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  1. Anglia

New jobs for Peterborough engine-makers

Perkins Engines in Peterborough is to create about 175 jobs over the next three years after the company won a £13 million Government grant.

Perkins Engines export their goods worldwide Credit: ITV

Perkins has turned around its fortunes, after making hundreds of staff redundant in 2009 as profits struggled during the recession. The company exports off-road diesel engines to buyers worldwide and will use the money, secured through the Advanced Propulsion Centre, to develop low-carbon technologies for running diesel engines.

"This collaboration with DENSO INTERNATIONAL UK, Loughborough University, Imperial College London and CMCL Innovations, each of who we have worked closely with over the years, is focused on engine performance, fuel economy and exhaust emission improvements and will support the development of innovative technologies for off-highway diesel engine applications.”

– ark Stratton, Perkins Engines

Unemployment in the East Midlands falls by 15,000

Unemployment in the East Midlands fell by 15,000 in the quarter to January, official figures have revealed.

A total of 117,000 people were unemployed in the region between November and January. Credit: Philip Toscano/PA Wire/Press Association Images

According to the Office for National Statistics, a total of 117,000 people were unemployed in the region between November and January.

The region's unemployment rate was 5.0% and saw a drop of 11.4% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment has dipped to a near seven-year low after a fall of more than 100,000, while a record number of people are in work.

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Unemployment in the West Midlands falls by 5,000

Unemployment in the West Midlands fell by 5,000 in the quarter to January, official figures have revealed.

Unemployment in the West Midlands fell by 5,000 in the quarter to January Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Wire/Press Association Images

According to the Office for National Statistics, a total of 182,000 people were unemployed in the region between November and January.

The region's unemployment rate was 6.5% and saw a drop of 2.7% during the period.

Nationwide, unemployment has dipped to a near seven-year low after a fall of more than 100,000, while a record number of people are in work.

Government blocks Coventry Gateway development

The multi-million pound Coventry Gateway development which would have created thousands of jobs has been rejected by the government.

There were plans to develop an area of 741 acres around Coventry Airport Credit: PA

Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, turned down plans to develop the 700 acre site around Coventry Airport, that could have created up to 10,000 jobs.

The Coventry and Warwickshire Gateway plans aimed to develop an area of 741 acres to the north, east and south of Coventry airport. Plans for the development included a major new technology and manufacturing and distribution park.

The decision has been criticised by Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment, Kevin Maton.

The scheme, put forward by Coventry and Warwickshire’s Local Enterprise Partnership had the potential to provide a real boost to the local economy, and I’m amazed the Minister couldn’t support the plans.

It’s particularly disappointing news, given that the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable was in the area just yesterday talking about the vital role the region and Coventry engineering expertise played in the economy nationally.

This scheme would have helped support further development of this expertise while creating thousands of jobs.

– Cllr Kevin Maton, Coventry City Council’s Cabinet Member for Business, Enterprise and Employment

Meanwhile Geoffrey Robinson, the MP for Coventry North West, said: “I’m hugely disappointed by this decision.

"This development had the prospect of attracting thousands of jobs into our city, this is a real slap in the face for our City.”

Virgin expansion brings 1,400 jobs to the Midlands

A major expansion of Virgin Media's broadband network is set to bring 1,400 jobs to the Midlands ITV News Central has been told.

Virgin Media is expanding its broadband network Credit: PA

The jobs will be in construction, engineering, sales and support roles.

The expansion will see 6,000 jobs created across the country under the £3 billion plans, with 1,000 apprenticeships trained at Virgin's Birmingham headquarters.

The company, which is owned by US firm Liberty Global, has described the five year plan as the single biggest investment in broadband digital infrastructure in the UK for more than a decade.

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  1. National

Supermarket Waitrose to create 2,000 extra jobs

Waitrose is opening 15 new stores in 2015. Credit: PA

Waitrose has announced plans to create 2,000 extra jobs in 2015.

The supermarket said the positions would be in new and extended shops as well as an e-commerce grocery depot opening this year.

From spring, the retailer is opening 14 new shops including seven new supermarkets and seven Waitrose convenience stores.

The new stores will be in Oxford, Guildford, Basingstoke, Wollaton in Nottinghamshire, Milngavie in Dumbartonshire, Bagshot in Surrey,and Kings Cross, which will also house a new cookery school.

Smaller outlets will open in Heathfield in East Sussex and a further six locations in the south east.

Waitrose Director of Development Nigel Keen said: "Last year many of our branches received more than 10 applications for every vacancy - so we're delighted to be able to create an additional 2,000 roles in 2015."

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