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Cheesy launch for Isle of Wight company

A new type of cheese is being launched Credit: Blue Slipper

The Isle of Wight Cheese Company has announced a new brand of cheese. A test batch is launching this week.

‘Blue Slipper’ is naturally-rinded soft blue cheese. It is named after the gault clay, which can be found across the Island. The cheese is a softer version of the well known ‘Isle of Wight Blue’.

The official launch is next year and will be just in time for next year's Cowes Week Regatta.

Major step forward for Lexicon Bracknell

It's one of the biggest regeneration projects the Thames Valley has ever seen. Part of the new multi-million pound Lexicon centre in Bracknell has officially opened.

The area has suffered from high unemployment and a tired shopping centre, so it's hoped the development will transform the town's fortunes.

The long-awaited project is due to fully open in September. Penny Silvester reports.


Oxford opens its first ever gin distillery

Credit: ITV Meridian

Once dismissed as an old fashioned drink, gin has seen an extraordinary rebirth in recent years with sales rocketing in bars and supermarkets alike.

Last year, 40 million bottles were sold in Britain - that's enough to make more than one billion gin and tonics.

Credit: ITV Meridian

Its surge in popularity has led to a dramatic rise in the number of gin makers setting up business.

Bombay Sapphire opened its distillery in Whitchurch three years ago and now Oxford has its first ever distillery.

Mel Bloor went along to find out more.

Mel spoke to Tom Nicolson, Founder of The Oxford Artisan Distillery, George Bennett from Sandy Lane Farm and Master Distiller, Cory Mason.

BMW's electric Mini to be built at Cowley

The car will go into production in 2019 Credit: ITV

A fully electric version of the Mini is to be built in the UK, giving a huge boost to the car industry.

The firm's German owners BMW said the new model's electric drive train will be built at its plants in Bavaria before being integrated into the car at Cowley, near Oxford.

The car will be a variant of its three-door hatch model and will go into production in 2019.

This landmark decision is a vote of confidence in the determination of our Industrial Strategy to make Britain the go-to place in the world for the next generation of vehicles.

BMW's decision recognises the strength of the excellent workforce, our record of innovation and the productive relationship between the automotive sector and the Government.

The automotive industry is a great British success story and the Mini is a big part of that. UK car production hit a 10-year high last year, with 1.7 million cars made and over 800,000 people employed across the wider industry.

We want to see the sector continue to innovate and grow here in the UK, supported by initiatives such as the new battery institute as part of our Industrial Strategy.

BMW said it did not ask for or receive any assurances from the Government before making its decision.

A handful of new jobs might be created at Cowley, which currently produces 1,000 Minis a day.

– Business Secretary Greg Clark

Tower block looks set to be given go ahead

Plans for a Tower block in Reading look set for approval this week. The 23 storey tower will be home to apartments, a cinema and open rooftop space.

How the new building will look Credit: Lochailort Reading Ltd.

Lochailort Reading has applied for permission to build the tower, which contains 315 apartments, on the old BMW dealership site in Napier Road.

The application follows the council's rejection of its plan to build three towers as part of the Swan Heights Development.

The council has recommended accepting the new plan, which will see the demolition of the existing car park and the building of a "landmark building" when it meets on Wednesday.


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