Gloucester Council 'buys retail park for £54 million'

Reports that Gloucester City Council "has bought a local retail park for £54 million" feature in today's newspaper round-up.

An article in The Times  (subscription) says that the council acquired the St Oswalds retail park from Hammerson, "the FTSE 250 shopping centre owner that is seeking to sell all its out-of-town properties." The paper adds that "tenants at the site include B&Q, Homesense and Mothercare, which went into administration this month."

The Daily Mail reports that pop star Ed Sheeran "has been given approval to build a prayer retreat on his country estate." The paper says that Sheeran "has already bought a number of properties close to Framlingham in Suffolk where he grew up. A planning application for the construction of an outbuilding near Wynneys Hall was granted by East Suffolk Council on Tuesday."

An article in The Guardian says that the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has said that fears that an ageing population mean that the UK is facing a "demographic timebomb" could be "unfounded". The paper says that "while it’s true that people are living longer, healthier lives – on average, at 65 years old, women still have a quarter of their lives left to live and men just over one fifth – the [ONS] analysis found that, as the large, post-war cohorts die out, there will be 4.3 million fewer older people with life expectancies of 15 years or more than previously forecast." The piece quotes Ngaire Coombs from the ONS’s Centre for Ageing and Demography saying: "The population is ageing far more slowly when prospective rather than traditional measures of ageing are used."

Writing in The Times, West Midlands mayor Andy Street, calls for a "grand vision" to put the High Speed Two rail project "back on track". He writes: "Economic growth, jobs and productivity benefits for the Midlands and the north are the backbone of this project, but they alone don’t have the power to inspire, which has led to those of us who support the project losing the battle for hearts and minds."

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