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Tough time for the High Street as shoppers switch online

It was a tough festive season for high street shops as shoppers switched to online sales.

The festive retail figures are continuing to reflect the growing trend towards buying online which is having an impact on many stores in shopping centres and on traditional High Streets.

Next has reported a sharp increase in online sales over Christmas while trading in its stores declined.

The retailer is traditionally seen as a good indicator of the general health of the High Street.

Click to watch a report from Chelmsford by ITV News correspondent Kevin Ashford

1,200 jobs created with new Co-op depot in Bedfordshire

Up to 1,200 jobs are set to be created when a new Co-op depot opens in Bedfordshire. Credit: Co-operative Group

More than a thousand new jobs look set to be created in Bedfordshire.

The Co-op has unveiled plans for a £45 million distribution centre near the A1 at Biggleswade.

Work on the site is expected to start next year and the depot should be open by early 2022. It could create 1,200 jobs

“The new site will extend capacity across our logistics network. This will help stores to better serve communities and support our ambitious growth plans across London, the South and South East.

"This is an exciting development, we believe a strong Co-op can create stronger communities and the investment is indicative of both the performance of the Co-op and the delivery of our food strategy.”

– Jo Whitfield, Retail CEO, Co-op


Heatwave boosting tourist industry in East of England

Tourism in the East of England has been given a boost by the long hot dry spell. Credit: ITV News Anglia

The continuing long, hot dry spell is giving a big boost to the tourism industry in the East of England with many people deciding to holiday at home rather than seek the sun abroad.

This seemingly endless heatwave is set get even hotter with temperatures could reach a scorching 35°C (95°F) on Thursday or Friday.

An amber health warning is in place meaning the very young and the elderly should stay out of the sun when it's over 30°C.

  • Click below to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Elodie Harper

Fears for tourism as broken bridge traps Broads river traffic

The Haven Bridge in Great Yarmouth has been unable to lift for river traffic for several weeks. Credit: ITV News Anglia

There are concerns that a broken major road and river bridge in Norfolk could have a serious impact on tourism unless it is fixed soon.

The Haven Bridge is an important river crossing used by thousands of drivers every day in Great Yarmouth. But it's also crucial to river traffic - it has to be raised to give large boats access to and from the Broads' river system and the North Sea.

The bridge hasn't been able to open for weeks leaving bigger ships stranded either side.

  • Watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Kate Prout

Fears for the traditional High Street as big stores close

Fears for the traditional High Street as big stores close

There are fresh fears for the future of Northampton high street with Marks and Spencer set to close and businesses claiming they're losing trade to a new out-of-town shopping centre.

The multi-million pound Rushden Lakes site opened last July and bosses insist it gives people more reason to visit the entire area.

But some of Northampton's independent stores say the town centre needs more investment to help them make ends meet.

  • Click to watch a report by ITV News Anglia's Liz Summers
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