A huge fire at a former Lucozade factory in Manchester has sparked fears of asbestos after firefighters battled to bring it under control. Dramatic pictures show flames engulfing the warehouse in Salford, which has been severely damaged. Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service this morning revealed the scale of the devastation after crews tackled the blaze. The fire service has warned people in the area not to touch asbestos, which has been blown across the local area, the Manchester Evening News reports - and schools have been recommended to stay shut. Officers worked through the night to deal with the fire, which has been described as a "very challenging incident". The fire broke out in the early hours of this morning at the Worsley Trading Estate, in Little Hulton, and eight fire engines were initially called to the scene. At the height of the blaze ten fire engines and two aerial appliances were being used to bring the flames under control. By 5am the fire was under control and … [Read more...] about Former Lucozade factory fire: Salford warehouse blaze sparks asbestos fears
The day before Sports Direct lets the public into its warehouse in Shirebrook, Derbyshire, a rival retailer showed a very different warehouse to the press on Tuesday 6 September. The £150m extension to John Lewis’s Milton Keynes depot features pastel cardigans, party dresses and fluorescent T-shirts flying past on hi-tech ceiling rails. Sports Direct’s founder and majority shareholder, Mike Ashley, will be taking note. Ashley once said he wanted to become an employer on a par with John Lewis, the department store co-owned by its workers who take a share of profits every year. But a tour of the brightly lit Magna Park 3 site, with its polished concrete floors, indicates he has some way to go. The building features a giant Meccano-style set of metal racking, up to 25 metres high in some places, across which garments and green plastic boxes of products are carried to staff at computerised work stations. Dino Rocos, operations director at John Lewis, says … [Read more...] about John Lewis’s hi-tech warehouse a hard act for Sports Direct to follow
Ocado has tapped shareholders for £150m as it pumps cash into fine-tuning the expensive technology behind its hi-tech warehouses where groceries are picked by robots. The online grocer revealed it had made a small loss of £500,000 on sales of £1.3bn in the year to 3 December 2017. The Ocado chief executive, Tim Steiner, also warned that plans to step up investment in 2018 would dent profits in the new financial year. Ocado’s shares tumbled as much as 12% in morning trading before recovering to close down just over 3% at 476.5p. Steiner said Ocado had not had to beg investors for the fresh funds, as they were eager for the company to cash in on the clamour from international retailers to buy its technology services, which are being marketed under its new Ocado Solutions banner. “We are investing for future profit at the expense of current profits,” he said. “As the momentum of new signings builds we need the financial flexibility to take advantage … [Read more...] about Ocado uses £150m from shareholders for warehouse robots
Hamid Farahi Alamdari was full of stories. When he was living out of his car in a Tesco car park in Harlow, Essex, he told anyone who would listen about his exciting past as an avionics engineer, Iranian war veteran and physicist. Then there was his pièce de résistance: the time he was shortlisted to be Stephen Hawking’s assistant. “I took it all with a pinch of salt at first because he was telling me all these stories and I could tell he was a drinker,” says account manager Adam Protheroe. “He could have been anybody. He could have told me that he was the king of Iran and I wouldn’t have known any better.” Protheroe became close friends with Hamid in 2017. “I’d seen him around and he was living in a Peugeot 206 that was parked up just around the corner. I came back a couple of days later with a bag full of clothes and bits and pieces and socks. My wife cooked him a nice meal and I took it down to him in a little box and started … [Read more...] about A gifted physicist reduced to living in his car: what killed Hamid Alamdari?
A year ago, at the opening of Tate Modern, Juan Munoz and I leant over the balustrade on the bridge that crosses the Turbine Hall. We were watching the crowds milling about on the sloped ramp below as they disappeared benath the bridge and reappeared on the other side to look at Louise Bourgeois's towers. This space, said Munoz, is a killer. The Turbine Hall runs the full length of Tate Modern, and rises uninterrupted to the roof. Munoz's Double Bind, the second in the Unilever series for this daunting space, is unveiled to the public today. Let's not beat around the bush: Munoz has made an astonishing, deceptive, complex sculptural installation for a space that, so Tate Modern's critics argue, is suitable only for makers of gargantua. Trudging down the ramp, you approach a darkness under the bridge. You either continue or climb the stairs on to the bridge itself. Continue, and you find yourself in what appears to be an underground space not normally accessible to the public. It is … [Read more...] about We are not alone