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The London Book Fair 2023 starts today

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A view from the London Book Fair, including inserts of Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, Author Kate Mosses and Duchess of York Sarah Fergunsson.
Highlights for The London Book Fair 2023 include Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, author Kate Mosses and the Duchess of York (insert).

A new edition of the London Book Fair, one of the largest book-publishing trade fairs in Europe, kicks off today (April 18), at Olympia London, bringing together authors, publishers and key industry figures.

The event, first launched in 1971, will feature a diverse programme of expert panels, seminars and author talks, including Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, who will be in conversation with Young Vic Artistic Director Kwame Kwei-Armah on Wednesday 19 April. They will discuss London’s role as a hub for the UK’s creative economy; climate change and the role of cities in supporting a more sustainable future; Khan will also talk about his upcoming book, ‘Breathe: Tackling the Climate Emergency’ (Hutchinson Heinemann) to be release on May 25.

“I’m delighted to attend this year’s London Book Fair and engage with an industry that is so important to London’s cultural vibrancy and the UK’s creative economy. Cities like London are leading from the front in taking action to tackle the climate emergency – and I look forward to discussing how we can all play a part in building a greener future.”, says the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.

No. 1 international bestselling novelist, non-fiction writer and playwright Kate Mosse will appear in the Keynote session on Thursday 20 April, in conversation with journalist and British television presenter, Louise Minchin, discussing her newly announced upcoming book ‘The Ghost Ship’, how the Women’s Prize for Fiction has evolved and, and the work that still needs to be done to champion women’s voices in the industry, both in the UK and abroad.

Other confirmed events to take place over three days include a talk from HarperCollins’  chief executive, Brian Murray, and a meet and greet with the Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, who next month will launch the paperback edition of her Sunday Times bestselling debut novel ’Her Heart for a Compass’ (Mills & Boon), with a book club to raise money for Ukrainian refugees on the Polish border.

The 2023 edition of the London Book Fair also sees the launch of a Schools Programme, in partnership with the National Literacy Trust.

The initiative will engage with 80 students from disadvantaged backgrounds aged 13-16, an age where young people are starting to think about their career, which in turn informs their educational and work pathways choices. This project is part of Words for Work, the National Literacy Trust’s flagship literacy and employability programme that bring schools, colleges, and businesses together to give young people from disadvantaged communities the confidence, literacy, and communication skills they need to reach their potential.

The London Book Fair 2023 is taking place at Olympia London from 18-20th April 2023.

Marcio Delgado is a Journalist, Producer and Influencer Marketing Manager working with brands and publications in Europe, America and Asia.

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Disneyland Paris renames theme park in $2 billion revamp

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Facade os Disney Paris with Disney's characters standing in front of it
The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

Disneyland Paris has unveiled a new name for Walt Disney Studios Park as part of the park’s US$2 billion transformation.

Walt Disney Studios Park will become Disney Adventure World when the new immersive area, World of Frozen, opens.

The transformation of Walt Disney Studios Park will see it almost double in size.

“We’re changing the story of Walt Disney Studios Park, evolving from ‘how it’s done’ soundstages to celebratory theatres and adventures that come to life in immersive worlds,” said Tom Fitzgerald, chief storytelling executive at Walt Disney Imagineering and senior creative executive for Disneyland Paris.

“These fully realised adventure worlds will become the focus of the park’s new identity and appear as realms that guests discover as they navigate deeper within the park and are invited to participate in adventures inspired by our most beloved stories.”

As part of the rebrand, the park’s entrance is also being reimagined, with the current design replaced with ‘crafted décor that pays homage to historic movie theaters in Hollywood and the entertainment industry as a whole.’

“Embracing a transformation that involves the overhaul of more than 90 percent of Walt Disney Studios Park since its debut in 2002, we’re unveiling a fresh creative vision that has completely redefined our second gate,” said Natacha Rafalski, president of Disneyland Paris.

Previous investments in the property include World of Pixar, which opened at the park in 2021 and Avengers Campus (2022).

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EU economy forecast to grow 1.0% in 2024

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A woman paying for services at a beauty shop
Expected economy growth is largely due to consumers spending more this year | Photo: Christiann Koepke

The Commission has published this week a new forecast for the European Union economy, with a more upbeat scenario for consumers. After a downturn in economic activity in 2023, inflation rates will continue to drop and the EU economy should gradually grow in 2024. This is largely driven by ‘consumers spending more, thanks to higher wages and more job opportunities,’ it is believed. 

Concretely, the EU economy should grow 1.0% in 2024. The euro area economy should reach 0.8% of growth. In 2025, GDP will grow even more. Meantime, EU inflation has fallen dramatically since it peaked in 2022. It is expected to wind down to 2.7% in 2024 and to 2.2% in 2025.  

The jobs market is also performing well. Despite the slowdown in activity, the EU economy created more than 2 million jobs in 2023. Activity and employment rates of people aged 20-64 hit new record highs in the last quarter of the year. In March 2024, the unemployment rate in the EU stood at a record low of 6.0%. 

Some challenges remain. For instance, investment growth is slowing since fewer new homes are being built, which affects various industries. As a result, it is expected that interest rates will drop more slowly than anticipated. 

The Commission publishes four economic forecasts throughout a given year, covering GDP and inflation data for all Member States, the EU and the euro area. 

In the UK the scenario is also looking positive, with the Office for National Statistics having recently confirmed that the UK unemployment rate for January to March 2024 (4.3%) is above estimates of a year ago (January to March 2023), and increased in the latest quarter. 

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Mango to strengthens its presence in the UK with 20 store openings

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Mango store facade at Oxford street, London
At the close of the 2023 financial year, Mango had 60 stores in the UK

Mango, one of Europe’s leading fashion groups, continues its expansion and brand consolidation plan in the UK with more than 20 store openings planned for 2024. Growth is focused on expanding its presence in London and Scotland, as well as the arrival for the first time in several cities in Northern Ireland and central and southern England.

“The UK is one of the priority markets for Mango’s international growth. The increased presence in London and our arrival this year in some cities where we have not been present until now will consolidate the Mango brand and help us to strengthen it internationally,” says Daniel López, Mango’s Director of Expansion and Franchising.

The company plans four store openings in London this year, in addition to last February’s opening of a store in the Windsor Yards shopping centre in the heart of historic Windsor, close to Windsor Castle

Mango will also increase its presence in Scotland with store openings in Glasgow and Edinburgh, and for the first time will reach cities in Northern Ireland, as well as central and southern England. 

The new Mango store will incorporate the New Med Mediterranean-inspired store concept, reflecting the spirit and freshness of the brand. Sustainability and architectural integration are the key to this new design that conceives the Mango store as a Mediterranean home with different spaces in which warm tones and neutral colours predominate, combined with traditional, handcrafted, sustainable and natural materials such as ceramics, tuff, wood, marble, esparto grass and leather.

 
Mango has been present in the UK since 1999. In 2021, the company strengthened its presence in the country with the opening of a new flagship store on Oxford Street in London and three other stores in Manchester, Edinburgh and Derby. 

Last year, Mango opened more than 10 stores, mainly in the south and centre of the country, in major cities such as Bristol, London, Manchester and Leeds. Key among them was the store opening in Westfield Stratford City, one of the largest shopping centres in the UK. In addition, the company arrived for the first time in Brighton with a 470 m2 store in the Churchill Square shopping centre.

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