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Newcastle’s 2021 Christmas market cancelled due to Covid uncertainty

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The Newcastle Christmas market has been cancelled after ‘ongoing uncertainty’ caused by the pandemic.

It was 2019 the last time the Christmas market took over Newcastle’s monument and Northumberland Street as 2020 celebrations were also cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Nottingham-based Mellors Group were chosen by Newcastle City council to run the festive event and agreed a 5 year deal but recently a Newcastle City Council spokesperson confirmed to many news outlets that a mutual agreement to terminate the contract early had been reached.

They said: “Newcastle City Council and James Mellor Limited mutually agreed to terminate the contract to run the city’s Christmas markets due to the ongoing uncertainty around Covid.

“The council and James Mellors Limited enjoyed a very positive working relationship, but it was accepted by both parties that the pandemic has changed the environment that we must operate in.”

Under the Mellors supervision he 2019 Christmas market ‘supersized’ and became the largest to appear in Newcastle with everything from a giant toboggan to increased numbers of food stalls.

However, local traders expressed their disappointment with the event as they faced increased competition from festive vendors.

This year, the council have set out plans to host smaller festivities that focus on the involvement and safety of local people.

The spokesperson continued: “Since then the council has been working with NE1 to plan a unique Christmas experience for the city, focusing on a locally delivered, good quality and family orientated offer.

“The Grainger Market and Quayside Market will again have central roles to play in this and we are currently considering different options to safely provide other festive events and animate the city. More details will be revealed when these have been confirmed.”

The news comes after Leeds announced the cancellation of their classic 2021 Christmas celebrations also due to the ‘ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic’.

Though Manchester councilor Pat Karney has stated that “Christmas is not cancelled” and the markets in Manchester will go ahead as in previous years.

She said: “It’s green lights for Manchester markets. Christmas is not cancelled, it’s my favourite time of the year and I am the Christmas spokesperson on the council, the only one in the country, so Christmas is definitely going ahead.”

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Business

Four-day week to be trialed for thousands of workers from today

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Seventy companies across the UK are set to take part in a pilot of a four-day week starting today.

The trial, which will include more than 3,300 workers, is the biggest ever of its kind to date anywhere in the world.

The pilot will see no loss in pay for employees working one fewer day a week. Instead they will be asked to maintain 100% productivity for 80% of their time.

From a local fish and chip shop to large corporate companies, a wide range of businesses are taking part.

Joe O Connor, CEO of 4 Day Week Global, said: ‘The UK is at the crest of a wave of global momentum behind the four-day week.

‘As we emerge from the pandemic, more and more companies are recognising that the new frontier for competition is quality of life, and that reduced-hour, output-focused working is the vehicle to give them a competitive edge.

‘The impact of the “great resignation” is now proving that workers from a diverse range of industries can produce better outcomes while working shorter and smarter.’

The trial will run for six months and is being run by 4 Day Week Global in partnership with think tank Autonomy, the 4 Day Week UK Campaign and researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College.

Researchers will work with each organisation to look at the wellbeing of workers and measure the impact on productivity in the business. They will also see if the change affects the environment and gender equality.

Similar four-day week trials are also due to begin later this year in Scotland and Spain.

Would you like to see a four-day work week introduced?

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CBBC and BBC Four channels to close by 2025 as part of £500,000,000 cuts

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CBBC and BBC Four TV channels will be closing, it’s been confirmed.

Director General Tim Davie made three announcement today, explaining younger audiences are turning to streaming channels such as Netflix and Disney Plus.  Davie stressed it is likely to happen within the next three years. He said: ‘This is our moment to build a digital-first BBC.

‘Something genuinely new, a Reithian organisation for the digital age, a positive force for the UK and the world.

‘Independent, impartial, constantly innovating and serving all. A fresh, new, global digital media organisation which has never been seen before.’

CBBC has delighted children since its inception in 1985 as a free-to-air TV channel. It was launched to provide a wealth of content for children and young people aged six to 17, and covers a range of programming including drama, entertainment, comedy, animation, news and factual.

CBBC’s most popular shows over the years include Tracy Beaker, Blue Peter, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Horrible Histories and Newsround.

BBC Four, which is home to BBC Proms, BBC Young Dancer and BBC Young Musician, was launched in 2002 and has traditionally shown mainly arts and documentary content, as well as various international dramas.

BBC World News and the BBC News channel will also merge to create a single 24-hour TV news channel serving both UK and international audiences.

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Toys ‘R’ Us To Reopen UK Stores ‘Within Months’

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Toys ‘R’ Us is set to make a sudden return to the UK almost four years after the firm vanished.

The toy shop chain were forced to close all of its branches following its collapse in 2018. But the plans for its revival are now in motion after Toys ‘R’ Us’ signed a licence agreement to bring “digital and physical retail commerce” back to the UK.

The Mirror reports that the firm is now ramping up recruitment with plans to relaunch the brand within months. The news was confirmed after a simple message “we’re back in 2022” was added to its newly relaunched UK website.

Louis Mittoni, who is leading the relaunch and is Toys ‘R’ Us Australia chief executive, said: “I’m very excited to welcome over 100 years of retailing experience in our new team, who will lead the relaunch our iconic brand back into the UK market in the next few months. We have an amazing toy and baby buying team, which I believe is the best in the country.

“With this team now in place, we’re hitting the ground running and have been reaching out to the supply base to see with whom we can align on this amazing journey.”

Toys ‘R’ Us was branded the ‘world’s first toy supermarket ’ when it first opened stores in the UK in 1985.

Are you excited to see the toy superstore back?

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