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Co-operative Group boss: '2013 was a disastrous year'

The Co-operative Group has announced annual losses of £2.5 billion after suffering the worst crisis in its history following the near-collapse of its banking arm.

The Co-operative Group reported its worst ever losses. Credit: Nick Ansell/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Interim chief executive Richard Pennycook said: "2013 was a disastrous year for the Co-operative Group, the worst in our 150-year history.

"Today's results demonstrate that but they also highlight fundamental failings in management and governance at the group over many years.

"These results should serve as a wake-up call to anyone who doubts just how serious the challenges we face are."

Read: Co-operative Group's £2.5bn loss is worst in its history

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National

Co-operative Bank announces £1.3bn loss

The Co-operative Bank
The Co-operative Bank is attempting to raise another £400m. Credit: John Stillwell /PA Wire

The Co-operative Bank has reported an annual loss of £1.3 billion for the 2013 financial year.

The Co-op group was plunged into fresh difficulties on Thursday, offering members a vote on its future after the resignation of senior independent director Lord Myners.

£23m boost for NW businesses - Deputy PM

Nick Clegg Deputy PM
Deputy PM Nick Clegg Credit: PA

The government has announced a £23 million cash boost for businesses in the region.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg says the money from the Regional Growth Fund. will be

shared between 7 businesses in the North West.

Nick Clegg said:'We’re seeing very encouraging signs that the British economy is on the road to recovery. Home-grown and British-based businesses are leading that charge for a stronger economy.'

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New route to Hong Kong announced from Manchester Airport

The service will be operated by Cathay Pacific Boeing 777-300ER aircraft. Credit: Manchester Airport

A new flight between Hong Kong and Manchester Airport has been announced. The four-times-weekly service will start on 8 December 2014.

It's hoped the service will help strengthen business links between the North West and China.

Manchester Airport Credit: Peter Byrne/PA Archive/Press Association Images

Commuters face Mersey Tunnels price hike

The price for a car journey has risen 10p to £1.70 Credit: ITV Granada

Commuters crossing the River Mersey by tunnel will face increased toll charges this morning.

Drivers using both the King and Queensway Tunnels will have to pay an extra ten pence for the journey.

The route in a car will now cost £1.70 or £1.40 using a Fast Tag.

Merseytravel says 37 million people use the tunnels every year.

Merseyside commuters face a 10 pence increase in tunnel tolls

The cost of using the Mersey Tunnels has risen by 10 pence today

The cost of crossing the River Mersey by tunnel has gone up from today.

Drivers using both the King and Queensway Tunnels will have pay an extra ten pence for the journey.

A car journey between Liverpool and the Wirral will cost one- pound- seventy or one- pound forty using a Fast Tag.

Merseytravel says 37 million people use the tunnels every year.

National

Network Rail to announce five year revamp plan

Britain's railways will get a £38bn investment as part of a massive revamp plan designed to tackle growing demand, Network Rail is expected to announce later today.

Read: Rail fare rises come into force

Railways
The investment boost was part of Government plans to create "world class infrastructure". Credit: PA

Read: Report: 'Huge disparities' in rail services across the UK

Plans are expected to include electrification of 850 miles of track from Maidenhead to Swansea and Sheffield to Bedford, as well introducing a 24 hour service to the Thameslink programme.

On top of that, £13bn will be poured into replacing and renewing older parts of the network, such as refurbishing nearly 6,000 sets of points.

Hundreds of stations across the country will be transformed including major schemes at London Bridge, Manchester Victoria, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Queen Street.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said: “A key part of this government’s long term economic plan is investing in world class infrastructure."

However, Network Rail is also braced for a hefty £70m fine from regulators after failing to hit its target for train punctuality.

Read: Network rail 'falling short'

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