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Mixed reaction to Chancellor's visit

The Chancellor has announced more money for Cathedral repairs and visited Wells Cathedral today.

George Osborne also toured a cider factory to see how a drop in cider duty will impact business.

But leading names in the tourism industry here in the West have criticised the government for not doing more to help them.

Our political reporter Robert Murphy has the story.


George Osborne visits cider factory

The Chancellor George Osborne has been visiting Somerset to announce more money for Cathedral repairs and also to capitalise on last week's announcement of a drop in cider duty.

But tourist attraction owners have told ITV News their campaign for a reduction in VAT has been ignored, putting jobs at risk.

Our political reporter Robert Murphy was with the Chancellor.

Chancellor joins working line at Cider factory

The Chancellor tried his hand on the cider assembly line Credit: ITV News

George Osborne has been visiting a cider factory near Taunton today as part of his mission to meet businesses and organisations that are benefiting from last week's budget.

The Chancellor announced a cut in cider duty in a direct tribute to one of the south west's key industries.

The Chancellor also visited a cathedral in our region to announce a major grant for roof repairs.

Mr Osborne was given a tour of Wells Cathedral in Somerset which is one of the historic places of worship to benefit from a £4.5 million pound windfall to help protect them from the weather.

A synagogue in Cheltenham has also been given a grant while Gloucester Cathedral will receive £185,000.

Osborne also visited Wells Cathedral Credit: ITV News

TONIGHT: The last West Country at Westminster

Ian Axton is back tonight with the last of our political shows - the West Country at Westminster - before the election.

The last West Country at Westminster until the election is on tonight

Guests are Queen legend Brian May who launched his Common Decency campaign this week. Also retiring MP and Labour legend Dawn Primarolo. Lib Dem Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood and Conservative MEP Julie Girling are also on the panel.

You can tweet along using the hashtag #WCAW.

Make sure you tune in at 10.40pm.

AgustaWestland awarded helicopter contract worth £580 million

AgustaWestland has been awarded a helicopter support contract worth £580 million.

AgustaWestland has been awarded a helicopter support contract worth £580 million Credit: Andrew Matthews/PA

The deal will provide maintenance support to the Royal Navy's Merlin Mk2 and Mk3 helicopters over the next five years. It is hoped the new contract will deliver more than £140 million savings over that time.

More than 1,000 jobs will also be sustained across the UK, with many located at AgustaWestland's facility in Yeovil and at the Royal Navy Air Station in Culdrose, Cornwall.

The Merlin is an important part of our overall Helicopter Force, providing a variety of specialist and general roles in all weathers over land and sea.

We are bringing in the contract one year earlier than planned to meet the requirements of the Front Line Commands and to deliver financial benefits, which is a great achievement and shows how the MOD can adapt flexibly to support the needs of our Armed Forces.

– Air Vice-Marshal Julian Young, Director Helicopters at the MOD’s Defence Equipment and Support Organisation


Special World Cup Fanzone will be set up in Gloucester

Gloucester will get an official Fanzone for the upcoming Rugby World Cup, it has been revealed.

Gloucester Quays will be open for 11 days to allow supporters to share the World Cup experience.

Gloucester Docks will host a special Fanzone Credit: England Rugby 2015

Each fanzone will include a big screen, rugby activities, food and drink and what organisers are calling "unique regional content". It'll have room for more than 5,000 spectators.

A map of the southern Fanzones Credit: England Rugby 2015

The Webb Ellis Trophy heads West

The Rugby World Cup will be on tour around the West Country later in the year. It'll be in the South West between July 7 to 17.

The Webb Ellis Trophy is heading west

A full list of where it will be in the South West:

  • July 7 - Isle of Scilly Five Islands School, Eden Project, and Perranporth Beach
  • July 8 - Plymouth University, Dartmoor National Park, Exmouth RFC, and Crediton RFC
  • July 9 - South West
  • July 10 - Sandy Park, and Woodbury Park, Exeter
  • July 11 - Exeter City Centre
  • July 12 - Weymouth Beach, Oakmeadians RFC and Devizes
  • July 13 - University of Bath, Odd Down Playing Fields, and Guildhall
  • July 14 - South Gloucestershire and Stroud College, and Bristol Grammar School
  • July 15 - Kingsholm Stadium, Hartpury College, and Gloucester Cathedral
  • July 16 - Gloucester Docks, Gloucester City Museum, and Cheltenham RFC

Launching on June 10, 100 days to go to the opening match, the Rugby World Cup Trophy Tour will travel through Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland, Wales and England before arriving at Twickenham Stadium on September 18 ahead of the Opening Ceremony.

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