WAG: Wales’ first full scale tidal stream energy generator has been given the go-ahead following a £6.4m EU funding boost, First Minister Carwyn Jones has announced. The funding will enable the unique £11m DeltaStream device, which will generate clean electricity from the tides off the West Wales coast, to be manufactured ready for installation in 2012.
The device will be sited in Ramsay Sound, Pembrokeshire, and during the 12-month demonstration period will provide a sustainable source of electricity to the people of St Davids.
Ofcom: Millions of homes & businesses in rural parts of the UK could receive better value broadband servicesby the end of 2011. This follows Ofcom’s decision to ‘reduce significantly the prices that BT Wholesale can charge internet service providers (ISPs) in primarily rural, less densely populated areas’. The price reduction will be 12% below inflation per year and will apply to services provided using BT’s wholesale broadband network.
Ofcom expects these price cuts to generate more competition between retail ISPs and to lead to cheaper retail prices which will benefit consumers. The changes may also lead to better quality services by enabling ISPs to allocate more bandwidth per customer which could deliver faster broadband services. The charge controls will come into effect by mid August 2011.
MoD: Scientists from the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl), together with industry & academia, have put on show equipment which could one day be deployed to front line troops. The exhibition took place last week at Defence Equipment and Support's (DE&S's) headquarters at Abbey Wood in Bristol and was made up of equipment which ‘aims to reduce the burden on the dismounted soldier without reducing effectiveness’.
MoD: British Defence Minister Peter Luff and French Délégué Général Laurent Collet-Billon hosted the inaugural UK-France Industry Day in London last week to forge closer ties between the two key allies and their military markets.
The event, attended by more than 30 defence companies at prime, sub-contractor and SME levels, provided a forum for both governments to engage with industry and discuss issues relevant to last November's Franco-British Treaty.
LDA: The London Development Agency, in partnership with Newham Council, has begun the formal recruitment of development partners for its Royal Docks sites at Silvertown Quays and the Royal Albert Dock. The 2 sites, covering 85 acres of land, provide a unique opportunity for the successful bidders to create world class developments and shape the future of the Royal Docks.
The selection process began with the launch of a formal Pre-Qualification Questionnaire, published in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU). The marketing campaign is being managed by Knight Frank on Silvertown Quays and Drivers Jonas Deloitte on the Royal Albert Dock site.
BIS: Visiting JaguarLand Rover in the Midlands, Prime Minister David Cameron has announced details of a £25m fund that will support up to 10,000 Advanced & Higher Apprenticeships, giving firms in sectors such as advanced manufacturing, information technology and engineering the hi-tech skills they need to grow.
The Higher Apprenticeships Fund will support the expansion of apprenticeships up to degree equivalent in companies, particularly SMEs, where there is unmet demand for the higher level skills that are necessary to create additional jobs & growth. Industry representatives are invited to bid to the fund, which will be delivered via the National Apprenticeship Service. The new apprenticeships will commence from October 2011.