GREAT BRITISH NEWS: Top positive news stories from across the UK this week

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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 (13th – 19th February 2023):

20. 38,000 young Brits gain international experience in over 160 destinations from Australia to Zimbabwe

Thousands of young people across the UK will be able to go on international study and work placements next year, as schools, colleges and universities are encouraged to apply to the government’s world-wide scheme. This year over 38,000 young people had a chance to develop new skills and gain international experience in over 160 destinations across continents, from Australia to Zimbabwe…. click here

19. MADE IN UK: Tech of the future to become reality thanks to £60 million boost

Regions across the UK to benefit from government funding to develop clean maritime technology. The UK’s race to decarbonise the maritime sector has been given another vital boost, with £60 million in government funding distributed to innovative companies nationwide developing futuristic green technology. For the first time, the UK government is funding the development of new clean maritime technology across a 2-year period… click here

18. £400 million contract to operate military satellite communications system supports 400 UK jobs

Babcock has been awarded a six-year contract to manage and operate Skynet, the MOD’s military satellite communications system. The contract forms part of the MOD’s £6 billion Skynet 6 Programme and is expected to support 400 jobs in south-west England. As part of the £400 million Skynet Service Delivery Wrap (SDW) contract, Babcock and their partners will operate and manage the UK MOD’s constellation of military satellites, ground stations and integrate new user terminals… click here

17. British confectionery companies celebrate Valentine’s Day Down Under as trade deals set to slash tariffs

New trade deals with Australia and New Zealand expected to boost UK economy by £2.3 billion and £800 million respectively. British confectionery companies are celebrating a potential export boost in time for Valentine’s Day 2024, with tariffs on exports to Australia and New Zealand set be removed under the UK’s new Free Trade Agreements (FTAs). The UK-Australia and UK-New Zealand trade deals are the first the UK has negotiated from scratch since leaving the European Union… click here

16. British Army lead NATO’s winter training exercise in Baltic

From the top of a Challenger 2 tank as an icy wind howled around Tapa military camp in Estonia, the Commanding Officer of the King’s Royal Hussars thanked his troops. Lieutenant Colonel Will Hodgkinson addressed the massed ranks of British, Danish, Estonian and French troops gathered on the military base’s runway with Challenger 2 and Leopard tanks lined up in perfect formation. Soldiers from the NATO allies had just finished a demanding two-week exercise, “Winter Camp”, which tested troops to the limit in the snowbound, frozen forests that make up the Tapa landscape… click here

15. 78% of Brits support age verification system to STOP children accessing online pornography

There is widespread public support for a new age verification system to prevent under 18’s accessing porn online, a new poll reveals. The People Polling for GB News asked whether websites should have an age verification system in place – and a massive 78% agreed.  Only 5% of the public disagreed, and 17% said they “didn’t know” or “preferred not to say”. The poll also found broad agreement across party lines. Eighty-four per cent of Conservative voters agreed that pornography websites should have an age verification system, and 80% of Labour voters agreed… click here

14. One-stop-shops for medical testing deliver over 3 million potentially lifesaving checks, tests and scans

92 operational CDCs have carried out an additional three million, tests, checks and scans across the country as the NHS works on the biggest ever catch-up programme. Tens of thousands of patients across the country will benefit from quicker access to tests, with a19 new community diagnostic centres which will perform 1.1 million tests, checks and scans every year set to open later this year… click here

13. MADE IN UK: Siemens Gamesa starts manufacturing 108-metre wind turbine blades in Hull

Siemens Gamesa has started the production of the first 108-metre wind turbine blade at its factory in Hull. Last year Siemens Gamesa invested £82 million into the construction of their renewable energy’s two blade manufacturing facilities in the UK, as well as on repurposing their existing factory at the wind turbine supplier’s site in Hull. Siemens Gamesa’s breakthrough recyclable blade, is also now being manufactured in Hull… click here

12. Apprentices in stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery help solve UK’s heritage skills shortage

New apprentices are now underway with their training in heritage skills in stonemasonry, carpentry and joinery at National Trust places around the country. The new apprenticeship scheme is aimed at tackling the heritage skills shortage and is possible thanks to a grant of £6.2 million from the Hamish Ogston Foundation to train the craftspeople of the future… click here

11. Boost for UK space sector with new growth funding

Eighteen projects aimed at boosting the space sector across the UK are to receive funding from the UK Space Agency. The £6.5 million includes support for high impact, locally led schemes and space cluster development managers to help the space sector grow across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. One project will explore the potential for a space observatory and planetarium to be established in Snowdonia, taking advantage of the area being part of the most extensive dark skies reserve in the UK… click here

10. Momentous deal worth billions to British aviation

The UK has welcomed a momentous deal which is worth billions of pounds to Britain. The agreement announced this week will support and create new highly skilled jobs in Wales and Derbyshire, helping to boost exports, grow the economy and level up the UK. A significant portion of the manufacturing process for the new aircraft is expected to take place in the UK. The wings will be designed in Filton, and assembled in Broughton – which is expected to bring an additional 450 manufacturing jobs and more than £100m of investment to Wales… click here

9. UK leading NATO’s response to Turkey earthquakes

Three Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft are leading NATO’s package of emergency support to Turkey, following the devastating earthquakes this month. An RAF Atlas A400M and two C130 Hercules are transporting a NATO Operational Liaison and Reconnaissance Team (OLRT) from Italy to Turkey today (17 February). The UK is a leading contributor to NATO and the Defence Secretary was in Brussels this week for a meeting of the Alliance’s Defence Ministers, where support for Turkey was discussed, as well as our ongoing commitment to Ukraine… click here

8. 90,000 trees being planted on stunning south Devon coast

The National Trust is putting down the roots of its first major community woodland, with 90,000 trees due to be planted over the next three years. The conservation charity aims to create a 120-hectare future-proof woodland at Wembury Barton Farm on the stunning south Devon coast – equivalent in size to 168 football pitches. This will not only become a haven for wildlife but also for individuals and the wider community around Plymouth… click here

7. Badenoch launches new initiative to get more women back into STEM jobs

Minister for Women and Equalities, Kemi Badenoch, has launched a new initiative to help people back into science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) based careers. The scheme – backed by £150,000 of Government funding – will be run by Women Returners and STEM Returners and will target those who have taken lengthy career breaks to care for others, giving them the skills they need to succeed in the workplace… click here

6. £421 million to boost drug and alcohol treatment across England

Local authorities across England will benefit from an extra £421 million government funding through to 2025 to improve drug and alcohol addiction treatment and recovery, the government announced this week. The extra funding means that total local authority funding for treatment will have increased 40% between 2020/21 and 2024/25. It will enable the creation of over 50,000 high-quality places in drug and alcohol treatment. The funding will enable local authorities to recruit more staff to work with people with drug and alcohol problems… click here

5. First British baby receives life-saving gene therapy on NHS

A 19-month-old baby girl called Teddi has become the first child in the UK to receive a life-saving gene therapy treatment for the fatal disorder, metachromatic leukodystrophy (MLD). The revolutionary gene therapy, known by its brand name Libmeldy®, has a list price of £2.8 million and was the most expensive drug in the world when NHS England negotiated a significant confidential discount last year to make the treatment available to NHS patients – it remains the most expensive drug licensed in Europe. The genetic disease causes severe damage to the affected child’s nervous system and organs, resulting in a life expectancy of between just five and eight years… click here

4. Raab launches recruitment drive to toughen parole scrutiny with more ex-police officers and detectives

A national recruitment campaign launched this week will see the number of Parole Board panellists from policing backgrounds almost double, from 26 to 51. Panellists are responsible for making finely balanced risk assessments when deciding whether to release prisoners on life and other indeterminate sentences once they’ve served their minimum term. Recruiting 25 more Parole Board panellists will double the number who have first-hand policing experience of managing serious offenders and the risk they pose… click here

3. £800 million expansion will make UK’s Pinewood Studios ‘biggest studio complex in the world’ and create 8000 jobs

An £800 million expansion of the studios used for the filming of the James Bond and Star Wars franchises has been approved. Pinewood Studios has said the expansion will make it the “biggest studio complex in the world” and create 8,000 jobs. Buckinghamshire Council has approved plans for a 1.4 million sq ft expansion at Pinewood Studios. The investment will deliver 21 new purpose-built sound stages, a backlot filming space, education and training hub and a publicly accessible nature reserve… click here

2. Rolls-Royce wins huge order of aircraft engines from Air India

Rolls-Royce has won an order from Air India for 68 Trent XWB-97 engines, plus options for 20 more. This is the biggest ever order for the Trent XWB-97, which exclusively powers the Airbus A350-1000. Air India has also ordered 12 Trent XWB-84 engines, the sole engine option for the Airbus A350-900. The large A350 aircraft are exclusively powered by Rolls-Royce XWB engines, which are assembled and tested in Derby. This is the first time that an Indian airline has ordered the Trent XWB and the deal will make Air India the largest operator of the Trent XWB-97 in the world. Financial details of the order are currently not being disclosed… click here

1. ‘Boris did have the numbers’ and we should adopt the Australian approach to immigration says Sir Graham Brady

Sir Graham Brady has confirmed Boris Johnson could have stood for Tory party leader again after earning the minimum of 100 votes required. In an exclusive interview with GB News this week, Mr Brady, the MP for Altrincham and Sale West, said the former PM decided against going up against Rishi Sunak… click here

For last week’s Top 20 Great British news stories (6th – 12th February 2023) click here.

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By Claire Bullivant

Conservative Post, Founder and Editor

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