisations, while almost half (49 per cent) have been unable to fill vacancies over the past year as a result.

Youth charity The Prince's Trust is now calling on employers to invest in vocational training for unemployed young people in the region to avoid a future skills crisis.

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