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Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Grenadier 4X4 revealed

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Sir Jim Ratcliffe has proved that a British billionaire can bring an all-new car to market, today launching his ‘back to basics’ Ineos Grenadier – a rugged, hard-working and utilitarian 4X4 machine.

The Grenadier, named after a pub in Knightsbridge, is expected to cost from between £30,000 and £45,000 and will go into full production in Wales from late next year.

It aims to deliver the kind no-frills 4×4 performance that made the original Land Rover a legend.

Ratcliffe, who was named the fifth richest man in Britain by the Sunday Times this year – with an estimated wealth of £12.2 billion – has achieved what the man at the top of the rich list – Sir James Dyson – couldn’t after he pulled the plug on his own electric car project last year.

Here’s everything you need to know about Grenadier and how it will be aimed at buyers who have already turned their nose up at Land Rover’s new style-orientated Defender.

Grenadier guns for the void left by Land Rover: This is the first model to be launched by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos Automotive brand. It's a hard-working, utilitarian 4X4 in the same ilk as the original Land Rover Series and later the Defender

Grenadier guns for the void left by Land Rover: This is the first model to be launched by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos Automotive brand. It's a hard-working, utilitarian 4X4 in the same ilk as the original Land Rover Series and later the Defender

Grenadier guns for the void left by Land Rover: This is the first model to be launched by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Automotive brand. It’s a hard-working, utilitarian 4X4 in the same ilk as the original Land Rover Series and later the Defender

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Ratcliffe’s long-awaited 4X4 certainly has a very familiar look to it – resembling the squared-off silhouette of the previous-generation Defender that went out of production four years ago.

The boxy new Grenadier off-roader was conceived in the pub of the same name in London’s Belgravia three years ago by the Inoes boss to fill what he perceived to be a ‘gap in the market’ for a ‘stripped back’ offroad vehicle that is capable of going anywhere.

The industrial-looking Grenadier has been designed so that it is easy to customise and modify so that owners can impose their own individual personality and stamp but also retrofit the 4X4 for whatever task is required.

Developers behind the project say it won’t be a ‘jelly-mould’ or ‘pavement princess’ sports utility vehicle, in what could be seen as a subtle dig at Land Rover’s recently launched all-new Defender.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced his plans to create a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender soon after the previous-generation model went out of production in early 2016

Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced his plans to create a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender soon after the previous-generation model went out of production in early 2016

Sir Jim Ratcliffe announced his plans to create a spiritual successor to the Land Rover Defender soon after the previous-generation model went out of production in early 2016

Grenadier is a boxy, brutish 4X4 that's aimed at multiple markets. While the majority of customers are likely to be farmers and agricultural types, it will also be aimed at lifestyle buyers and those obsessed with serious offroading

Grenadier is a boxy, brutish 4X4 that's aimed at multiple markets. While the majority of customers are likely to be farmers and agricultural types, it will also be aimed at lifestyle buyers and those obsessed with serious offroading

Grenadier is a boxy, brutish 4X4 that’s aimed at multiple markets. While the majority of customers are likely to be farmers and agricultural types, it will also be aimed at lifestyle buyers and those obsessed with serious offroading 

From launch, the Grenadier will be powered by 3.0-litre BMW petrol and diesel engines, though there’s an electric hydrogen-powered version to follow

From launch, the Grenadier will be powered by 3.0-litre BMW petrol and diesel engines, though there’s an electric hydrogen-powered version to follow

From launch, the Grenadier will be powered by 3.0-litre BMW petrol and diesel engines, though there’s an electric hydrogen-powered version to follow

Sir Jim Ratcliffe achieves what Sir James Dyson couldn’t…

The arrival of the Grenadier not only comes at a time when there’s a clear void in the market, but also debuts in an unprecedented period when businesses are suffering and global markets and fortunes are being hammered by the coronavirus pandemic.

It also follows the well-documented collapse of Sir James Dyson’s own automotive venture.

The vacuum-cleaner mogul’s defunct electric SUV has been shown in its final prototype state in the last month, as the British billionaire – who topped The Sunday Time Rich List 2020 with a net worth of £16.2billion – explained why the plug-in vehicle was deemed ‘not commercially viable’ and the project axed in 2019.

While the two vehicles couldn’t be any more different – with the Dyson electric car designed to be a luxurious cruiser – the Ineos Automotive Grenadier is also looking to the future of alternative-fuel powertrains.

Sir James Dyson poses in front of the production-ready Dyson electric SUV - dubbed project 'N526' - which was axed last year after Britain's richest man said it was not commercially viable

Sir James Dyson poses in front of the production-ready Dyson electric SUV - dubbed project 'N526' - which was axed last year after Britain's richest man said it was not commercially viable

Sir James Dyson poses in front of the production-ready Dyson electric SUV – dubbed project ‘N526’ – which was axed last year after Britain’s richest man said it was not commercially viable 

The Dyson electric car was a seven-seat SUV aimed at the luxury market

The Dyson electric car was a seven-seat SUV aimed at the luxury market

As you can see here, this one-of-a-kind prototype model was at a production-ready phase when the project was eventually canned

As you can see here, this one-of-a-kind prototype model was at a production-ready phase when the project was eventually canned

The Dyson electric car was a seven-seat SUV aimed at the luxury market. As you can see from thee images, this one-of-a-kind prototype model was at a production-ready phase when the project was eventually canned

Despite the failed project, Sir James Dyson has said the cancelled electric car was not the end to the company’s 'interest in mobility'

Despite the failed project, Sir James Dyson has said the cancelled electric car was not the end to the company’s 'interest in mobility'

Despite the failed project, Sir James Dyson has said the cancelled electric car was not the end to the company’s ‘interest in mobility’

The car-making newcomer confirmed there’s an electric hydrogen-powered version to follow.

The firm plans to leap-frog into the future with a hi-tech fuel cell that uses hydrogen in a chemical reaction – rather than batteries – to generate electric power. 

And cunningly it will use hydrogen gas created as a bi-product of Ratcliffe’s chemical business empire to fuel them. 

However, from launch the new Grenadier will be powered by conventional turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines, supplied by BMW.

Unveiling the new motor, Ineos bosses said: ‘Engineered to overcome all conditions, it will provide best-in-class off-road capability, durability and reliability to those who depend on a vehicle as a working tool, wherever they are in the world.’

Gap in the market: While Land Rover has attempted to market its new Defender as a hardcore offroader, many- including Sir Jim Ratcliffe - believe it doesn't fulfill the needs of customers who bought the previous-generation vehicle

Gap in the market: While Land Rover has attempted to market its new Defender as a hardcore offroader, many- including Sir Jim Ratcliffe - believe it doesn't fulfill the needs of customers who bought the previous-generation vehicle

Gap in the market: While Land Rover has attempted to market its new Defender as a hardcore offroader, many- including Sir Jim Ratcliffe – believe it doesn’t fulfill the needs of customers who bought the previous-generation vehicle

Grenadier is aimed at a market that’s been disregarded by Land Rover 

Chairman Sir Jim Ratcliffe said: ‘The Grenadier project started by identifying a gap in the market, abandoned by a number of manufacturers, for a utilitarian off-road vehicle.

‘This gave us our engineering blueprint for a capable, durable and reliable 4X4 built to handle the world’s harshest environments. But it had to look the part as well.’ 

This gap in the rugged mud-plugger market has mainly been created by Land Rover ending on January 29 2016 production of its original year-old Defender some 67 years after its launch (as the original Land Rover) at the Amsterdam Motor Show in April 1948. 

Daily Mail Motoring Editor Ray Massey, posing in an original Land Rover Series 1 model

Daily Mail Motoring Editor Ray Massey, posing in an original Land Rover Series 1 model

Daily Mail Motoring Editor Ray Massey, posing in an original Land Rover Series 1 model

The final Land Rover Defender of previous type came off the Solihull production line on 29 January 2016. The new 2020 Defender is being built in Nitra, Slovakia

The final Land Rover Defender of previous type came off the Solihull production line on 29 January 2016. The new 2020 Defender is being built in Nitra, Slovakia

The final Land Rover Defender of previous type came off the Solihull production line on 29 January 2016. The new 2020 Defender is being built in Nitra, Slovakia

The latest Defender might feature plenty of options that would make it a hardened offroader - such as a power winch and tread-plates on the bonnet - but this is likely to be the usual terrain for the new version

The latest Defender might feature plenty of options that would make it a hardened offroader - such as a power winch and tread-plates on the bonnet - but this is likely to be the usual terrain for the new version

The latest Defender might feature plenty of options that would make it a hardened offroader – such as a power winch and tread-plates on the bonnet – but this is likely to be the usual terrain for the new version

Pre-release images of the Grenadier show it being tested in extreme environments and conditions

Pre-release images of the Grenadier show it being tested in extreme environments and conditions

Pre-release images of the Grenadier show it being tested in extreme environments and conditions

Over the period more than two million were built. It has been replaced with a modern hi-tech 21st century Defender model now on sale in showrooms priced from £40,290.

Even to the untrained eye, the new Grenadier bears more than a passing resemblance – in shape at least – to those much loved original Land Rover Defenders which have now become collectors’ items and investments since production ended in 2016.

Land Rover’s lawyers – who have already had one attempt to stop the new rival Grenadier in its mud-rutted tracks – are continuing to watch intently in case there’s any potential case to answer for design infringement.

But the team behind the Grenadier are confident they have got a winner on their hands.  

How the Ineos Grenadier compares to Land Rover’s Defender of old and new 

Ineos Grenadier

Expected price: £30,000 to £45,000

Production and first deliveries: Late 2021

Built: New factory Bridgend, South Wales.

Dimensions: (estimated. Similar to early Merceds-Benz G-Wagon)

Length: 4,700mm

Width: 1,800mm

Height: 1900mm

Weight: circa 2.6tonnes (est)

Engines:

BMW 3.0 litre 6cyl petrolBMW 3.0 6 cyl diesel

Electric hydrogen-powered fuel cell (to follow)

Gears: 8 speed ZF automatic gearbox with three locking differentials

Towing: 3.5 tonnes

 

Original Land Rover 

Price in 1948: Around £450 

Launched: Amsterdam Motor Show, April 30, 1948 

Built: Solihull, UK 

Dimensions: 

Length: 3,353mm

Width: 1,549mm

Height: 1,867mm

Weight: N/A

Engine: 1595cc 4 cylinder inline.

Gears: Four speed manual

Drive: Four-wheel drive 

Towing; N/A

2020 Land Rover Defender 

Price: From £40,290 – Defender 110 Range price from £45,560

Launched: Frankfurt Motor Show, 10 September 2019

Built: Nitra, Slovakia 

Dimensions: 

Length: 4,758mm 

Width: 2,008mm (door mirrors folded)

Height: 1967mm

Wheelbase: 3,022mm

Engines: 

Diesel: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder diesels

Petrol: 2.0-litre 4 cylinder petrol  and 3.0-litre straight 6-cylinder petrol 

Plug-in electric hybrid (PHEV) version to follow next year

Gears: 8-speed automatic 

Drive: All-wheel drive  

Towing capability: 3.5 tonnes 

 

It is ‘a truly uncompromising 4x4 built from the ground up’, the company said in a release statement issued today

It is ‘a truly uncompromising 4x4 built from the ground up’, the company said in a release statement issued today

It is ‘a truly uncompromising 4×4 built from the ground up’, the company said in a release statement issued today

Two versions of the Grenadier from launch 

Ineos Automotive will launch two variants of their own off-roader – a classic 4X4 design plus a double-cab pick-up with an open load-lugging platform at the back. 

Part of the unsatisfied demand for old-school 4X4s has been plugged, in part, by a rise in demand for large, basic, double-cab pick-up trucks, they believe. More variant are set to follow.

Until now only grainy spy shots of the camouflaged vehicle on test in disguise have been seen.

Car enthusiast, fitness fanatic and adventurer Ratcliffe, 67, and his team calculate there is still a buoyant market for tough as old boots ‘old-school’ boxy 4X4s – Tonka Toys for grown-ups. 

They have set out to combine ‘rugged British spirit and design with German engineering rigour’ to produce a ‘capable, durable and reliable 4×4 designed and built to handle the world’s harshest environments’.

It is ‘a truly uncompromising 4×4 built from the ground up’, the company said in a release statement issued today.

The Grenadier has been created to ‘look like a proper 4×4’ with an industrial design form that follows its function and with ‘an interior that can be hosed down’. 

Customers will be able to tailor the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements with a raft of additional features and after-market equipment

Customers will be able to tailor the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements with a raft of additional features and after-market equipment

Customers will be able to tailor the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements with a raft of additional features and after-market equipment 

It will have 21st century levels of equipment land safety systems. Plug in smart-phones can be used for sat-nav and music, such as with Apple CarPlay

It will have 21st century levels of equipment land safety systems. Plug in smart-phones can be used for sat-nav and music, such as with Apple CarPlay

It will have 21st century levels of equipment land safety systems. Plug in smart-phones can be used for sat-nav and music, such as with Apple CarPlay

The off-roaders have been designed as a ‘blank canvas’ for accessories, so customers can tailor the Grenadier to their own tastes and requirements. Significantly not all accessories will be tied to Ineos but will be ‘open source’ so customers can incorporate their existing kit – or cheaper kit from third-party suppliers.

But although they aim to ‘strip away fripperies’, it won’t be spartan and will be comfortable, they insist.

It will have 21st century levels of equipment land safety systems. Plug in smart-phones can be used for sat-nav and music, such as with Apple CarPlay.

Head of design Toby Ecuyer explained: ‘The brief was simple. We set out to design a modern, functional and highly capable 4×4 vehicle with utility at its core.

‘It’s there to do everything you need, and nothing you don’t. Nothing is for show.’

He added: ‘Modern engineering and production techniques ensure the Grenadier is highly capable, but we have been able to stay true to the essence of creating a utilitarian vehicle that will stand the test of time.’

Head of design at Ineos Automotive and the man who has penned the design of Grenadier, Toby Ecuyer

Head of design at Ineos Automotive and the man who has penned the design of Grenadier, Toby Ecuyer

Head of design at Ineos Automotive and the man who has penned the design of Grenadier, Toby Ecuyer

The Grenadier name comes from one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's favourite pubs in trendy London, where he came up with the original idea to launch a new vehicle to market

The Grenadier name comes from one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe's favourite pubs in trendy London, where he came up with the original idea to launch a new vehicle to market

The Grenadier name comes from one of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s favourite pubs in trendy London, where he came up with the original idea to launch a new vehicle to market

Ineos insists that any broad resemblance to vehicles such as the original Land Rover Defender or the early Mercedes-Benz G-Wagon is simply a result of the engineering and physics required to build any 4X4 using a separate ‘body on frame’ or ‘ladder chassis’ and beam axles.

The firm’s commercial director Mark Tennant explained: ‘It looks like what it looks like because of the job it has to do.

‘It won’t be cheap but it will be attainable. It’s designed for purpose. Nothing is for show.’  

Ineos has identified three main target groups for the Grenadier 

The first of these groups is utility customers such as farmers, forestry workers, estate-managers, ski instructors, small businesses and overseas charities and aid groups, rescue services and the United Nations.

But that doesn’t mean it can’t be a showpiece, too.

In fact, the second market is lifestyle customers from the hunting, shooting and fishing fraternities – those needing a vehicle to tow a boat or horsebox. It will also target ‘cool mums and dads ‘ who want a family runaround that’s a bit different.

Finally, the Grenadier should be hugely popular among enthusiasts who want a no-nonsense 4X4 for fun or as an off-roading hobby.

About two thirds of sales will be to lifestyle and utility buyers, with enthusiasts on lower budgets providing a useful market for second hand vehicles.  

The inspiration for the Grenadier 4X4 

Ineos bosses say one of the key role models was America’s original wartime Wilys-Overland Jeep – which also inspired Britain’s first Land Rover – with a simple utilitarian brief and was put swiftly into mass production.

Ratcliffe and his team worked to a set of key principles, The Grenadier had to have the following:

– A wheel at each corner

– Permanent 4-wheel drive

– A ‘ladder chasis’ and beam axles

– Class-leading off road performance

– A mechanical transfer box

– A 3.5 tonnes towing capability

– A comfortable modern interior

– Hose-down capability – inside and out

– Ease of repair

– A design that was not a ‘jelly mould’ or ‘cookie cutter’

Where will Grenadier be built?  

The new Grenadier will go into production late next year at a purpose-built factory being constructed at Bridgend in South Wales, which is near Ford’s engine plant that is due to close in September.

Bosses estimate it will build up to 25,000 4X4s a year creating 200 jobs initially, rising to 500 in the longer term.

Around 100 staff are already with its engineering partner MBTech at its centre near Stuttgart in Germany.

A sub assembly plant in Estarreja, Portugal, producing chassis and body components will create up to 500 more jobs n the longer term.

Ineos Automotive has bought in world-class expertise where needed.

The new Grenadier will go into production late next year at a purpose-built factory being constructed at Bridgend in South Wales

The new Grenadier will go into production late next year at a purpose-built factory being constructed at Bridgend in South Wales

The new Grenadier will go into production late next year at a purpose-built factory being constructed at Bridgend in South Wales

Thje new facility is close to Ford’s engine plant that's due to close. Ineos Automotive intends to build up to 25,000 4X4s a year creating 200 jobs initially, rising to 500 in the longer term

Thje new facility is close to Ford’s engine plant that's due to close. Ineos Automotive intends to build up to 25,000 4X4s a year creating 200 jobs initially, rising to 500 in the longer term

Thje new facility is close to Ford’s engine plant that’s due to close. Ineos Automotive intends to build up to 25,000 4X4s a year creating 200 jobs initially, rising to 500 in the longer term

Austria’s Magna Steyr, which builds vehicles under contract for major manufacturers, is a partner for the Grenadier 4X4 and is developing the suspension.

German car-giant BMW is supplying the turbo-charged 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol and diesel engines and the eight-speed automatic gearboxes are also from Germany’s ZF, which supplies to BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and more.

The ‘ladder-style’ chassis is being built by Gestamp in Spain and the axles are from Carraro, Italy.

The project has also poached talented staff with experience from the likes of Ford, Daimler, Volkswagen, Bentley. Jaguar Land Rover and Lotus.

Will there be dealers? Ineos has also outlined plans for the sales, maintenance and repair network 

Dirk Heilmann, chief executive, Ineos Automotive

Dirk Heilmann, chief executive, Ineos Automotive

Dirk Heilmann, chief executive, Ineos Automotive

Instead of a traditional dealership network, customers will be able to shop online and via a network of existing agricultural and tractor traders, ‘pop-up sites’ at county shows and agricultural and equestrian events, and at off-road experience centres where buyers can try out the vehicles for themselves.

For repairs and servicing it is planning a ‘flying spanner’ service as well as a partnership with a major international chain of repair centres. 

Now that the covers are off, more than a million miles of testing is planned over the coming year including in South Africa and arctic tundra.

Ineos Automotive’s chief executive Dirk Heilmann said: ‘From today the covers are off. Showing the design now allows us to focus on the critical next phase of the vehicle’s development, testing its capability and durability.’

‘Testing ‘in plain sight’ without the need for camouflage wrapping, foam blocks or fake panels is an added benefit.’

About 35 per cent of sales will be in North America, 30 per cent in the UK and Europe including Germany, with the remainder across Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

CARS & MOTORING: ON TEST

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Britain’s grocers gearing up for massive price war

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Britain’s grocers are gearing up for a massive price war amidst fears unemployment could rise above four million. 

More than 14,000 jobs were lost this week as a coronavirus jobs bloodbath hit the economy. 

The jobs cull has left supermarket bosses scrambling to show they are competitive on price as household budgets are squeezed due to the crisis. 

They are worried that the German discounters Aldi and Lidl will repeat the sort of market-share gains made after the 2008 financial crash. 

This week, one industry source said: ‘Price is going to be everything over the rest of the year.’ 

Food price inflation has risen to 4 per cent, running far ahead of the 0.5 per cent rate of inflation, putting yet further pressure on household budgets. 

Since the coronavirus pandemic has struck, Sainsbury’s have lowered prices on 300 products, on top of their eight-week ‘price lock’ on 1,000 of their items. 

Chief executive Simon Roberts said: ‘With rising unemployment pressure on consumer spending we’ve got to make sure our offer is really relevant. 

‘We’ve been putting a lot of emphasis on the value in our offer and invested in price. We have taken gains from discounters.’ 

Morrisons said it had cut ‘and held down’ the price of 450 customer favourites, adding in half-price promotions such as, this week, half-price beef brisket and mackerel. 

And last week Tesco, Britain’s largest supermarket, doubled down its price war expanding its ‘Aldi price match’ promise to 500 everyday items. 

Tesco chief executive Dave Lewis said: ‘I don’t see why anyone should pay more for a brand at Tesco than anywhere else.’ 

The supermarket claimed it had seen net switching gains of customers to Tesco from Aldi ‘for the first time in over a decade’. Aldi and Lidl have always claimed that, despite promotions, their products remain as much as a fifth cheaper than those offered by rivals. 

'Price lock': Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts

'Price lock': Sainsbury's chief executive Simon Roberts

‘Price lock’: Sainsbury’s chief executive Simon Roberts

But the Big Four grocers have found a trump card during the pandemic in online shopping. 

They have been able to double their capacity during the lockdown gaining thousands of new customers, with many experts saying the trend of buying online will not go away soon. 

Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Asda and Morrisons are delivering to 2.8m households each week, while the discounters are close to zero. That compares to around 1.5m before the pandemic. 

Next week Chancellor Rishi Sunak will deliver his plan for rebooting the economy. 

Opposition leader Keir Starmer called it the ‘last chance to save hundreds of thousands of jobs’. 

But hundreds of thousands of jobs have already been lost during the lockdown, and this week some major companies went into administration, or shed staff, in an attempt to survive. 

There is a particular concern for the retail and the hospitality sector – that today takes its first steps out of lockdown with many pubs and bars opening – which have been starved of cash for the last 14 weeks. 

At the same time, businesses are facing up to the furlough scheme being pared back from August 1.

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Fuller’s boss urges Chancellor to cut VAT

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Fuller’s boss has urged the Chancellor to cut VAT to prevent thousands of job losses across the hospitality industry. 

As Britain’s pubs finally begin to reopen today, Simon Emeny said cutting the levy on goods and services is vital to entice punters back to their pubs and avoid wholesale redundancies.

Emeny, who said he would be heading straight into a pub as soon as they open at midday, is planning to reopen just 27 of Fuller’s 215 own-managed inns today. 

Stimulus: Simon Emeny said cutting the levy on goods and services is vital to entice punters back to their pubs and avoid wholesale redundancies

Stimulus: Simon Emeny said cutting the levy on goods and services is vital to entice punters back to their pubs and avoid wholesale redundancies

Stimulus: Simon Emeny said cutting the levy on goods and services is vital to entice punters back to their pubs and avoid wholesale redundancies

The remainder of its 177 pubs, which are run by tenants, should all be open by the end of next week. He told the Mail: ‘Pubs are an enormous employer, but clearly what none of us know is what demand will be like when we reopen. 

‘If we’re going to bring all of these employees back to work, we’re going to need the Government to bring in stimulus.’ 

He said that VAT should be temporarily lowered from its current rate of 20 per cent down to 5 per cent. 

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has come under pressure to cut VAT in his emergency summer statement on Wednesday, in which he will lay out plans to kick-start the economy. Sunak is said to have cooled on the idea, telling Tory MPs not to expect big tax cuts. But, according to the Financial Times, he will also study how England reacts to the reopening of pubs before making a final decision. If there is evidence of pent up demand then a VAT cut may be deemed unnecessary. 

Many worry that today, which has been dubbed ‘Super Saturday’, could see thousands descend on their local after weeks of being restricted to drinking at home.

Emeny is not too concerned: ‘People go to pubs to socialise with their friends and families, and I think they’ll behave well.’

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Britain buys space firm Oneweb in £800m deal

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Britain has bought space firm Oneweb at auction in an £800m deal that will boost efforts to create a home-grown sat nav system, and help deliver super-fast broadband. 

The Government was supported by India’s Bharti Global in the bid, with the two parties pledging to launch hundreds of low-orbit satellites that are expected to provide broadband and navigation services. 

Taking off: The Government will invest about £400m in Oneweb and take a significant share in the company

Taking off: The Government will invest about £400m in Oneweb and take a significant share in the company

Taking off: The Government will invest about £400m in Oneweb and take a significant share in the company

Under the deal, the Government will invest about £400m in Oneweb and take a significant share in the company. Bharti will match that and provide commercial and operational leadership. 

In recent months, London-based Oneweb has emerged as a potentially lower-cost route for the UK to develop its own satellite navigation service, as an alternative to US-controlled GPS. 

Oneweb has been laid low by financial woes and its fate was left to auction in New York, with various businesses and nations said to have been interested in buying it. 

Business Secretary Alok Sharma the deal would help deliver the ‘first UK sovereign space capability’.

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