This week the UK stock market has boomed to all-time high, the UK is now the second biggest services exporter in the world (behind only the US) and the UK economy has officially recorded the fastest growth in the G7.
Of course most of the doom and gloom mainstream media may not be interested in featuring any positive British news stories, but we certainly are.
Here are our 20 best read and most shared positive news stories from this week (6th – 12th February 2023):
The world’s first digger, powered by a hydrogen combustion engine, will soon be on UK roads and building sites following recent government approval, helping to decarbonise the UK’s construction industry. The UK government has given special dispensation, under a vehicle special order, that allows JCB, the British construction equipment manufacturer, to test and use its world-first hydrogen-powered backhoe loader on UK roads… click here
Innovative training programmes to attract new recruits and improve the quality of training in the fishing, seafood and aquaculture sectors have been awarded funding this week from the £100million UK Seafood Fund. Recognising industry concerns over an ageing fishing workforce and with the number of UK fishers having fallen by 1,700 over the past decade, it is now more important than ever to ensure entrants are equipped with the necessary skills to join the sector and understand the opportunities that are available to them… click here
18. Former Lioness opens first of 23 new grassroots football facilities named after Euro 2022 winning squad
Former Lioness Jill Scott has opened the first of 23 new grassroots football facilities named after the Euro 2022 winning squad. The pitches, being built in or around the hometowns of the winning players are funded by the government, the FA and the Premier League’s Football Foundation. It will inspire the next generation of female stars with top class facilities. The ‘Jill Scott Pitch’ was unveiled in a ceremony at the Perth Green Community Centre in Jarrow alongside coaches and members of the local community who will benefit from the 3G pitch… click here
A Royal Air Force detachment, operating from Nellis Air Base Nevada, is honing its cutting-edge air combat skills in the largest scale Exercise Red Flag to date. Exercise Red Flag is the pre-eminent annual air combat training exercise run by the United States and has been a regular fixture on the RAF Exercise programme since the late 1970s. The objective of the exercise for participants is to develop capabilities in a high threat and contested environment against a near peer adversary… click here
UK steel manufacturers, Sheffield Forgemasters, has launched a drive to recruit more apprentices as it progresses development on one of the World’s most advanced manufacturing facilities. The company, which provides crucial components for the UK defence programme, has also embarked on a recapitalisation programme with up to £400 million to be invested over the ten years at its 64-acre site in South Yorkshire. The origins of Sheffield Forgemasters date back to the 1750s as a small blacksmith forge. Since then the company has been associated with many famous steel industry names such as English Steel, Firth Brown, British Steel and River Don Castings… click here
Cutting edge new technologies that could enable electric flying taxis and hydrogen powered aircraft to take to the skies will be developed in the UK, thanks to £113 million of investment being announced by the Business and Transport Secretaries this week. Through the Aerospace Technology Institute (ATI) Programme, government and industry are jointly backing new exciting zero-carbon technologies to open up a future of guilt-free flying… click here
Patients received faster ambulance response times last month, despite new figures showing it was the busiest January on record for the most serious 999 call-outs, as winter pressures and industrial action continue to impact the NHS. Monthly performance figures published this week show ambulances attended 72,861 Category 1 calls – for life-threatening cases – in January, up 20% on the same month pre-pandemic (60,777 in January 2020). Ambulance response times in all four categories improved, with Category 2 an hour faster than December with an average response time of 32 minutes, and Category 1 responses took an average of eight and a half minutes… click here
13. CHAMPIONS OF EUROPE: Gold for Great Britain in women’s team pursuit at European Track Championships
Great Britain have won women’s gold and men’s silver in the team pursuit at the UEC European Track Championships. Anna Morris, Josie Knight, Neah Evans and Katie Archibald beat reigning champions Italy by more than two seconds over the four-kilometre mark. In fact the women’s quartet blew world champions Italy out of the water to the top spot with a time of 4:13.890 – over two seconds quicker than their opponents’ 4:16.018… click here
Thousands of families across England will be offered help and support with issues such as infant feeding, mental health and relationship building thanks to Family Hubs being rolled out in local communities. 75 areas will benefit from the £300 million investment up to 2025, with the new hubs offering support from conception through to age 19, or up to 25 for children with special education needs and disabilities… click here
11. Significant milestone reached as construction starts on third submarine supporting thousands of jobs across UK
A significant milestone has been reached in the build programme for the Dreadnought ballistic missile submarine programme. In a ceremony today, the steel has been cut on Warspite, the third of four new Dreadnought Class submarines, currently in build at BAE Systems’ Barrow-in-Furness site. Supporting tens of thousands of jobs across the UK, with 13,500 in the north-west of England specifically, this manufacturing milestone marks significant progress in one of the most complex engineering projects ever undertaken in the UK… click here
Hundreds of thousands more patients will benefit from NHS treatment by next year thanks to a host of new surgical spaces, the NHS has announced this week. As part of the biggest and most ambitious catch-up plan in NHS history, an estimated 780,000 additional surgeries and outpatient appointments will be provided at 37 new surgical hubs, 10 expanded existing hubs and 81 new theatres dedicated to elective care… click here
Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch is visiting Mexico today [9th February] to progress two significant post-Brexit deals, remove barriers to business, and grow both UK exports and investment. On a two-day visit to Mexico City she will hold talks with her cabinet counterparts, including Mexico’s Secretary of Economy Raquel Buenrostro, to discuss the UK’s accession to the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP) and a new bilateral UK-Mexico deal… click here
A future of abundant low-carbon energy without the need for fossil fuels could be in sight after Science Minister George Freeman this week announced the creation of a new delivery body for the UK’s fusion programme, named UK Industrial Fusion Solutions Ltd. Fusion energy has the potential to transform our world, by delivering near limitless, safe and low-carbon energy across the globe for generations to come. It also represents a burgeoning industry in which the UK is already a world-leader… click here
Thousands of prisoners are getting clean thanks to a doubling of drug-free wings in jails as the government’s war on addiction steps up a gear. New Incentivised Substance Free Living Units are now up and running in 45 prisons across England and Wales – getting addicts off illicit drugs and reducing their reliance on synthetic opiates like methadone. Figures show around half of prisoners are addicted to drugs, while crack and heroin addicts account for two-thirds of shoplifting offences and half of burglaries, blighting communities up and down the country… click here
Councils in England will benefit from almost £60 billion to deliver vital frontline services as the government confirms an average funding increase of 9.4% for town halls over the next financial year. After close engagement with councils, the settlement includes £2 billion in additional grant funding for adult and children’s social care for 2023/24 and a one-off Funding Guarantee that ensures every local authority in England will see at least a 3% increase in core spending power before any local decisions around council tax are taken… click here
The UK and Italy have this week agreed a momentous trade partnership to boost UK exports, help create jobs, increase wages and grow the economy. On her first overseas visit as the Business and Trade Secretary, Kemi Badenoch MP and Italy’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and Deputy Prime Minister Antonio Tajani met in Rome to sign the UK-Italy Export and Investment Promotion Dialogue – the first agreed between the UK and any EU country… click here
The FTSE 100 index has smashed through three intraday records over the last week, starting last Friday and hitting new heights in Wednesday’s and Thursday’s sessions this week. Almost unmentioned in the mainstream media, the London stock market just keeps on hitting new heights. At the close on Thursday, the UK’s FTSE 100 finished at 7,911.15. This represents an increase of 29% since the UK voted to leave the European Union. On 24 June 2016 the FTSE 100 stood at only 6,138.69… click here
The UK economy has officially done it again and recorded the fastest growth in the G7. Unlike other G7 countries like Germany, the UK has also avoided recession. Official stats released from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) this week show the usual doom and gloom predictors got it wrong again and the UK’s economy grew in 2022 by 4.0% beating all other countries in the G7. In fact the Office of National Statistics data shows the UK beat all the other G7 countries (USA, Germany, Japan, France, Canada and Italy) for the second year running… click here
The UK is now the second biggest services exporter in the world – behind only the US, and the services sector contributes around 80% of the UK’s GDP. New ONS statistics show UK services exports reached record highs of almost £400 billion in 2022. Business and Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has welcomed new figures showing UK services exports reached record highs, adding that they ‘cement the UK’s position as a global services superpower’… click here
Boris Johnson is the most popular Prime Minister since the 2019 Election, a new poll indicates. A People Polling for GB News poll saw one in four Brits – 26% – opt for Mr Johnson while 15% said Rishi Sunak. Just 2% picked Liz Truss, who attempted to defend her Premiership in a new interview this week. The polling found 21% preferred not to say and 36% – over a third – didn’t know who the best PM had been. Backing for Boris was even higher among Conservative voters. When polled, 52% of Tories said Boris Johnson, 18% picked Rishi Sunak, and only 2% opted for Liz Truss… click here
For last week’s Top 20 Great British news stories (30th January – 5th February 2023) click here.
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By Claire Bullivant
Conservative Post, Founder and Editor
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