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10 Mar 2021 | 07:27

Wednesday newspaper round-up: Air passenger duty, Evans Cycles, M&S

(Sharecast News) - Air passenger duty is set to be cut on domestic flights after the prime minister signalled his support for reform to bolster air links around the UK. Lower rates for UK internal flights or an exemption for return legs will be considered. The news will come as some relief to the beleaguered aviation industry, whose complaints about the level of duty predate the Covid-19 crisis, but environmental groups said the move was "nonsensical" and "beggared belief" in the face of climate change. - Guardian More than 300 jobs are expected to go at Evans Cycles, and hundreds of remaining store staff are to be switched to zero-hours contracts, as Mike Ashley's Frasers Group aims to slash costs. The 55-store bicycle retailer, which Frasers bought out of administration in 2018 when it had 62 outlets, has told staff it intends to cut up to half of the workforce in many stores despite booming trade for bike retailers during the pandemic. - Guardian

Twenty-five councils are at risk of going bust after Covid-19 blew a catastrophic £10bn hole in local authority finances, the Government's spending watchdog has warned. The National Audit Office said that a string of the UK's 337 councils are at "high" or "acute" risk of financial failure as they struggle to meet the legal requirement to balance their budgets. It did not name the 25 most exposed. - Telegraph

Marks & Spencer has become the latest retailer to reveal plans to turn some retail space into offices. The retailer is seeking to convert the upper levels of its Marble Arch store on Oxford Street as part of a wider redevelopment of the site and then lease it to City tenants. Marble Arch, which opened in 1930, is M&S's biggest store with 160,000 sq ft of trading space. - Telegraph

Administrators of London Capital & Finance are poised to run up fees of almost £8 million by next January, prompting a furious response from investors who lost savings in the £238 million scandal. Insolvency practitioners from Smith & Williamson, the accountancy and restructuring firm, said that fees of £5.6 million had been incurred since the administration began in 2019. - The Times
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