Keep checking in with the Conservative Post to see positive news every day – the resurgence of British manufacturing, how our military is flying the flag across the world, positive policy making, our wonderful royals, our fantastic Prime Minister and many other things to be proud of. 

In this weekly segment we want to bring you positive news so please find our best read good news stories from across the UK this week (21st – 27th February 2022). However, in a week of such awful international news – to our Ukrainian friends please know we are with you and we are on your side. Slava Ukraini 🇬🇧🇺🇦

Here are our best read positive UK news stories from the last seven days (21st – 27th February 2022):

10. Over 100 places to see improved access to culture and arts across England

Access to arts and culture across the country will be transformed with plans to increase and better distribute funding for the sector to previously overlooked or neglected areas. This aim is to generate more opportunities for people in the regions, with more arts jobs on offer and better access to cultural activities so people do not have to travel as far to see world-class arts. An additional £75 million will be provided by 2025 to make sure places which have been culturally under-served in the past get a better distribution of arts funding… click here

9. UK and Belgium sign memorandum of understanding on energy cooperation

The UK and Belgium have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work closely on the path towards decarbonisation and future energy interconnection. The United Kingdom’s Minister for Energy Greg Hands and Belgium’s Minister for Energy Tinne Van der Straeten signed an agreement on energy cooperation this week. This memorandum of understanding deepens the UK and Belgium’s bilateral relationship and enables closer working on important energy priorities including multipurpose electricity interconnection, offshore wind, low carbon hydrogen and carbon capture, usage and storage… click here

8. UK commercial vehicle output begins 2022 up 22.2%

UK commercial vehicle (CV) production grew 22.2% in the first month of the year, with 6,860 vans, trucks, taxis, buses and coaches leaving factory lines, according to figures published this week by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT). This January’s growth was driven largely by an increase in overseas demand as international markets started to get back to business, with production for export up by a third (32.1%). More than half of all CVs built in the UK last month were shipped abroad with the majority (57.5%) destined for the EU… click here

7. Sea-change in UK boardrooms as women make up nearly 40% of FTSE 100 top table roles

The UK has climbed to second in the international rankings for women’s representation on boards at FTSE 100 level, according to new data released this week showing nearly 40% of UK FTSE 100 board positions are now held by women, compared with 12.5% just 10 years ago. The data has been published in a new report by the government-backed FTSE Women Leaders Review, which monitors women’s representation in 24,000 positions on FTSE 350 Boards and in leadership teams of the UK’s biggest companies, building on the success of the previous Hampton-Alexander and Davies Reviews… click here

6. Derelict sites transformed into new homes to level up the country

Derelict and underused brownfield sites across the country will be transformed into new homes, to level up the country and create thriving communities for people to live and work, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities announced this week. West Midlands, Greater Manchester and the Tees Valley Combined Authorities have been awarded their share of £30 million funding to regenerate brownfield sites across the 3 regions and create 2,500 new homes. The funding will support young people and families into home ownership and protect cherished green spaces by transforming unsightly derelict buildings and car parks… click here

5. UK government unlocks international deal for Scottish potato industry

The International Trade Secretary has announced a major potato export deal during the National Farmers’ Union conference this week. Central Plains Group, a Scottish-based farming company, has boosted exports of specialist agricultural equipment and potato seeds after receiving a £2.2 million package from UK Export Finance (UKEF) and Credit Agricole. CPG is now harvesting 40,000 tonnes of potatoes in its operations in Ukraine thanks to the deal and can fulfil several multimillion-pound contracts across Eastern Europe. This is an important deal for the seed potato industry, which is worth approximately £113 million to UK farmers every year and employs more than 11,740 people… click here

4. Grants to uncover England’s ‘overlooked’ working class heritage

Historic England has announced new grants aiming to uncover the country’s “overlooked” working class heritage. The body wants to highlight everyday history by putting a spotlight on railways, mines, factories, pubs, clubs, shipyards and council estates. Community organisations can apply for grants of up to £25,000 to fund projects that will celebrate the environment near them, with a specific focus on funding smaller grassroots projects of less than £10,000. Each project should allow people to share “overlooked” or “untold” stories of the place where they live and are encouraged to also provide volunteering opportunities to young people facing loneliness or isolation. The project, called Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories, is the first of a series planned for the next three years exploring the diversity of England’s heritage… click here

3. UK and Singapore sign new innovative digital trade deal

The International Trade Secretary this week joined her counterpart in Singapore to sign a trade deal that will help businesses seize new opportunities and lay the ground rules for modern global trade. The Digital Economy Agreement is the most innovative trade agreement ever signed, and the first by a European nation. It will strengthen our trading relationship with Singapore – worth £16 billion in 2020 – by ending outdated rules that affect both goods and services exporters, making it easier for UK business to target new opportunities in both Singapore and the wider region. The deal links two of the world’s most dynamic hi-tech and services hubs and will capitalise on the UK’s strength as the world’s second-largest services exporter… click here

2. Households urged to get ready for £150 council tax rebate

Households across England are being urged to set up direct debits with their local council to receive a council tax rebate that will help millions of families manage costs of living. People who pay council tax by direct debit, which is a safe, simple and quick way to pay will see the cash go directly into their bank accounts from April. Those who do not pay by direct debit will be contacted by their council and invited to make a claim. Around 20 million households in council tax bands A to D – including 95% of rented properties – are set to benefit from the £3 billion council tax rebate, which does not have to be repaid. It is part of an extensive package of government measures to help families with rising energy costs… click here

1. UK forces arrive to reinforce NATO’s eastern flank

UK sea, land and air forces have arrived to reinforce NATO in the East in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Royal Navy ships, British Army troops, and Royal Air force fighters are arriving on new deployments in eastern Europe to bolster NATO’s eastern front. HMS Trent is now in the eastern Mediterranean, conducting NATO exercises with Merlin Helicopters and RAF P8 Poseidon Maritime Patrol Aircraft. They will be shortly joined by HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer. Challenger 2 tanks and armoured vehicles of the Royal Welsh battlegroup have arrived in Estonia from Germany, with further equipment and around 1000 troops arriving over the coming days. This will lead to a doubling of the UK presence in Estonia, where the UK leads a NATO battlegroup as part of the Alliance’s enhanced Forward Presence… click here

For last week’s Top Ten Great British news stories (14th – 20th February) click here.


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Title photo by Simon Dawson / No 10 Downing Street.

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