UK strikes biggest trade deal since Brexit, the pound becomes world’s top performing currency, world-leading innovation, huge investments in British tech, Freeports green-lit, global contract wins and great British news is being announced on a daily basis.
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 (27th March – 2nd April 2023):
Low-paid workers across the country will receive a pay increase this weekend as all rates of the National Minimum Wage rise. The National Living Wage (NLW) increased on Saturday 1 April by 9.7 per cent to £10.42, providing a pay rise to millions of workers aged 23 and over across the UK. 21-22 year olds will see their pay increase by 10.9 per cent to £10.18 per hour while pay for younger workers and apprentices will also rise by 9.7 per cent… click here
Britain’s biggest broadcasters will get new privileges and freedoms to make more hit shows and better compete with global streaming giants under new draft legislation published this week. The draft Media Bill will enable public service broadcasters (PSBs) – the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, STV and S4C – to unleash their potential to grow, produce more top quality British content and invest in new technologies to keep viewers tuning in amid fierce competition from subscription-based online platforms… click here
Seventeen ground-breaking projects announced have the potential to alter the UK’s relationship with, and management of, plastic packaging. Funded through the Smart Sustainable Plastic Packaging (SSPP) challenge’s future plastic packaging solutions round two competition, the projects will support a broad range of innovation, including: encouraging consumers to move to refill and reuse, new edible and biodegradable bio-based materials, advanced recycling technologies and plastic pollution mapping… click here
17. Britain’s National Crime Agency winning as it infiltrates cyber crime market with disguised sites
Britain’s National Crime Agency has has infiltrated the online criminal marketplace by setting up a number of sites purporting to offer DDoS-for-hire services. The announcement comes after the Agency chose to identify one of the sites currently being run by officers as part of a sustained programme of activity to disrupt and undermine DDoS as a criminal service. The NCA replaced the site’s domain with a splash page warning users that their data has been collected and they will be contacted by law enforcement… click here
Four life sciences companies, ranging from medical diagnostics to medicines manufacturing, will see £277 million in joint government and industry backing to help grow and innovate. The funding, announced by Science Minister George Freeman this week, forms the first tranche of winning grants from the Life Sciences Innovative Manufacturing Fund (LSIMF)… click here
Children in disadvantaged areas will benefit from stronger schools and increased local investment, as the Government steps up delivery of the commitments made in last year’s Schools White Paper. Up to £42 million will be allocated to Priority Education Investment Areas (PEIAs) – 24 areas of the country with high levels of disadvantaged pupils and low educational attainment, including Nottingham, Liverpool and Portsmouth… click here
14. UK and South Korea join forces in quest to make fusion energy part of world’s future energy supply
The United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) and the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KFE) have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to partner in research and development for remote handling and the maintenance of future powerplants. The agreement supports an alliance between the UK and South Korean government-funded organisations, with UKAEA and KFE specialising in the quest to make fusion energy part of the world’s future energy supply… click here
13. Pioneering new NHS service sees patients with rare genetic disorders fast-tracked to specialist care
People with a range of rare conditions primarily affecting the central nervous system will be fast-tracked to diagnosis and specialist care, thanks to the launch of a pioneering new NHS service. Patients with inherited white matter disorders (IWMDs), also known as leukodystrophies, will now have rapid access to expert teams, increased virtual support to reduce unnecessary travel to distant face-to-face appointments… click here
12. UK unveils world leading approach to innovation in first artificial intelligence white paper to turbocharge growth
Government launches AI white paper to guide the use of artificial intelligence in the UK, to drive responsible innovation and maintain public trust in this revolutionary technology. Five principles, including safety, transparency and fairness, will guide the use of artificial intelligence in the UK, as part of a new national blueprint for our world class regulators to drive responsible innovation and maintain public trust in this revolutionary technology. The UK’s AI industry is thriving, employing over 50,000 people and contributing £3.7 billion to the economy last year… click here
Young people are to benefit from the rebuilding and renovation of youth centres in some of the country’s most disadvantaged areas, as beneficiaries of the first major tranche from the Government’s Youth Investment Fund have been announced this week. Over £90 million has been allocated to 43 organisations from the Fund’s overall total of over £300 million. This will pave the way for 300 youth facilities to be built or refurbished over the next three years in areas where need is high and existing youth provision is low… click here
Perpetrators of anti-social behaviour will face swift and visible justice, increased fines and enhanced drug testing as part of a new crackdown launched this week. Delivering on the Prime Minister’s pledge earlier this year to clamp down on these crimes, the Anti-Social Behaviour Action Plan will make sure this issue is treated with the urgency it deserves, establish a zero-tolerance approach to all forms of anti-social behaviour, and give the police and local authorities the tools they need to tackle the problem… click here
9. Sandhurst paves way for cultural change to improve experience for women in Britain’s Armed Forces
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) is paving the way for culture change across the Army through its transformation programme, which began back in September 2022 under Commandant Major-General Zac Stenning. This transformation, part of wider changes taking place across Defence, has seen changes to the policies on alcohol, the creation of the sexual harassment task force and a new code of conduct… click here
An additional £842 million is available from this week to help the most vulnerable households across England with essential food and energy costs. The funding, allocated by the Department for Work and Pensions to councils in England, will extend the Household Support Fund for another year. Councils in England will decide how best to spend their allocation of the fund – now worth £2 billion across its lifetime – by drawing from local knowledge and making direct contact with people in the community… click here
More than 10,000 organisations have committed to improving the lives of service people and their families, with John Lewis becoming the latest signatory to mark this major milestone. The retailer is the latest in a long line of large and small organisations to confirm their pledge to our serving Armed Forces personnel and veterans, demonstrating a commitment to work with and for British military personnel. Since 2011, when the concept was enshrined into law, the Covenant reinforced the moral obligation between nation, government and Armed Forces which has since seen UK organisations of all sizes commit to treating Britain’s Armed Forces Personnel, and their families, fairly… click here
Major government investment to improve school and college buildings and support more school places from 2026. Millions of young people across the country are set to benefit from a significant £2.5 billion boost so they can learn in high quality buildings and facilities that are fit for the future. Schools and colleges will receive investment to upgrade classrooms and refurbish buildings that will provide high quality learning environments – benefitting communities for years to come… click here
The amount the UK space sector brings to the economy has grown by £1 billion, helping launch new business and create jobs across the country, according to new figures. Despite the global disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, space organisations presented a robust picture, generating £17.5 billion in 2021, compared to £16.5 billion the previous year. Figures show the number of space organisations identified across the UK rose from 1,293 to 1,590, creating 1,772 jobs. The sector now employs just under 48,800 people and supports an estimated 126,800 UK jobs across the wider supply chain… click here
This is the seventh Freeport in England to become fully operational, with another expected to get final government sign off in due course. East Midlands Freeport fully operational after final government sign off. New high-quality jobs and much-needed investment for the East Midlands region will be unlocked today, as the East Midlands Freeport receives final government sign off. The Freeport will now receive up to £25 million seed funding from government and potentially hundreds of millions in locally retained business rates to drive growth in the UK’s advanced manufacturing, biomanufacturing, logistics, and low carbon industries… click here
3. King and Queen Consort receive warm welcome in Germany on first State Visit since His Majesty’s Accession
The King and The Queen Consort are currently in Germany on their first State Visit since His Majesty’s Accession in September. Their Majesties’ visit is celebrating Britain’s relationship with Germany, marking the countries’ shared histories, cultures and values. Engagements will showcase the many ways the UK and Germany are working together on some of the world’s most urgent issues, from climate change to the conflict in Ukraine. It is also celebrating successful cultural and business partnerships… click here
The pound has become the best-performing currency among developed economies in the G10 this year. With the Bank of England predicted to continue increasing interest rates, the pound has surged gaining 2.3% gain against the dollar surpassing all other major economies in the G10 group. The G10, or Group of Ten, is a financial arrangement among certain industrial countries. These nations agree to contribute to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), a deal known as the General Arrangements to Borrow (GAB)… click here
1. BREXIT BONANZA! UK strikes biggest trade deal since Brexit to join free trade bloc in Indo-Pacific
It’s official, the UK will join the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), a vast free trade area of 11 countries spanning the Indo-Pacific, the Prime Minister has announced this week. The historic agreement follows two years of intense negotiations by the Department for Business and Trade and puts the UK at the heart of a dynamic group of economies, as the first European member and first new member since CPTPP was created. The UK would not have been able to join as a member of the EU, demonstrating how Britain is seizing the opportunities of our new post-Brexit trade freedoms to drive jobs and growth across the country… click here
For last week’s Top 20 Great British news stories (20th – 26th March 2023) click here.
By Claire Bullivant
Conservative Post, Founder and Editor
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