Britain’s cultural venues to reopen without crowds and queues

Giant, colour-filled canvases have hung from the walls of the Whitechapel Gallery in London for the past three months, their epic scale witnessed only by the occasional security guard. 

“They’re like sleeping beauties, slumbering away behind closed doors, waiting to be awakened by the eye of the public,” said Iwona Blazwick, the gallery’s director.

The Whitechapel will soon open its doors again, inviting Britain’s art lovers to go for their cultural fix at the “Radical Figures” exhibition that was put on hold in March.

From next weekend, England will be freed from many of the restrictions imposed during the coronavirus lockdown. Pubs, restaurants and hotels will reopen alongside visitor attractions such as museums, cinemas and galleries — places for people to wander through and think, talk with friends and take families for days out.

The return of places of “congregation and enjoyment . . . so important after this period

Read More

UK sewage plants fear deluge of stale beer

Water and sewage companies are racing to stop millions of pints of stale beer overwhelming the UK’s sewage system and threatening the environment as pubs rush to replace stock before reopening on July 4.

Water companies say that although larger cities such as London have sewage processing facilities that can cope with a huge influx of stale beer, some smaller plants risk being overwhelmed.

About 70m pints of beer have been left on pub premises since the UK entered lockdown in March, according to the British Beer and Pub Association. The beer, which can usually last three to six weeks before going off, needs to be removed from cellars before publicans can bring in new barrels and reopen. But any sudden release into the sewage system could overwhelm the bugs that break down effluent at the treatment plants, water companies said.

If the sewage is released directly into rivers and

Read More

Johnson aims to raise Britain’s game in science

Boris Johnson’s bid to take a taxpayer stake in a collapsed satellite company is the first part of a broader strategy in which the government will invest in “high risk, high pay-off” science projects.

The prime minister is expected to give more details of his science policy in a speech on Britain’s post Covid-19 recovery plan next week, just days after he pledged about £500m to invest in the satellite operator OneWeb.

The satellite venture, which could help to deliver high speed wireless internet to remote UK communities, comes as Mr Johnson draws up plans to support seven “industries of the future”: life sciences, clean energy, space, design, computing, robotics and artificial intelligence.

The policy is being driven by Dominic Cummings, Mr Johnson’s chief adviser, who is fascinated by the potential of science to drive future economic growth.

He wants to see 2.4 per cent of UK gross domestic product

Read More

Wirecard scandal: Pre-payment cards could be hit as e-money firm’s assets frozen | Business News

British holders of some pre-payment cards could find they no longer work after a regulator froze the UK assets and activities of a scandal-hit e-money firm.

Customers affected are being advised to contact Wirecard or their card provider directly, while those who receive their benefits through the system are being referred to the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) for support.

Image:
The UK watchdog says it has moved to ‘protect the interests and money” of Wirecard customers

The Financial Conduct Authority moved to impose restrictions against Wirecard after the collapse of its German parent company, which is now the focus of a major fraud investigation.

The UK watchdog said the move was taken to “protect the interests and money of consumers who use Wirecard”.

There is no indication of how many people may be affected.

Wirecard’s failure owing creditors almost £3.2bn, is shaping up to be one of Germany’s

Read More