Connect with us

Business

Universal Studios eyes the UK for first European resort

Published

on

Universal Studios eyes the UK for first European resort
UK plans: the Bedfordshire site is just 45 minutes from London | Photo: Aditya Vyas

Universal Studios is assessing the feasibility of opening its first European resort in the UK, following the purchase of a former brickworks in Bedfordshire.

The theme park operator has confirmed it’s in the “very early stages of exploring the possibility of a potential park and resort experience in Bedford.”

Parent company, Comcast Corporation has purchased the 480-acre site, which previously had planning permission for 1,000 homes. Universal Destinations and Experiences has also had positive conversations with various local and national stakeholders, including Bedford Borough Council and the Mayor of Bedford Borough. However, the company has stressed plans are still in the early stages and it is likely to be many months before a decision is made.

Universal Destinations and Experiences has cited the UK’s large population, creative industries, strong tourism industry, transportation infrastructure and close proximity to Europe as making it an attractive proposition for a resort.

The Bedfordshire site is just 45 minutes from London, within easy reach of tourism magnets Oxford and Cambridge and has half of the UK’s population – including the Leisure Media/Attractions Management HQ – within two hours. As well as being close to the A1 and M1, Luton Airport is nearby.

With the Harry Potter Studios located just 40 minutes away in Watford, Bedford is an ideal destination for touring theme park enthusiasts.

Universal has five entertainment and resort complexes around the world – Universal Orlando Resort, Universal Studios Hollywood, Universal Studios Japan, Universal Beijing Resort and Universal Studios Singapore. The resorts offer technologically advanced film and television-based attractions; hotels, food and beverage and live entertainment.

Universal has been responsible for some of the world’s most famous films including Jurassic Park, E.T., Back To The Future and Despicable Me. Its parks also feature franchises produced by other studios, including Harry Potter and The Simpsons.

If this project goes ahead it will be a massive win for Bedford: Bedford Borough Council currently flags up The River Great Ouse as one of its most attractive features. It’s a growing town, with around 27,000 new homes planned by 2040 and expectations that the population – currently at 185,000 – will keep growing. Major companies, including Amazon and Fuji Film, have already chosen the town as their operational base.

Universal theme parks create thousands of jobs, generate significant positive economic impact, both locally and further afield. The company is also committed to protecting the ecology of the areas where they operate and has a strong track record of working with local communities.

A website has been launched https://universalukproject.co.uk to update locals and allow them to give feedback.

EuroNewsweek is a dynamic news platform featuring lifestyle, sustainability, successful stories, tech, leadership, creative marketing, business, and the unstoppable people behind them.

Business

Energy Storage Summit gathers global experts in London

Published

on

Energy Storage Summit gathers global experts in London
UK minister of state for climate change and energy Graham Stuart was one of the key speakers at the Energy Storage Summit | Photo: David Stanley-Tate

Nearly 1,000 experts and leaders in the global energy storage industry gathered in Hammersmith,  London this week to attend the 9th Energy Storage Summit 2024.

The event, one of Europe’s largest networking events for the energy storage sector, hosted over a thousand delegates from across the globe.

The line up of speakers included Nick Winser,  commissioner at the National Infrastructure Commission; Doriana Forleo Executive Director at Energy Storage Coalition, and UK minister of state for climate change and energy Graham Stuart.

According to analysts, by 2030 the global cumulative installed capacity for energy storage will have reached 1,420 GWh, with large-scale development of storage power stations from 0.1 GWh to 1 GWh and then to 10 GWh becoming an inevitable trend. However, such expansion will bring with it challenges in cost efficiency, safety and operation and maintenance complexity, making the need for advanced storage technology and design more urgent.

Continue Reading

Business

European product recalls increases for the fifth consecutive year 

Published

on

European product recalls increases for the fifth consecutive year 
Medical devices recalls increased 20% in 2023, according to report | Photo: Natanael Melchor

European product recalls increased for the fifth consecutive year in 2023, recording 12,498 total events. According to Sedgwick brand protection’s 2024 European State of the Nation Recall Index report, this represents an 18.5% increase over the previous record of 10,545 events, which was set in 2022.

Sedgwick’s quarterly Recall Index report analyses data from the UK and EU automotive, consumer product, food and drink, pharmaceutical, and medical device industries. This edition provides a comprehensive year-in-review analysis of 2023 recall data and product safety trends. The surge in European product recalls experienced in 2023 was driven by an increase in events in the consumer products (+49.1%), medical device (+20.0%), pharmaceutical (+7.7%), and food and drink (+7.0%) industries. Even though the automotive industry saw fewer recalls than it did in 2022 (-3.3%), 2023 still recorded the second-highest number of total events in the past ten years.  

Beyond the recall data and analysis, this report also provides essential insights into the regulatory developments and predictions that stakeholders should look out for in 2024. Regulators across the EU and UK are continuing to enact layers of regulations to protect the environment as well as public safety, as seen in 2023 with the EU Batteries Regulation and proposed Ecodesign for Sustainable Products Regulation. Companies will need to be aware of not only their own actions but the operations and practices of their entire supply chain. Moreover, consumers are increasingly demanding greater transparency and information regarding product manufacturing and advertising, prompting regulators to introduce new measures addressing advertising and labelling practices.

In addition, there is increased enforcement against anticompetitive behaviour and cartel activity across sectors and geographic borders. Simultaneously, the EU is in the process of modernising existing regulations, while the UK builds its own regulatory framework independent of the EU. Against this backdrop, numerous ongoing global economic and political challenges persist, adding further complexity to the risk landscape.

“2024 is shaping up to be a busy year for regulatory activity, and industry stakeholders can expect to see more regulator and consumer scrutiny of product safety and the practices of businesses throughout the entire product lifecycle,” says Chris Occleshaw, International Product Recall Consultant at Sedgwick. “Amidst a complicated risk landscape rife with evolving challenges, businesses should take time to create a strategic and well-practiced plan for addressing product recalls and in-market challenges.”

Continue Reading

Business

Applications open for EU Innovation Fund

Published

on

Applications open for EU Innovation Fund
Applications are open to entities of all sizes – from startups to those that are more established | Photo: Jason Goodman

The application window for the Mastercard Strive EU Innovation Fund is now open. The initiative is aimed at accelerating the development of solutions to support European small businesses on their digital journey.

The Strive EU Innovation Fund will provide up to 20 projects from EU member states with equity-free grants of up to €500,000, as well as any technical assistance and mentoring they may need to accelerate the development of their solutions.

Applications are open to entities of all sizes – from startups to those that are more established – provided they are soliciting innovation that helps Europe’s small business community to unlock working capital and credit through embedded finance, enhance digital safely by bolstering cybersecurity and harness artificial intelligence (AI) in business.    

Small businesses are the backbone of the European economy and – now more than ever – it is critical that they receive the support they need to join the digital economy,” said Mark Barnett, President of Mastercard Europe. “We are excited to open the application window for the Strive EU Innovation Fund and to hear about some of the best projects coming from Europe’s most innovative minds over the coming months.”

Strive EU will build on the strengths of two country-specific initiatives in Europe, Strive Czechia and Strive UK. Since launching in 2021, Strive UK has reached over 1M entrepreneurs, connecting them to resources, training, and mentors to help them navigate the digital economy. Strive Czechia is working to rapidly grow local stakeholder capacities, reaching MSEs across the country with new service lines, including peer shadowing and technical assistance, with the goal of reaching over 250,000 MSEs.

In addition to the Innovation Fund, Mastercard will establish a Strive EU Small Business Council to convene the European entrepreneurial ecosystem and encourage collaboration. Chaired by Mark Barnett, the Council will comprise 10-15 influential experts, private sector entities and small business representatives, who will be announced in early February.    

The application window for the Strive EU Innovation Fund will be open until March 11, 2024. To find out more, please visit: https://strivecommunity.org/innovation-fund-eu

Continue Reading

Trending