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21 August 2023

Clydesdale clients urged to back children through Tesco blue tokens, plus more business news

21 August 2023

Stronger Starts, the supermarket Tesco's new £5 million a year grant scheme, is inviting UK shoppers to vote for their local schools or young people's projects to receive funding for healthy food and activities. Successful applicants could win up to £1500 through community charity Groundwork, which found that 78% of schools currently provide food for children from their own budget. Two of the three in-store voting boxes will be given to schools and kids' groups, with the third to community projects. Every quarter, 1350 schools will receive £1.35 million of funding in 675 communities.

The company’s majority shareholders have sold their stakes to an Employee Ownership Trust (EOT). Founded in 1993, the company, specialising in aerospace, defence and energy sectors, has a turnover of £5.2 million. Its founder, William Martin, retains a minority share and continues as Managing Director. Lorna Gourlay, Financial Director, supports the employee ownership structure, which she believes will reinforce the company's commitment to local talent development. Operations Director, Neil Lawson, welcomes the move as a continuation of the company's local legacy.

Lanark-based firm, ALJ Work and Leisurewear, is celebrating 30 years of serving their local community, schools and businesses. Founded by the Snell family in 1993, ALJ has provided uniforms, workwear, and embroidery for over 300 local entities, including 50 schools, nurseries, colleges, and clubs. Despite the challenges of the Covid pandemic, the business has adapted to offer an online shop and has been bolstered by community support. The Snells underscored the importance of their community and the privilege they feel in serving them, expressing their eagerness to continue doing so in the future.

Bristol City Council and South Gloucestershire Council have released dozens of new food hygiene ratings for local takeaways, with three establishments receiving a one-star rating, indicating significant improvements are needed. The scores, made available on the Food Standards Agency's website, solely reflect hygiene levels, not food quality. Ratings consider the cleanliness of facilities and food storage practices. Several venues, including Subway, Papa Johns, Oldfield’s Fish & Chips, and Domino’s Pizza, achieved a five-star rating, demonstrating very good hygiene standards.

The Kondi Brasserie in Henleaze, Bristol, has announced closure on its Facebook page, citing struggles to recover from the Covid pandemic and rising operational costs. The Italian, father-son team, Daniele and Lucio, confirmed the decision not to renew the lease after nine years of running the business. The announcement follows the closure of another Italian restaurant, Rosemarino in Clifton. Despite the closure, Kondi Brasserie will still be available for outside catering. It had been open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, serving homemade Italian cuisine and coffee.

SNP MSP Clare Adamson applauds a campaign by Trading Standards and Police Scotland targeted at tackling fraud and safeguarding consumers. The campaign focuses on raising awareness about doorstep crime, energy efficiency scams, and other forms of financial harm. Adamson, an advocate for community safety, stresses the importance of reporting fraudulent activities to Trading Standards. She highlights that rogue traders are taking advantage of the current cost of living crisis, and a scams awareness van is set to tour Scotland. Adamson encourages the public to protect vulnerable individuals and report suspicious activities accordingly.

Nike is poised to take over the former flagship Topshop store in Manchester's Arndale shopping centre, set to open later this year. The two-level mega store will be the first Nike Rise concept store in the city, focusing on digital in-store experiences. This follows recent store launches by Sports Direct and Gilly Hicks in Arndale. The move indicates the enduring appeal of Manchester Arndale shopping centre to top retailers and shoppers in the North West and further afield.

Despite the cost-of-living crisis forcing some businesses to close, Liverpool's high street continues to thrive with numerous new shops opening. The city centre has welcomed an array of stores, including a luxury sportswear shop and a renowned skincare brand. Liverpool ONE maintains robust sales and footfall, anticipated to increase with Eurovision fans visiting next month. Ten exciting new shops have recently opened or are due to open on Liverpool's high street.

Marks and Spencer (M&S) has announced a significant investment in UK outlets, including a new store in Birmingham's Bullring shopping centre. This move is a part of M&S's "commitment to regeneration" and will generate 3,400 new jobs. The £500,000 plan will improve and expand existing stores. M&S will also extend its successful franchise model with BP, Moto, SSP and Costa. The announcement comes after strong Christmas sales.

German discount chain Aldi is set to open a new branch in Westway Retail Park, Castlecary, adding to its existing store in Cumbernauld Retail Park. The company's focus on Scottish locations continues with a combined £10 million investment for the Cumbernauld and Coatbridge shops. This move is expected to revitalise the Westway complex, which struggled to draw major investors after high profile closures. The opening date remains unconfirmed. Richard Holloway, Aldi Scotland's Regional Managing Director, confirmed continued growth and investment plans to reach more customers with Aldi's efficient, low-cost business model.

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