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News Round-Up

Dec 21: Theatre sector support plea; Midland Mainline electrification work to start; Biscuit prices warning; Nio ET5 to rival Tesla Model 3

  • Here are the headlines on Tuesday, December 21

Time 1 month ago

Theatre sector desperate for support, says Sir Cameron Mackintosh

Sir Cameron Mackintosh has said theatres ‘desperately need’ the government to support the industry as they are in a ‘dreadful state’ while shows across the country are cancelled because of coronavirus.

A string of West End productions and live events have had to cancel performances due to cast and crew testing positive for Covid-19, while bookings for the beginning of 2022 are far below expectations.

Sir Cameron, whose West End hits include Hamilton and Les Miserables, told BBC News: ‘This is why we desperately need the government to step in and help the commercial theatre, because by and large the commercial theatre hasn’t had any help at all across the pandemic.’

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Midland Mainline electrification work to start

Work to electrify the Midland Mainline between Kettering in Northamptonshire and Market Harborough in Leicestershire will begin on Thursday, transport secretary Grant Shapps has announced.

It is part of a wider upgrade of the line to Sheffield and Nottingham – the government’s £96bn Integrated Rail Plan for the Midlands and the north.

Biscuit prices likely to rise, warns McVitie’s owner

The prices of some of the country’s favourite biscuits look set to spike by as much as five per cent as global prices for sugar and other key ingredients rise.

Pladis, the company behind McVitie’s, said costs have gone up so much that it might have to pass them on to shoppers.


It could mean that biscuit lovers might have to shell out more for Jaffa Cakes, Hobnobs and other favourites, although the chocolate-covered digestive is more safe from any price changes.

Alleged terrorist to enter plea over Sir David Amess death

An alleged terrorist accused of fatally stabbing Sir David Amess is due to appear at the Old Bailey today to enter pleas.

Ali Harbi Ali is charged with murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15.

The 25-year-old is also charged with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1, 2019 and September 28 this year.

Nio ET5 side

Nio ET5 latest rival to Tesla Model 3

The Nio ET5 has been revealed as the latest competitor to the Tesla Model 3.

The Chinese EV promises a hugely impressive 620 miles of range, but there is currently no confirmation as to whether its European sales ambitions include the UK.

Deliveries are expected to begin in September 2022 for the Chinese market, with introductions to Norway, Germany the Netherlands and Denmark coming later.

Qatar invests £85m in Rolls-Royce’s small nuclear reactor arm

Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund is to invest £85m into engineering giant Rolls-Royce’s government-backed scheme to build mini nuclear power stations in the UK.


Rolls-Royce Small Modular Reactor, which is majority-owned by the industrial technology company, has been set up to develop sites that are around a tenth of the size of traditional reactors.

Qatar Investment Authority will take a 10 per cent stake in the venture as a result of the investment.

Monday Car Dealer headlines you might have missed

Market movements

The FTSE 100 fell by 71.89 points yesterday to end the day on 7,198.03.

Meanwhile, the French Cac 40 was down 56.53 points, finishing on 6,870.10, the German Dax fell by 292.02 points to close on 15,239.67, while the Dow Jones dropped by 433.28 points to 34,932.16.

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In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng rose by 124.79 points to 22,869.65, while in Tokyo the Nikkei 225 was up 552.26 points at 28,490.07.

Weather outlook

Western England and Wales will enjoy bright spells today, says BBC Weather, and it’ll be cloudier but mainly dry towards the north and east. Meanwhile, Scotland’s far north will have some light rain.

Wednesday will see rain slowly spreading across the north and west – heavy in some areas and possibly wintry over Scotland’s highest ground. It’ll remain dry towards the south-east, though.

John Bowman's avatar

John has been with Car Dealer since 2013 after spending 25 years in the newspaper industry as a reporter then a sub-editor/assistant chief sub-editor on regional and national titles. John is chief sub-editor in the editorial department, working on Car Dealer, as well as handling social media.

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