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Canterbury signs up to scheme to boost local economy

The last few years have been tough for businesses across the south-east and various schemes have been suggested to boost the economy.

One is the "Business Improvement District", or BID, which sees local shops and companies paying extra taxes to help attract customers.

But Canterbury is the only place in the whole of Kent that's taken up a BID; we sent David Johns to find out why.

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Royal Marines band send Britannia on her way with hundreds watching from the shore of Southampton Water

Britannia's maiden voyage is the fastest ever selling cruise for her owners, P&O, with every cabin snapped up within days of going on sale.

The super liner was named by the Queen on Tuesday in Southampton, she was given a traditional send off by the Royal Marines band from Portsmouth and with confetti covering the ship, followed by a big fireworks display. Hundreds of people lined the shore of Southampton Water with many more on small craft following her out into The Solent.

The Royal Marines band playing Britannia out through a blizzard of confetti Credit: Mike Pearse/ITV Meridian
Britannia was named by The Queen in Southampton earlier this week Credit: Mike Pearse/ITV Meridian

Virgin Atlantic reports a return to profit

Virgin Atlantic is back in profit Credit: ITV

Crawley-based Virgin Atlantic has published its annual financial results, confirming the successful delivery of a two-year recovery plan and a return to profit.

For the year ended 31 December 2014, the group is reporting a profit before tax and exceptional items of £14.4m, representing an improvement of £65.4m on the previous year’s financial performance.

Mission to reunite Medway residents with cherished possessions

Cash Generator in Gillingham closed in January Credit: ITV Meridian

Trading Standards officers in Medway are trying to reunite residents with valuable belongings following the closure of a Gillingham 'pawnbrokers'.

Cash Generator on the High Street closed in January and owners only have two weeks to claim their items.

Anyone who was due to buy possessions back from Cash Generator, Gillingham after January 31, should to call Medway Council's Trading Standards Team on 01634 333333.

AWE marks 60 years of Apprenticeships

Apprentices in the 1950s Credit: AWE

AWE, the Atomic Weapons Establishment is preparing to celebrate national apprenticeship week. The company has a long tradition of running a apprenticeship schemes.

The event is part of the eighth annual National Apprenticeship Week, which is co-ordinated by the National Apprenticeship Service and designed to celebrate apprenticeships and the positive impact they have on individuals, businesses and the economy.

AWE has had been running apprenticeship schemes for over 60 years. Currently, 11% of its workforce is made up of former apprentices.

Rob Cottrell, AWE’s Skills Academy Manager, said: “Apprenticeships allow AWE to grow its own talent pool by developing a motivated, skilled and qualified workforce and many of our former apprentices have worked their way up through the company to senior leadership positions.”

Apprentices today Credit: AWE

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'Hard Wok Kafe' comes second in pun awards

A cafe in Portsmouth has reached the number two spot in a national competition - for having the best shop pun name.

Hard Wok Kafe, in Charlotte Street, made to it to second place with 15% of the vote, which were cast by visitors for their favourite shop name nationwide.

In January we selected our best ten shop puns of 2014 and asked you to vote for your favourite. Credit: Local Data Company

A breakdown of the winning ten:

1.Ace of Vapes, Eastwood, Nottingham 9%

2. Glasgrow, Glasgow 12%

3. Bit-A-Sweet, Seahouses, Northumberland 12%

4. Hair Dot Comb, Falkirk 27%

5. Lunch & Judy, Birkenhead 4%

6. Hard Wok Kafe, Portsmouth 15%

7. Peaches & Clean, Feltham 0%

8. Café Indie Pendent, Scunthorpe 8%

9.Croc-A-Tile, Chesterfield 6%

10.Peaches n Pairs, Uttoxeter 8%

Plans revealed for 1000 new homes in Hampshire town

Artist's impression of new development Credit: Highwood

Controversial plans for 1000 new homes have been revealed on the outskirts of a Hampshire town.

The North Stoneham Park development would transform land south of Eastleigh. If approved by borough council planners, the development would feature around 1,100 new homes spread across the 62-hectare site. The £70-million pound complex would also include a new primary school, nursery, community centre, shops and care home on the site near to junction 5 of the M27. Campaigners are worried about traffic and losing historic park land and playing pitches.

Development plans Credit: Highwood

The plans have been handed in to the Borough Council after two public exhibitions last year. Eastleigh Borough Council, which owns the site alongside Highwood and the County Council, has earmarked the site south of Chestnut Avenue for housing for several years.

A decision on the plans is due during the summer, and if the development is approved construction work could begin next year.

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