Once again there’s been oodles of positivity coming in from across the #UK this week (2nd – 8th August 2021).

Here are our best read news stories from the last seven days. Please keep sharing and spreading the good news. #TheGoodNewsThisWeek #WellDoneTeamGB

10. 40,000 British students to study across the globe as part of new Turing Scheme

40,000 students will be able to study and work abroad thanks to the government’s new Turing Scheme, with universities and schools due to be told this week that their bids for funding have been successful. Over 120 universities, as well as schools and further education colleges across the UK, will be awarded grants from the £110m Turing Scheme – which will see 48% of places go to those from disadvantaged backgrounds. As part of the new global scheme, Canada, Japan and the United States are amongst over 150 international destinations where UK students will be funded to take up work and study placements – alongside popular European countries like Germany and France… click here

9. Two million rural homes and businesses to benefit in £5 billion broadband upgrade

Millions of people in rural England will get access to the fastest broadband speeds on the market as part of a £5 billion plan to level up internet access across the UK. The government’s Project Gigabit fund to upgrade digital infrastructure in hard-to-reach areas will accelerate the country’s recovery from covid, fire up high-growth sectors such as tech and the creative industries, put an end to families battling for bandwidth and bring the speed and reliability people need to start and run businesses. New details published this week reveal up to 1,850,000 additional premises across 26 English counties will get access to gigabit speed internet of 1,000 megabits per second… click here

8. Marine management training programmes for UK Overseas Territories

The UK Government’s Blue Belt Programme has launched a comprehensive training package to strengthen UK Overseas Territories (UKOT) capability in protecting and managing their marine protected areas. The training modules have been designed specifically for and are currently only available to the UKOTs within the Blue Belt Programme – St Helena, Ascension Island, and Tristan da Cunha, British Antarctic Territory, British Indian Ocean Territory, Pitcairn Islands and South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands – however the subject areas are suitable for countries worldwide… click here

7. Boris and Rishi challenge UK investors to create an ‘Investment Big Bang’ in Britain

The Prime Minister and the Chancellor have called on the UK’s institutional investors to seize the moment for a ‘Investment Big Bang’ to boost Britain’s long-term growth. In an open letter to industry, they challenge UK institutional investors to consider investing a greater proportion of their capital in long-term UK assets – from pioneering firms to infrastructure – enabling pensions savers to access better returns and support an innovative, greener future for the UK. The Prime Minister and Chancellor believe that now is the time to unlock the hundreds of billions of pounds sitting in UK institutional investors and help drive the UK’s recovery from the pandemic… click here

6. Visa-free short-term touring allowed in 19 member states

UK musicians and performers do not need visas or work permits for short-term tours in 19 EU countries. A statement from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport this week reads: “We want the UK’s fantastic performers and other creative professionals to be able to tour abroad easily. “That is why we tabled ambitious proposals during negotiations with the EU. Our recent trade deal with the three EFTA countries was based on the same offer, and shows it is workable. We, as government, have spoken to every EU Member State about the issues facing our creative and cultural industries when looking to tour in Europe… click here

5. Landmark moment as UK agrees new partnership with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations

UK becomes Dialogue Partner of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The partnership, which is the first ASEAN has agreed in 25 years, will lead to closer cooperation between the UK and the region on a range of issues such as trade, investment, climate change, the environment, science and technology, and education. Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab joined a virtual ceremony with ASEAN Foreign Ministers where they welcomed the UK as an ASEAN ‘Dialogue Partner’. Since the UK submitted its application to become a Dialogue Partner in June 2020, the Foreign Secretary has attended two UK-ASEAN Ministerial Meetings and hosted the ASEAN Chair at the G7 Foreign & Development Ministers meeting… click here

4. Government-backed insurance scheme to give boost to events industry

The live events sector is set to get a boost with a world-leading government-backed insurance scheme worth over £750 million, which will help them plan events with confidence through to next year, the Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced. As the economy reopens with the lifting of Covid restrictions, getting the right kind of insurance is acting as a barrier for some events organisers. So the government has partnered with Lloyd’s to deliver the Live Events Reinsurance Scheme as part of the Plan for Jobs. The scheme will see the government act as a ‘reinsurer’ – stepping in with a guarantee to make sure insurers can offer the products events companies need… click here

3. £700 million film and TV studios to be built in Hertfordshire creating 4500 jobs

A £700 million film and TV studios facility is set to be built in Hertfordshire and will create more than 4500 jobs, a US private equity firm has announced. Global investor Blackstone and real estate giant Hudson Pacific Properties have revealed plans to launch the “centre for film, TV and digital production” in Broxbourne to take on the likes of Warner Bros. The site will be about 20 miles east of Warner Bros Studio in Leavesden, home to the Harry Potter series. It is understood the new studio is planned to be larger than other rivals such as Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire, where James Bond and Star Wars movies have been filmed… click here

2. Tackling illegal migration tops agenda on Home Secretary visit to Greece

Priti Patel met with key members of the Greek government to discuss shared challenges on illegal migration and serious organised crime. Starting in Athens, the Home Secretary met with Minister of Citizens’ Protection Michalis Chrisochoidis, where they reaffirmed their commitment to continuing to work together to address the challenges Greece and the UK face from terrorism and organised crime. She also met with Shipping and Island Policy Minister Ioannis Plakiotakis, discussing Greece’s response to the scale and threat posed by small boat crossings in the Aegean and the involvement of organised immigration crime gangs in those crossings… click here

1. We’re so, so proud of you Team GB!

Team GB have matched their medal total from London 2012 on the final day of the Tokyo Games winning 22 golds, 21 silvers and 22 bronze medals in Japan. That puts Britain on 65 medals – equalling their performance as hosts nine years ago and making Tokyo their second-most successful overseas Olympics after Rio 2016. Britain won 67 medals at the Rio Games – finishing second in the medal table – and UK Sport had set a medal target range of between 45 and 70 medals for these delayed Olympics. The Team GB performance in Tokyo has exceeded pre-Games predictions of 52 medals and 14 golds after Team GB’s medal aspirations were revised down by the governing body to take account of the “extraordinary circumstances” presented to athletes and staff in the build-up to the Games.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson took to social media to say:

“These past two weeks, Team GB have shown us the very best of this country – demonstrating our sportsmanship, hard work and determination.From record-breaking performances in the pool to gravity-defying runs in skateboarding and BMX, this team has shown extraordinary depth and breadth of talent.

“I want to thank each and every one of our Olympians and all those behind the scenes whose hours of coaching and training have been instrumental to our success.This team has shown that even in the most difficult circumstances, sport brings people together and changes lives. You have shown grace in victory and amazing courage in defeat. And whilst you may not have heard the roar of the crowd in Tokyo, every one of you has given us a reason to cheer back home ­– in living rooms, pubs, parks and offices across the land.

“Above all, you have again revealed the central truth about this country: that when we put our minds to it, there is no limit to what we can achieve.

“Thank you Team GB. We are so, so proud of you. Now bring on Paris!”

Please share and keep spreading the good, positive and uplifting news.

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