Major British investments, huge global contract wins, new factories built, new jobs created, world-leading innovation and export successes are being announced on a daily basis.

All this AND in Christmas week! Here’s hoping you’re having a wonderful day.

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Here are our 20 best read and most shared positive news stories from the last seven days (19th – 25th December 2022):

20. Government intervenes to keep UK rail fares down

The government has acted with the biggest intervention in its history to ensure rail fare increases for 2023 are capped at 5.9%, 6.4 percentage points lower than RPI figure on which they are historically based. Fares will officially rise on 5 March 2023 and like last year, the government is freezing them for the entirety of January and February, giving passengers more time to purchase cheaper flexible and season tickets at the existing rate… click here

19. Sandhurst’s first Sovereign’s Parade in 70 years with Cadets receiving a King’s Commission

With a light dusting of snow on the grass, frosty temperatures and the Band of the Welsh Guards striking up a medley of carols and festive tunes, it really was the most wonderful time of the year for the 220 Officer Cadets of Commissioning Course 221. This was, of course, the Sovereign’s Parade, the first full regular commissioning parade in over 70 years from which the cadets received a King’s Commission, although they needed to wait until the stroke of midnight to be able to officially call themselves commissioned officers… click here

18. New scheme to help passengers save on bus fares launched for over 130 routes across England

Millions of people across England will be able to travel by bus for £2 from 1st January to 31st March 2023, thanks to £60 million in government funding to cap single tickets. Passengers are being encouraged to Get Around for £2 by bus from January to March next year, with bus operators launching a campaign to promote the government fare cap scheme… click here

17. UK’s resilience to terrorism stepped up as Government announces details of Martyn’s Law

The UK’s resilience to terrorism is to be stepped up, as the Government announces details for the Protect Duty, now to be known as ‘Martyn’s Law’ in tribute of Martyn Hett, who was killed alongside 21 others in the Manchester Arena terrorist attack in 2017. Working closely with security partners, business and victims’ groups… click here

16. Gove announces £60 billion funding package for councils in England to deliver vital services

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove has this week confirmed an almost £60 billion package for councils in England for the next financial year to ensure that councils can continue to deliver vital frontline services. The settlement means councils across England will benefit from an additional £5 billion – a 9% increase on last year’s settlement – as the government continues to stand behind councils and public services in the face of financial pressures… click here

15. Tens of thousands protected from homelessness across England thanks to £654 million funding boost

Tens of thousands of vulnerable people will be protected from homelessness by a £654 million funding package government announced this week. All councils in England will receive their share of funding from the Homelessness Prevention Grant to provide vital support to those who need it the most in their local areas over the next two years. The money will be used to provide temporary accommodation for families, help individuals at risk of becoming homeless pay deposits for new homes and mediate with landlords to avoid evictions… click here

14. British pigs in blankets on the menu in South Korea this Christmas thanks to UK trade win

UK companies can export products such as bacon, ham and pork sausages to South Korea after the resolution of a trade barrier blocking UK exports of processed pork products. South Korea’s Ministry of Food and Drug Safety had previously banned UK exports of the products, but this ban was lifted ahead of Christmas after action from the government. It is estimated that the Korean market could be worth up to… click here

13. Up to £600 winter help paid to 11.6 million pensioners across the UK so far this winter

11.6 million Winter Fuel Payments and Pensioner Cost of Living Payments – support worth a total of £4.6 billion – have already been made to pensioners across the UK this winter, the Department for Work and Pensions has confirmed. The vast majority of these payments – worth up to £600 per household – have landed in pensioners’ bank accounts automatically, directly helping people manage their energy bills and household budgets… click here

12. Bank of England unveils design of new King Charles III banknotes

This week the Bank of England has unveiled the design of the new King Charles III banknotes. The portrait of The King will appear on existing designs of all four polymer banknotes (£5, £10, £20 and £50), with no other changes to the existing designs. The King’s image will appear on the front of the banknotes, as well as in cameo in the see-through security window… click here

11. Extra payments for UK Armed Forces deployed to cover industrial action during festive period

Members of the UK Armed Forces involved in providing cover for public services during planned industrial action throughout the festive period will receive additional payment, Defence Secretary Ben Wallace has announced. More than 1,000 personnel from across the Navy, Army, and RAF have received training in recent weeks to cover a number of roles during planned industrial action, including passport-checking at the UK border and ambulance driving… click here

10. UK cements 10-year-partnership with Moderna in major boost for vaccines and research

Moderna to invest in mRNA research and development (R&D) in the UK, and build a state-of-the-art vaccine manufacturing centre with the ability to produce up to 250 million vaccines a year. Patients in the UK will be protected against potential future global health threats, including potential pandemics, thanks to a deal struck between the government and Moderna. The investment means NHS patients will be able to receive UK-manufactured mRNA vaccines, as the UK cements its status as a life sciences superpower… click here

9. UK’s biggest defence company set to hire more than 2600 new apprentices and graduates in 2023

BAE Systems is set to boost its apprentice and graduate jobs by more than 40% in the UK by hiring more than 2,600 new apprentices and graduates in 2023. Representing a 43% increase on this year’s early careers intake, the announcement from BAE Systems reinforces the company’s commitment to invest in the next generation of Brits, equipping young people across the UK with the skills they need to succeed in the workplace… click here

8. Lift off for 5 British companies turning waste into jet fuel

The government has awarded £165 million to five British companies turning waste into jet fuel. The UK took another step towards net zero carbon emissions and helping its sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) industry to take flight as government awarded 5 companies a share of the £165 million Advanced Fuels Fund. The successful projects include SAF plants in Teesside, Immingham and Ellesmere Port which will convert everyday household and commercial waste, such as black bin bags, into sustainable jet fuel. Building on the success of the green fuels, green skies programme… click here

7. UK fishing industry to benefit as increased fishing opportunities worth £750 million agreed for 2023

The UK fishing industry will benefit from 140,000 tonnes of fishing opportunities worth over £280 million in 2023 after the UK this week reached an agreement with the EU. This brings the total value of fishing opportunities secured for the UK fleet in 2023 in the three main negotiation forums to £750 million, a £34 million increase from last year… click here

6. UK tech sector retains #1 spot in Europe and #3 in world as sector resilience brings continued growth

UK tech industry demonstrated its resilience in 2022, reaching a combined market value of $1 trillion. The UK tech sector will end the year as Europe’s leading ecosystem, retaining its position as the main challenger to the US and China amidst a global backdrop of difficult economic conditions, according to new figures from Dealroom for the Digital Economy Council. During 2022, fast-growing UK tech companies have continued to raise at near-record levels (£24 billion), more than France (£11.8 billion) and Germany (£9.1 billion) combined… click here

5. British engineering at its best as Rolls-Royce completes world’s largest jet engine

Rolls-Royce has announced it has completed building and is preparing to test its UltraFan, technology demonstrator – the largest jet engine in the world. In a major milestone for the programme, the demonstrator engine was transported from the build workshop and into Testbed 80 in Derby, UK where it was mounted in preparation for testing. The first test of the demonstrator is expected to take place early next year and will be operated using 100% Sustainable Aviation Fuel… click here

4. Johnny Mercer announces new funding and support scheme to end veteran homelessness

More than £8.5 million of funding has been announced in order to ensure no veteran should sleep rough this Christmas, and veteran homelessness is ended in 2023. The funding will deliver services in more than 900 housing units in England, where specialist help for veterans, including with health, education and employment needs are provided. The new money announced today will also allow for the establishment of a new referral scheme – Op FORTITUDE, that will enable veterans at risk of homelessness to access supported… click here

3. Major victory for Government as High Court rules Rwanda migrant policy IS lawful

High Court’s decision is a major victory for the Government after months of uncertainty over the scheme’s legality. The Government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda to claim asylum is lawful, the High Court has ruled today. Several challenges were brought against the proposals announced by then-home secretary Priti Patel earlier this year which she described as a “world-first agreement” with the east African nation in a bid to deter migrants from crossing the Channel from France to the UK… click here

2. British soldiers step up and cover ambulance driving duties

British soldiers have begin to cover ambulance driving duties as a part of their commitment to provide Military Aid to Civil Authorities. Military Aid to Civil Authorities aka MACA is the help and support provided by the Armed Forces to authorities in the UK, like the Police, NHS, or local authorities. The government can call on the military to assist at times of need, to share the burden on civil organisations. 600 military personnel from across the three single services have received training to provide non-clinical support to hospital trusts across England in the form of ambulance driving… click here

1. London overtakes New York and San Francisco to become global FinTech powerhouse

London has overtaken New York and San Francisco to become a global powerhouse in fast growing areas such as payment processing and online banking. According to the latest figures from Dealroom, London has attracted £7.8 billion in FinTech venture capital funding this year, beating New York’s £6.4 billion and San Francisco’s £6.1 billion. The Dealroom report shows how many British FinTechs are continuing to grow whereas in the US there have been widespread tech redundancies… click here

For last week’s Top 20 Great British news stories (12th – 18th December 2022).

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By Claire Bullivant

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