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Fri 6th Jan 2017 - Jamie Oliver shutters six sites, 'staycations' hit record levels
Jamie Oliver to close six restaurants: Jamie Oliver is to close six of his Jamie’s Italian restaurants on the back of difficult trading since the Brexit vote. The closures will affect 120 member of staff. Oliver said that he hoped to find the workers alternative jobs. The outlets are in Aberdeen, Exeter, Cheltenham, Richmond, Tunbridge Wells and Ludgate Hill, near St Paul’s Cathedral. Simon Blagden, chief executive of the Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, told The Times: “This is a tough market and post-Brexit the pressures and unknowns have made it even harder.” He said that overall the business was “in very good shape”. In its last full financial year to 3 January 2026, sales rose 8.7% to £116.1m and Ebitda pre-exceptional cost grew 7.4% to £13.2m. Profit before tax was £2,396,531, down from £3,882,983 the year before because of one-off costs related to refinancing.

Staycation spend hits record level: Families spent a record-breaking amount on day trips around England last year, boosting the economy to the tune of £45.3 billion. The figures, for January to November 2016, beat the previous record of £44.3 billion, spent in the same period in 2012. The number of day trips also hit a record high of 1.35 billion in 2016, up from the previous high of 1.34 billion, again set four years previously. The Tower of London was England’s top paid-for attraction as the number of families taking ‘staycations’ in the UK reached a record. Sally Balcombe, chief executive of Visit England, which carried out the survey, said: “It is great to see more people getting out and exploring the huge range of quality destinations and tourism products on offer right across the country.” The number of day trips hit a record high of 1.35 billion in 2016. Top attractions included the Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, National Gallery, the Royal Botanical Gardens and Natural History Museum, all in London. Outside the capital, Chester Zoo, Brighton Pier, Windermere, Stonehenge and Flamingo Land, North Yorkshire, were among the UK’s best-loved places for a day trip. Visit England said numbers of domestic day trips in England last year were up 14% on 2015, and spending was 7% higher. A spokesman said highlights for the coming year include events as part of Hull’s stint as UK City of Culture and an exhibition celebrating the Roman cavalry regiments that guarded Hadrian’s Wall, in Northumberland. The latest figures from Visit England follow the agency recording a summer boom in domestic tourism with hundreds of thousands more people choosing a ‘staycation’.

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