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Makeover complete at Bodleian libraries

It's cost eighty million pounds and taken three years to finish but one of the world's leading research centres has had a major overhaul. The Bodleian libraries in Oxford are home to some of the most important books and manuscripts in history. From tomorrow, for the first time, one of its finest buildings along with its rare collections will be open to the public.

The Oxford Bodleians form the largest university library system in the country with more than 11 million printed items. The plan was to modernize the Grade 11-listed New Bodleian building and create a state-of-the-art facility for researchers to work with the special collections.

Five years ago a purpose built storage centre was constructed 30 miles away in Swindon. Millions of books were moved there as refurbishment work began. Now the volumes and manuscripts that are in high demand from students and academics have been moved back along the A420 to Oxford and are filling shelves in the renamed Weston library.

The building was designed by Sir Giles Gilbert Scott - the architect behind Waterloo Bridge and Battersea Power Station and he designed the iconic red telephone box.

Millions of pounds have been spent bringing this Bodleian into the 21st century. After it opens its doors this weekend, millions of people will be able to enjoy the atmosphere of library that holds a special place in academic history.

Hundreds attend 'ReFashion' event in Oxford

The fourth annual ReFashion event at Oxford Town Hall Credit: Oxford City Council

The fourth annual ReFashion event at Oxford Town Hall welcomed over 600 people wanting to swap, recycle, reuse or up-cycle more than a third of a tonne of textiles.

The free event, which was organised by the City Council and held in the first week of March, brought together charities, students, volunteers and community groups. It was intended to highlight the problem of disposable fashion and give unloved clothes a brighter future.

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Easter disruption for rail passengers

Rail passengers across the region are facing massive disruption over Easter. From Good Friday for ten days there'll be major closures and disruption from Didcot to Hayes, because of engineering works. They include the upgrade of Reading station, new signals, and Crossrail. All services on First Great Western and Cross Country will be heavily disrupted in Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Hampshire and Wiltshire. But Network Rail are promising to "put passengers first" and avoid the huge delays cause by works overrunning at Christmas. Mike Pearse reports.

Illegal tobacco worth £75k seized in raids across Kent

Seventy-five thousand pounds worth of illegal tobacco has been seized by authorities in the latest crackdown on smuggled and counterfeit cigarettes.

Raids took place across seven shops in Gravesend and Dartford which led to the discovery of one of the largest hauls the Kent Trading Standards team has ever found. Nashreen Issa reports.

The interviewee is Richard Strawson from the Trading Standards team in Kent.

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  1. Transport Correspondent Mike Pearse

Farmers hope to benefit from rail firm's brand plans

One of the region's biggest train companies is hoping to change the often negative reputation of rail catering.

First Great Western is ditching well-known national brands of food and drink from its trains and replacing them with produce from local farms and suppliers.

But unions claim there will be less catering and fewer jobs:

Train operator to go local with brand replacement

First Great Western is replacing well-known national brands of food and drink from its trains and instead using produce from local farms and suppliers.

Dan Panes, from the train-operator, says the move is an attempt to boost the local economy:

The announcement comes as unions claim jobs will be lost when new trains are rolled out which don't have room for a buffet service.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union is claiming that new high-speed trains which have been commissioned by the Government do not include a buffet car.

Isle of Wight jobs boost for new wind turbine factory

A new wind turbine factory based in Newport, Isle of Wight, has announced it will create 200 jobs for local people.

The announcement from manufacturer Vestas comes after they closed their factory with mass redundancies for the Island in 2010.

wind turbine Credit: PA

The job boom is part of a commercial project by a Danish company and Japanese firm Mitsubish.

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