Enterpreneur

Britishvolt gets £100m boost to build UK’s first large-scale ‘gigafactory’

The UK government will invest £100m in Britishvolt as the car battery manufacturing startup seeks to build Britain’s first large-scale “gigafactory” in the north-east of England.

The government’s Automotive Transformation Fund will invest alongside asset management company Abrdn and its majority-owned property investment arm, Tritax, to fund a sale and leaseback deal for the huge building that will house the electric car battery factory, near Blyth in Northumberland.

Peter Rolton, Britishvolt’s executive chairman, said: “The UK automotive industry needs a local source of batteries. Chinese or other Asian imports are not going to be an option. There will be very, very significant shortfalls of batteries. We are absolutely vital to maintain the UK industry and support those jobs.”

Britishvolt is one of two major UK battery manufacturing projects that has secured funding, alongside an expansion of an existing plant at Sunderland owned by China’s Envision that supplies to Nissan.

The

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North-south divide ‘getting worse’ as levelling-up promises appear empty

The UK’s deep regional divides are widening despite the government’s promises to level up the country, a think tank for the north of England has warned.

In a report published today IPPR North, a branch of the Institute for Public Policy Research, said that two years after Boris Johnson was elected Conservative leader on a pledge to close regional inequalities, a yawning gap remained between rhetoric and the policy reality.

Jonathan Webb, a senior research fellow at IPPR North and one of the report’s authors, said: “What the government needs to do to show that it’s serious about levelling up is actually come up with policies that match the scale of the ambition.”

Many of the government’s promises relate to new pots of money, such as the levelling-up fund, but the think tank noted that the allocation represented an investment of only £32 per person in the north. That was

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Capital One will stop charging overdraft fees and BOA is reducing them : NPR

Capital One has become the nation’s largest bank to end overdraft fees for all of its customers. Federal regulators are taking a hard look at bank overdraft fees, which hit customers with lower incomes the hardest.

Richard Drew/AP


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Richard Drew/AP


Capital One has become the nation’s largest bank to end overdraft fees for all of its customers. Federal regulators are taking a hard look at bank overdraft fees, which hit customers with lower incomes the hardest.

Richard Drew/AP

Bank of America, the nation’s second-largest bank, says it’s drastically reducing overdraft fees. Capital One is going a step further and getting rid of the fees altogether. The moves come as federal regulators are taking a tougher stance with banks charging these often hefty fees.

People get hit with overdraft fees when they overspend the balance in their checking account and the bank fronts the money for a

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Covid absences hit high in December

An estimated 3 per cent of the workforce was signed off in late December and a fifth of businesses reported increased cancellations amid the surge in the Omicron coronavirus variant.

Latest figures from the Office for National Statistics show that absences related to Covid-19 hit a 19-month high at the end of last year, and it continued to weigh on businesses in the first week of January when it was near its peak.

According to the ONS, 21 per cent of companies suffered a rise in cancellations, with 44 per cent of businesses in the hospitality sector affected.

Restaurant reservations dropped last week when the latest wave of coronavirus cases was near its peak, according to OpenTable, the online booking website. The number of seated diners in the week to January 10 fell to 88 per cent of the level in the equivalent week in 2020.

The fall was more

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