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Hospital opening - 1000 days and counting....

Glass artwork proposed for the main entrances of the new Royal Liverpool University Hospital are being revealed to the public for the first time as part of celebrations counting down 1,000 days until the hospital opens. Construction of the new Royal is progressing rapidly - currently work's being carried out on the foundations and expected to be completed by the end of October. The hospital is due to open in 2017. Below is some time lapse footage of the building work so far.

Financial services job boost for North West

Job vacancies in financial services are increasing faster in the north of England than in London, while they have "stalled" in Scotland, according to a new study.

Liverpool, York, Manchester and Leeds have all seen big rises, while vacancies in the capital have fallen by 4% over the past two years, said recruitment firm BrightPool.

Recruitment in financial services has stalled in Scotland, with jobs falling in Edinburgh, said the report.

Moving more back and middle-office jobs out of London to the regions is a key part of efforts to improve cost-to-income ratios.

There are big savings to be made in both property and staff costs. Financial services employment growth in the regions is rapidly outpacing that of London - that is a clear reversal of the trend before the credit crunch, when higher returns on capital meant staff costs were not such a concern.

– Angela Hickmore, managing director at BrightPool

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'HS3 key to creating Northern jobs'

Plans for another high speed rail link dubbed 'HS3' is the key to creating Northern jobs and growth says a Manchester MP.

Lib Dem's member for South Manchester John Leech has called on the government to implement the Higgins report on HS3 on the same timetable as HS2 plans.

The report, published today, calls for a HS3 scheme to connect the north’s great cities, cutting journey times, boosting businesses and create more jobs and security for people in the north. The journey between Manchester and Leeds could be cut from 55 minutes now to between 26 and 34 minutes.

Read more here.

"This report is good news for Manchester jobs and the economy, and I urge the Government to accept it on the same timetable as HS2. I have long argued that Manchester and the north need to maximise the number of jobs and growth it creates from HS2 and this report on HS3 spells out how that is done."

“This is another boost for Manchester, coming on top of the Greater Manchester City Deal which was announced in 2012 and £200m extra funding for local transport schemes.”

– John Leech MP

Cumbria Council to cut 1800 jobs

Cumbria County council announce 1800 job losses

Cumbria County Council is planning to cut 1,800 jobs to achieve savings of £83 million over the next three years.

By 2018 the authority, run by a Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition, will employ 5,200 staff, almost half as many as five years ago.

A consultation on the planned cuts will run until the new year, but the authority warned that millions of pounds of savings were needed to balance its books.

Cumbria County Council deputy leader Patricia Bell said:

These are dark times for the public sector. These are the biggest cuts the council has ever seen. Losing another 1,800 staff will impact on lives, families and our local economy.

"It will be very painful but there is no alternative. We have a legal duty to balance our books and we must live within our means and face up to the reality that if the Government cuts our grants and reduces our budget by a quarter, then we have to make cuts too.

"It has taken a massive effort to identify the £130 million of savings a year that we've already found, but the next three years of cutting a further #83 million is going to be incredibly tough.

– Cumbria County Council deputy leader Patricia Bell

Vintage Blackpool airport

Rare 1960s footage of Blackpool and its airport has been released by the North West Film Archive at Manchester Metropolitan University.

The film, which is more than 50-years-old, shows the resort from the air and the landing at the airport.

Viewers see the passengers' view in the approach from the north, including the Tower, Central Pier and of course the beach.

After landing, the De Havilland Ambassador aircraft pulls up alongside the terminal and the tourists disembark the flight.

Click below to watch the footage:

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End of an illustrious era at Blackpool Airport

Pioneering aviator Amy Johnson, pictured in her aircraft in 1930. Credit: PA

Blackpool Airport - which has roots in the infancy of aviation - closes to the public today.

There's still hope a new owner will be found to resurrect commercial aviation at some stage in the near future, but for now it's the end of long and proud history at the airport which was formerly known as Squires Gate Airfield.

The empty terminal has become a familiar sight. Credit: PA

According to www.controltowers.co.uk, Squires Gate Fields was chosen as the site for the resort's first aerodrome.

The first aviation meeting was held there in 1907, attracting 200,000 spectators.

The site was occupied by other uses, including a convalescent hospital for the The King's Lancashire Regiment, until after the First World War.

Flying resumed in the 1920's and from 1933 Squires Gate flew regular services to Liverpool and the Isle of Man but airline operations were later moved to Stanley Park on the other side of town.

During the Second World War, both Squires Gate and Stanley Park airfields were aircrew training and bomber manufacturing sites.

A Vickers Wellington Bomber, thousands were manufactured in Blackpool during the Second World War. Credit: PA

Thousands of Wellington bombers were built at sites all over Blackpool to assist in the war effort.

It's been claimed the pioneering aviator Amy Johnson flew her last flight from Blackpool and it is said she often flew in to visit her sister who lived in the resort.

Amy Johnson and the famous Gypsy Moth aircraft in 1930. Credit: PA

In recent years the airfield was transformed into Blackpool Airport, a modern International airport serving domestic and European routes.

But after losing a number of airlines the business struggled to make money and owners Balfour Beatty announced it would close last month.

Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary announcing new routes in 2003, but the airline's relationship with Blackpool was not to last. Credit: PA

The last flight comes in from the Isle of Man shortly before 5pm tonight and the final departure, heading to the Isle of Man, will take off shortly afterwards.

The scene at Blackpool Airport's terminal today. Credit: ITV News

Last flights at Blackpool airport take place today as it prepares for closure

People checking in at Blackpool airport Credit: ITV Granada

The last flights in and out of Blackpool will take place today as its airport prepares for closure.

It's owners Balfour Beatty have put the airport up for sale, claiming it's been losing money for years.

Around 110 staff are employed at the site. It's future hangs in the balance despite Blackpool council announcing several potential buyers have come forward.

Blackpool Council: 'Bright future' for Blackpool Airport

Blackpool Airport Credit: ITV Granada Reports

Blackpool Council has revealed today that there is good reason to believe that there is a 'bright future ahead' for the town's airport.

It was announced last week that the airport would close, after the owners Balfour Beatty said it had been losing money for years.

Councillor John Jones, Blackpool Council’s cabinet member for highways and transport, said:

“We met with Balfour Beatty again on Friday to discuss their plans and the latest position regarding the potential new investors.

“They confirmed that interest in the site remains high with a number of parties expressing an interest with a range of proposals.

“Going forward, as well as staying close to negotiations, we will be attending a meeting in Westminster next week with MPs, Government Ministers and other bodies where the situation will be discussed, considering ways in which new funding could be accessed."

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