Britain’s Good News This Week: Top 10 positive news stories from across the UK


Once again there’s been oodles of positivity coming in from across Britain this week. The UK has just signed its 67th trade deal and International Trade Secretary Liz Truss says more agreements are “in sight.” Foreign investment is flooding onto British shores, UK manufacturing has recorded its sharpest rise in optimism since the seventies and Britain maintains its European crown securing 7 of 10 largest deals across the continent this quarter. Plus we’ve had a record number of likes and shares across social media this week with news from Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab who says he will be cutting a large chunk of UK foreign aid to China – a story which many of our readers feel very strongly about.

Here are our best read positive news stories from across Britain this week (19th – 25th April).

10. UK-Australia trade agreement ‘in sight’

The UK and Australia have this week reached consensus on the vast majority of elements of a comprehensive free trade agreement. Both countries are confident that the remaining issues will be resolved, and will now enter a sprint to agree the outstanding details with the aim of reaching agreement in principle by June. International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss, said: “This is a deal that will deliver for Britain and all parts of our economy. It is a win-win for both nations. It is a fundamentally liberalising agreement that will support jobs across the country and help us emerge stronger from the pandemic, strengthening ties between two democracies who share a fierce belief in freedom, enterprise and fair play. We will spend the next few weeks ironing out details and resolving outstanding issues, with a view to reaching a deal by June.” Click here for full story

9. Britain helps build new hospitals and critical infrastructure in developing countries following record levels of finance backing

UK Export Finance (UKEF) provided over £2.4 billion of financial support to sustainable projects in 2020 helping UK businesses to build new hospitals, bring clean energy and develop critical infrastructure in developing countries, according to new data. At the outbreak of the pandemic it was unclear how many projects, critical to the wellbeing to billions of people across the world, would continue to be financed. UKEF helped to fill this gap and ensure credit continued to flow to this vital infrastructure, while also creating opportunities for UK exporters. Click here for full story

8. Government launches new £5bn ‘Project Gigabit’

More than one million hard to reach homes and businesses will have next generation gigabit broadband built to them in the first phase of a £5 billion government infrastructure project. Up to 510,000 homes and businesses in Cambridgeshire, Cornwall, Cumbria, Dorset, Durham, Essex, Northumberland, South Tyneside and Tees Valley will be the first to benefit as part of ‘Project Gigabit’. Their available speeds will rocket to more than 1,000 megabits or one gigabit per second. It means families no longer having to battle over bandwidth and will give people in rural areas the freedom to live and work more flexibly. Contracts for these first areas will go to tender in the spring with spades in the ground in the first half of 2022. Click here for full story

7. Over £150 million funding to kickstart self building revolution

New plans supported by over £150 million in new government funding will make it easier and more affordable for people to build their own homes, the Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick has announced this week. The ‘Help to Build’ scheme will ensure that self and custom home building can become a realistic option to get onto the housing ladder through lower deposit mortgages. Lowering the required deposit will free up capital, so people can build the home that they want and need whether it’s a commissioned, made to order home, or a new design from scratch. The scheme will provide an equity loan on the completed home, similar to the Help to Buy scheme. Click here for full story

6. UK launches new global partnership to fight future pandemics

The UK Government has this week launched a new Pandemic Preparedness Partnership (PPP) to save lives from future diseases and prevent another global pandemic. The PPP will advise the UK G7 Presidency on how to meet the Prime Minister’s ambition to slash the time to develop and deploy high quality vaccines for new diseases from 300 to 100 days, backed by additional funding to support CEPI’s work on global vaccine supply. It will be chaired by the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Sir Patrick Vallance. The public-private partnership will bring together industry, international organisations and leading experts. They will provide recommendations for delivering ambitious targets to more quickly develop vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics through greater global co-operation on research and development, manufacturing, clinical trials and data-sharing. Click here for full story

5. Australian healthtech firm chooses UK to scale up and grow

Australian healthtech firm, KISA Pty Ltd, has chosen to set up its global headquarters in the UK and launch its line of accessible mobile phone products with support from the Department for International Trade (DIT). The KISA phone – already available in Australia – is designed to make mobile technology accessible to those who have difficulty using mainstream touch-screen devices, including the elderly and people with disabilities. The phone gives users more independence and provides peace of mind for carers and relatives, with large tactile buttons displaying clear text or photos, loud audio, and inbuilt GPS tracking in case of emergencies. Click here for full story

4. Britain celebrates it’s 67th trade deal as it signs Partnership, Trade and Cooperation Agreement with Serbia

The UK and Serbia have signed a Partnership, Trade and Cooperation agreement to ensure £682m trade can continue and grow between the two countries. That makes 67 trade deals Britain has now signed as an independent trading nation following Britain’s departure from the European Union. This Agreement most recent agreement secures continued preferential trade access between the UK and Serbia with significant savings for business to support jobs and the wider economy. It also sets out how the two countries will strengthen political, economic, security and cultural ties, and reaffirms the UK’s support for governance reform in Serbia that will safeguard its competitive business environment and open, democratic society. Click here for full story

3. Britain maintains European crown representing largest European deals as UK innovator investment soars

More than £5.1billion invested in first 3 months of 2021, up 21% on previous quarter. Venture Capital (VC) investment in UK scaleup businesses reached record levels in the first three months of the year, as investors looked to deploy a significant amount of dry powder in late stage deals, according to new research out this week. Venture Pulse – a quarterly report published by KPMG Private Enterprise, recorded more than £5.1bn of VC investment into fast growth UK businesses in Q1 21, up 25% on the previous high of £3.9bn raised in Q4 20.  Despite the challenging economic conditions, fast growth businesses in the UK attracted nearly double the £2.7bn raised in the same quarter last year. Click here for full story

2. British Manufacturing records sharpest rise in optimism since 1973

Manufacturing optimism in the three months to April improved at its quickest pace since April 1973, while investment intentions saw a strong, broad-based rebound, according to the latest CBI quarterly Industrial Trends Survey. The CBI survey of 288 manufacturers found that firms expect to increase capital expenditure on buildings, plant & machinery, product and process innovation, and training & retraining in the next year (relative to the last). In particular, investment intentions for plant and machinery were at their strongest since July 1997. Click here for full story

1. Raab slashes foreign aid to China by 95%

In a move that has been welcomed by the TaxPayers’ Alliance, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab has said aid to China will be slashed by 95% after imposing a raft of foreign aid cuts. Mr Raab confirmed that China’s pot had been cut to just £900,000. In a written statement to Parliament, the Foreign Secretary said: “The resulting portfolio marks a strategic shift, putting our aid budget to work alongside our diplomatic network, our science and technology expertise and our economic partnerships in tackling global challenges.” Mr Raab’s statement outlined how £8.11 billion of the aid budget will be allocated by the Foreign Office (approximately 80 per cent of the total UK spend) including £906 million for humanitarian preparedness and response. He said work involving that money will now focus on countries most affected by risk of famine, including Yemen, Syria, Somalia and South Sudan. Click here for full story

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