Business rates relief boosted with new £1.5 billion pot

Business ratepayers adversely affected by COVID-19 are to get a £1.5 billion discount on their bills.

  • new Business Rates relief fund of £1.5 billion for businesses affected by COVID-19 outside the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors
  • targeted support delivered as appeals against rates bills on basis of material changes of circumstance due to the pandemic to be ruled out
  • the relief fund will get cash to affected businesses in the most proportionate and equitable way

Read more: Business rates relief

Introducing Fiber Laser Welding LightWELD™ 1500

IPG Photonics is the leading developer and manufacturer of high-performance fiber lasers and amplifiers for diverse applications in numerous markets. IPG Photonics’ diverse lines of low, medium and high-power lasers and amplifiers are used in materials processing, communications, entertainment, medical, biotechnology, scientific and advanced applications. Their products are displacing traditional technologies in many current applications and enabling new applications for lasers.

IPG Photonics (UK) are introducing Fiber Laser Welding LightWELD™ 1500: IPG laser welder

FASTER & EASIER than Traditional MIG & TIG Welding

• Optimised built-in modes for High-Quality Results
• Weld Thick, Thin and Reflective Metals with low heat input
• Wobble control for up to 5 mm of Additional Weld Width
• Minimal Fixturing and Rework for increased productivity

Further information:


EMR receives Green Apple Award for Warrington community recycling project in local shopping centre

A community recycling initiative in Warrington, led by Golden Square Shopping Centre and world-leading recycler EMR, has been recognised by the prestigious Green Apple Awards.


Launched in 1994, the Green Apple Awards recognise companies, organisations, and governments globally, which demonstrate environmental best practice and commitment to having a positive environmental impact. Previous UK winners include Media City UK, the McLaren Group, Stanstead Airport and MITIE waste.

Throughout 2020, Warrington-based EMR encouraged the local community to recycle unwanted household items, with proceeds from the resulting waste metal being donated to a local school. Visitors to Warrington’s Golden Square Shopping Centre could use one of three metal collection bins in the site’s car park to drop off common waste metal items including garden tools, pots and pans, copper piping, food and drinks cans, and radiators.

Local schools were then able to register to enter into a draw to win the value of the metal collected. The winning school, Penketh Primary School, received £2,400 after the collected metal raised £800 and was matched funded by both EMR and Golden Square Shopping Centre.

Rebecca Kayll, Head Teacher at Penketh Primary School, described the donation as “invaluable” at a time when most fundraising opportunities had been cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Kayll said: “The Eco Team and our School Council will decide how the money will be spent to improve our eco-credentials, with one pupil stating an aim to make the school carbon neutral!”

The award-winning scheme was developed in response to the ‘Waste to Wealth Initiative’ by Business in the Community, The Prince’s Responsible Business Network. EMR and JLL, Golden Square Shopping Centre landowners, are two of seven Waste to Wealth Champions, committed to identifying challenges and developing innovative solutions to avoid catastrophic climate change and restore the health of our environment.

Reacting to the award announcement, EMR’s Managing Director of Metal Recycling Ian Sheppard said: “At EMR we care a great deal about the communities in which we operate and protecting the environment for future generations, so it is an honour to be recognised for our commitment to both at this year’s Green Apple Awards. We will continue to strive towards achieving the carbon neutral standards we’ve committed to in ‘Our Decade of Action’, as well as educating younger generations on the importance of metal recycling.”

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 25 March 2021

This bulletin is issued by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and provides the latest information for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19). All coronavirus business support information can be found at

  • Check if you are eligible for a coronavirus Restart Grant
  • Reopening safely as COVID-19 restrictions are lifted
  • New and updated guidance
  • Travel

Read more: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Businesses and Employers Bulletin – 25 March 2021

Consolidated budgeting guidance 2021 to 2022

This document contains the 2021 to 2022 guidance for government departments on the budgeting framework that applies for expenditure control.

Read more: Consolidated budgeting

European Commission announces preliminary duties on certain Chinese flat rolled products

On Tuesday 16 March the European Commission announced its intention to impose provisional anti-dumping duties on certain aluminium flat rolled productions originating in China. Please see the Commission’s summary of the proposed duties here (information at the provisional stage).

The proposed preliminary duties range from 19,6 – 47,3 %. The standard applicable import duty of 7, 5 % will come ON TOP of the proposed anti-dumping duty.

The products covered by the duties are aluminium products, flat rolled, whether or not alloyed, whether or not further worked than flat rolled, not backed, without internal layers of other material:
• in coils or in coiled strips, in cut-to-length sheets, or in the form of circles; of a thickness of 0,2 mm or more but not more than 6 mm;
• in plates, of a thickness of more than 6 mm;
• in coils or coiled strips of a thickness of not less than 0.03 mm but less than 0.2 mm.

Excluded are beverage canstock, bodypanels for the car industry and aluminium used in the manufacture of aircraft parts.

Next steps:

All sampled producers have received individual calculations from the Commission and will be able to point out possible clerical errors during the course of the week. After, the European Commission will publish a more detailed report on how the proposed duties were calculated.

By 14 April 2021, the Commission will publish a ‘regulation’ actually imposing the preliminary duties. This document, which is a legal act, will also explain in detail the Commission’s findings from the moment the investigation was initiated until now.

The provisional duties are expected to be imposed on 15 April 2021. However, the investigation of the Commission will continue and is expected to be finalised in October 2021. At that point, the duties will likely be confirmed as definitive, although in exceptional circumstances, they could be modified or removed. If the definitive duties are confirmed, they will normally be in place for five years.

Read more: EU Comission