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Making waves - new ship simulation facility

A maritime centre in Oxfordshire has launched the world's 'most sophisticated' ship simulator.

The marine modelling facilities will help engineers to improve the design of ships and structures such as oil rigs. HR Wallingford's UK Ship Simulation Centre and the Fast Flow Facility are at Howbery Business Park in Oxfordshire.

The Fast Flow Facility is a 75 m long, 8 m wide dual-channel flume which can hold a million litres of water, generate 1 metre high waves and produce fast tidal currents to simulate the way waves, tides, sediments and structures interact.

The new facilty features a 75 m long flume which can hold a million litres of water

"What makes the Fast Flow Facility unique is the way we can simulate sediment movement, big waves and fast tidal currents at the same time. No one else can do this, certainly not at such a large scale.

"We can now look at the way waves and currents move sediment on the seabed in deep water at a large scale, and understand what this means for fixed or floating structures such as marine terminals, offshore wind turbines, wave and tidal energy devices, telecommunication and power cables and pipelines. Modelling large structures and arrays without compromising on scale will help us to reduce uncertainty, optimise designs and more effectively minimise project risks for our clients during the very early stages of a project."

– Professor Richard Whitehouse, Technical Director of the Fast Flow Facility
Lord Heseltine launches new ship simulation facility

Banbury-based Marussia F1 team goes into administration

Geoff Rowley and Geoff Carton-Kelly, partners of FRP Advisory LLP, the specialist restructuring and recovery firm, were appointed joint administrators to Manor Grand Prix Racing Limited trading as the Marussia F1 Team.

The Group is located in Banbury, Oxfordshire, and employs nearly 200 staff.

The Marussia F1 Team builds and operates racing cars that compete in the FIA Formula One World Championship (“F1”).

"Whilst the team has made significant progress during its relatively short period of operation, the highlight of which included securing two constructors championship points in the current F1 season, the position remains that operating a F1 team requires significant ongoing investment. With the existing shareholder unable to provide the required level of funding, the senior management team has worked tirelessly to bring new investment to the team to secure its long term future, but regrettably has been unable to do so within the time available. Therefore, they have been left with no alternative but to place the Company into administration. With the Marussia F1 Team now in administration, the joint administrators have assessed that, given the current financial circumstances of the Group, it is not viable for the Marussia F1 Team to participate in the next race, the 2014 Formula 1 United States Grand Prix, due to take place this weekend in Austin, Texas. The Company will continue to operate while the joint administrators assess the longer term viability of the Company in its present form. Following Austin, there are two further rounds of the 2014 championship remaining, in Sao Paulo and Abu Dhabi, and the team’s participation in those races will depend on the outcome of the administration process and any related negotiations with interested parties in what is a very limited window of opportunity. No redundancies have been made following the Company's entering into administration and all staff have been paid in full to the end of October. The ongoing staff position will however be dependent on whether the Company can secure new investment in the limited time available. We remain highly focused on engaging with interested parties."

– Geoff Rowley, joint administrator, and partner at FRP Advisory

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  1. David Johns (@davidjohns_itv)

Future of Ebbsfleet under discussion

Architects, investors and political leaders attended a planning summit today to discuss multi-billion pound schemes set to transform north Kent.

First and foremost - the creation of a new garden city at Ebbsfleet, where the first homes are now under construction. Then there is Paramount Park, the vast entertainment resort proposed for the Swanscombe Peninsula between Gravesend and Dartford.

Also - the prospect of a second Thames crossing. And the possibility of Crossrail being extended to Ebbsfleet. David Johns reports.

He spoke to design expert Chris Lamb; architect Sir Terry Farrell; and Councillor Paul Carter, leader of Kent County Council.

Virgin launch new route from Gatwick to Georgia, USA

Airline launches new route to Atlanta in Georgia Credit: ITV Meridian

Virgin Atlantic launched their new route to Atlanta in Georgia in the USA today. It was also the debut flight for their first Boeing 787 airliner - which took off from Gatwick Airport in Sussex. The company has ordered 16 of the aircraft in a deal worth seven billion dollars.

The airline, based in Crawley, say the new route is part of a strategy to develop more services to north America. It means they end the summer with some good news after the recent announcement about the phasing out of the domestic UK airline, Little Red. They are also pulling out of a number of long haul routes to the Far East and Africa earlier this year.

The firm's Chief Executive - Craig Kreeger, says the changes mean the airline is set to be profitable again this year:

£4-million to be spent on Southampton's roads

Repairing Southampton's roads Credit: ITV news

Southampton City Council is spending £4 million each year for the next decade on improving the city's roads. The road resurfacing programme will focus on residential roads - with work on A and B roads being funded by a separate budget. The council is asking people to contact them stating which roads they think are most in need of being repaired.

If you have any suggestions for residential roads that you think are most in need of improvement, email roads@southampton.gov.uk by October 27 with: the name of the road, the reason it requires attention, which section of the road should be prioritised. The council's road improvements programme will be announced later in the year.

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300 jobs at risk at luxury yacht builder

Sunseeker in Poole Credit: ITV news

Around 300 jobs are at risk at luxury boatbuilder Sunseeker based in Poole. Staff were told of plans today. It's thought the cuts will focus on administration and managerial roles.

The company said: "The focus of the plans is to ensure the continued growth and success of our business, based on the UK's South Coast. It is clear to us that customer demand and the industry as a whole is changing and we need to respond to those changes to retain our position at the forefront of an ever-competitive market. We have informed Sunseeker International staff of the outcome of a strategic review aimed at increasing efficiency, simplifying our operating model and positioning the business for its long term future. As part of these plans we are looking to rebalance the workforce by removing non-core activities as well as where we see cross-over and duplication. Around 300 roles could potentially be affected. We want to reassure our staff and suppliers that Sunseeker International is 100% committed to maintaining our current UK manufacturing capabilities, and we have no plans to move our brand or production elsewhere". "

The company says the news will have "minimal impact" on boat building activities and there is a "strong demand" for its product. A consultation on the plans will now take place. The company builds luxury yachts, often with a price tag of several million pounds

Strike action by refuse workers continues in Brighton

No bin collections today Credit: ITV news

Refuse workers in Brighton and Hove will strike again today in an ongoing row over pay. Collections won't be made today, tomorrow and on the 20th. People affected are being told by the council to leave their bins out and they'll be collected as soon as possible. Staff introduced a "continuous work to rule" on 12th September.

The council says "We are very sorry for this disruption and the inconvenience it is causing to all residents." It offered this advice to residents: household waste and recycling centres are open as normal and will accept separated waste and recycling. You can take recycling to any of the recycling points in the city. City centre communal bins will continue to be emptied. Street cleaning staff will be working as normal.

Gridlock in Reading town: Delays were "more than an hour"

Managers at Reading Buses have apologised for major delays and disruption at the beginning of the week.

Almost every bus suffered delays, some by more than an hour, causing huge queues in the town. Extra buses - and drivers - were brought in but they, too, were caught up in the traffic chaos on Monday.

Reading Buses Credit: www.reading-travelinfo.co.uk

The delays were caused by numerous factors including an earlier incident on the M4 which reduced the number of lanes to one and various roadworks around the town that included temporary traffic lights and inclement weather

– Jake Osman, Reading Buses

Reading Buses said the problems on the roads were the worst seen in years. The company said it will continue to monitor the various roadworks around the town and do what it can to help keep the buses to time.

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