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Universal credit rolled out from North West

Controversial benefits shake-up Credit: PA Images

A controversial shake-up of the benefits system that was piloted here in the North West is rolled out across the country, this morning.

Universal credit combines six benefits - including housing benefit, JSA and tax credits - into one single payment.

The scheme's been criticised by the National Audit Office as badly managed and failing to deliver on its targets.

Cable announces multi million pound boost for region

Business Secretary Vince Cable Credit: PA

The Business Secretary Vince Cable has announced a multi- million pound boost for the North West. The minister's been visiting Manchester University as part of the Government's aim to help empower regions to manage more of their own affairs. The money will be spent on improving scientific research, transport and supporting local businesses.

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Multi-million pound investment for Manchester

Business Secretary Vince Cable Credit: pa

Manchester is to benefit from a huge cash injection which its hoped will boost business and improve the city's infrastructure. The business secretary Vince Cable will be in Manchester to announce the investment and discuss the devolution of power from London. He'll also meet local business people that have already benefitted from the Greater Manchester Growth Deal. Manchester will also be home to one of three new research centres looking into sythethic biology development.

  1. National

List of Tesco stores set for closure

These are the stores that Tesco have revealed are set to close.

Superstores

  • Bedlington
  • Chatham
  • Connswater and Cregagh Road in Belfast
  • Doncaster
  • Kirkcaldy and Wrexham Dodds Lane

Homeplus shops

  • Bristol Cribbs Causeway
  • Chelmsford
  • Chester
  • Edinburgh
  • Southampton
  • Staines

Tesco Metro

  • Bicester
  • Bootle
  • Caerphilly
  • Crossgates
  • Devizes
  • Grangemouth
  • Mexborough
  • Morecambe
  • Ormskirk
  • Runcorn
  • Smethwick
  • Woodseats

Tesco Express convenience stores

  • Bearwood
  • Belvedere
  • Church Street, Ballymena
  • Heaton Chapel
  • Heybridge, Essex
  • Houghton Regis
  • Liverpool Kensington
  • Longbridge Road, Barking
  • Northfield, Birmingham
  • Raymouth Lane, Worksop
  • Sheffield Manor
  • South Tottenham High Road
  • Tredegar
  • Troon
  • Walsall Wood
  • Wealdstone
  • Whitley Bay
  • York Road, Hartlepool.
  1. National

2,000 Tesco jobs at risk as store closure list revealed

Tesco Credit: PA Wire

Around 2,000 Tesco workers have been told their jobs are at risk after the supermarket giant announced the location of 43 store closures.

Seven superstores and six Homeplus outlets are among the unprofitable shops identified for closure by new chief executive Dave Lewis.

Mr Lewis said: "The decision to close the stores has been exceptionally difficult to take. I recognise it will affect many hard-working colleagues, our customers and local communities.

"Our priority is to explain what this announcement means for our colleagues and, wherever possible, offer them alternative roles with Tesco."

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'Approaches made' to rescue struggling retailer Bank - Deloitte

Bank was founded in 1994.

Bill Dawson, a partner in Deloitte's restructuring services practice, said: "Bank has struggled in a highly competitive segment of the retail industry and has been loss-making for a number of years."

He added that additional sale discounts will be implemented later this week.

"The company has already been approached by several parties who have expressed an interest in the business and the administrators are trading as a going concern with a view to progressing these options and seeking further interested parties for some or all of the business."

– Bill Dawson, Deloitte

Bank was founded by Andy Scott - a former Macclesfield Town footballer - in 1994 and largely sells branded fashion items aimed at the youth market.

JD bought the chain from private equity owners Phoenix Equity Partners and management for £18.5 million in 2007.

In November it disposed of the business to HMV owner Hilco, a retail turnaround business, under terms which were not disclosed.

JD's fashion division, which includes the more successful Scotts brand, recently slumped to a half-year loss of £8.2 million despite continued efforts to revive Bank, including through the appointment of a new management team.

Bank has been offering discounts of up to 70% as it attempts to attract shoppers in the face of fierce competition.

The company's collapse comes a week after parcel courier firm City Link went into administration, costing the jobs of 2,400 workers.

1,500 jobs at risk after Bury fashion chain goes into administration

Bank is based in Pilsworth, Bury.

More than 1,500 jobs at fashion chain Bank have been put at risk after the loss-making business went into administration today.

Bury-based Bank, which operates 84 stores primarily in the Midlands, North of England and Scotland, was part of JD Sports Fashion until November.

Deloitte was appointed as administrator today after a review of the business determined that a solvent turnaround would not be possible.

All stores are open as normal and no redundancies have been made while Deloitte considers potential interest in the business from several parties.

Manchester 'worst-performing' on house prices

Houses in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester Credit: PA Images

Manchester has been named as the "worst-performing" city concerning house prices, with values there showing no average increase in prices over the last year.

House prices around the UK eased back from their previous record levels in December amid signs that the housing market has continued to cool, Nationwide Building Society has reported.

Across the UK, property prices lifted by 7.2% annually in December to reach £188,559 on average, edging slightly lower than an all-time high of £189,388 recorded in November.

But despite the lack of price increase the average house price in Manchester remains higher than the national average at £210,685.

Stores braced for busiest day of the year

More than 200 thousand shoppers are expected today Credit: PA

Shoppers are expected to hit the UK high street in force as retailers hope for their most profitable day ahead of Christmas.

The high street traditionally experiences its busiest day two days before the Christmas shut down.

Bosses at the Manchester Arndale shopping centre said they expected about 220,000 visitors and customers were spending more money this Christmas.

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