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Crafting an impressive revival in our brewing industry

While the headlines in recent years have been dominated by the number of pubs closing down - brewers have been quietly cashing in on a renewed interest in craft beer.

The number of breweries operating in the UK has topped two thousand for the first time since the 1930s.

According to CAMRA's latest Good Pub Guide, that includes 152 in this region alone including 41 in Norfolk, 27 in Suffolk and 31 in Essex.

This week sees the 40th annual Norwich Beer Festival, with up to 20,000 visitors expected through the door by the time it finishes on Saturday 28 October.

Northamptonshire town has UK's fastest rising house prices

House prices rise in the East of England Credit: Yui Mok/PA Archive/PA Images
£161k
Great Yarmouth has the lowest average house price in the region

Wellingborough in Northamptonshire has the fastest rising house prices in the UK, say new government statistics. Prices there soared 15% in the year to August 2017, with the average costing £215,000.

In both the East of England and the East Midlands prices were up 6.4% from last year, more than double the rate of inflation. However, several areas including Mid Suffolk, East Northants and Peterborough were hit with house price rises of over 10%.

House prices in the region are now the highest in the UK outside of London and the South East. The average UK house price was £226,000 in August 2017. In St Albans, where house prices are the highest in the region, the average was £526,216.

Welwyn Hatfield was the only place in the region where prices dipped and the lowest average house prices were seen in Great Yarmouth (£161,992), Corby (£178,131), and Fenland (£179,984).

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UEA study shows Twitter can predict the outcome of football matches

Tweets can help predict the outcome of football matches Credit: Stephen Pond/EMPICS Sport

New research by the University of East Anglia (UEA) shows Tweets can help predict the outcome of football matches. The study found the tone of Tweets can show when soccer bets are mispriced.

Researchers examined 13.8 million Tweets during the English Premier League 2013/2014 season. These compared prices generated during matches on gambling site Betfair. They found if the tone of Tweets in any given second was positive then the team was more likely to win than bookies predicted.

The study says Tweets are most helpful after goals and red cards. Researchers think this is because social media is particularly good at analysing new information as it comes in during matches.

Social media is already being used as a forecasting tool by a number of companies and agencies but this study has shown its accuracy.

This is a real 'wisdom of crowds’ kind of outcome. It says that if we listen to the right parts of the crowd, we can gain more information and make better predictions.

– Dr James Reade

Coffee company's scheme raises money for Kenyan school

An independent coffee merchants based in Suffolk has come up with a unique way to help customers contribute directly to the farmers who produce their coffee in Kenya.

Paddy and Scott's are giving people the chance to buy their own coffee tree at a farm in the East African country.

The farm also has a school on site. Credit: Paddy and Scott's.

Money will go direct to the farmer. Extra revenue will also help a community school, which is situated on the farm.

We wanted to create an option where we could allow the consumer to deal direct with the farmer and to create authenticity and to feel a connection, what better way to do that than to allow the consumer to own their own tree on the farm.

– Scott Russell, Founder of Paddy and Scott's

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Aldi to create 400 jobs in Bedford

Aldi is hoping to build a new distribution centre in Bedford. Credit: PA

Aldi is to create 400 jobs with plans to build a new distribution centre in Bedford, despite recently unveiling falling profits.

The German supermarket has submitted a planning application for an 88,000 square metre warehouse that will serve its network of stores across Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hertfordshire.

It comes after Aldi's UK chief Matthew Barnes outlined aggressive expansion plans that could see the grocery chain open more than a thousand new stores.

Aldi currently has around 700 British outlets. New distribution centres in Sheppey, Kent, and Sawley, Derbyshire, are also under development, with the Bedford warehouse its twelfth in the UK.

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