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Plymouth's The Range to expand

Range store. Credit: ITV News West Country

The Plymouth-based founder of the retail firm the Range has announced major expansion plans.

Chris Dawson aims to create nearly 7,000 new jobs across the UK in under three years.

The company has 76 stores and is looking to open another 45, making it one of the fastest growing retailers in the country.

It opened its first store in Scotland on Friday and has plans to expand into Europe.

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Comet jobs axed in Exeter

Comet Credit: PA

Thirty three people in Exeter have been made redundant from the electrical chain Comet. It brings the total number of jobs axed at the group across the UK to more than 700. Most of the job losses come from the company's home delivery network. No jobs have gone at Comet stores so far.

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Fishing industry to receive EU cash

South West fishermen will benefit from government money Credit: Julien Behal/PA Wire

Fishermen in the South West will benefit from new funding to improve the industry. Cash from Europe will pay for ways of improving the economic and environmental sustainability of the UK's fishing industry.

Money will be made available to pay for more selective catching gear that will help eliminate the discarding of fish, and to fund research projects to improve the industry's sustainability.

The new proposal, agreed during Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) talks in Luxembourg on the future of the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, will fund radical changes to the CFP.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, said that under current arrangements, funding has been channelled into measures which have increased fishing capacity and led to widespread overfishing.

It has also led to unsustainable practices such as the discarding of perfectly edible fish.

South West bucks trend as rental rates fall

Rental rates in the South West have fallen this year Credit: John Giles/PA Wire

Whilst rent in the private housing sector reached another new high last month, the South West has bucked the trend, with rates dropping by 1.5% annually.

Demand for rental homes has rocketed in the last year as people struggle to get on the property ladder because they cannot raise a deposit or meet lenders' toughened borrowing criteria.

Although rents increased by 3.2% nationally to an average of £741pcm, rates in the South West fell to an average of £638.

The findings come a day after the Money Advice Trust announced that a record 12,000 tenants were struggling with arrears had contacted its national debtline this year - the biggest number in its 26-year history.

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