Friday High 5

After a rather slow start to the year – staggered school holidays had an effect – things have kicked back into gear this week.

I’m sure you’ve all felt it – you’ve likely made progress on projects you’ve had hanging since before Christmas as people you need to speak to return to work.

I say work rather than office as I’m sure those of you with a hybrid option have made use of it during the big chill that’s enveloped us this week. I certainly have – risking icy roads and pavements to wait at an unstaffed train platform in subzero temperatures has lacked appeal.

Next week’s weather forecast, you’ll be pleased to know, is for warmer weather, as high as 13 degrees on Tuesday.

There’s been a notable increase in the number of news stories as well. NatWest released its regional PMI index for Yorkshire and Humber on Monday, showing a slight uptick for December to 50.0, reflecting a stabilisation after four months of contraction, but no significant expansion.

That weak demand is still a significant factor for many firms is reflected in our week’s most-read stories.

Topping the list is North Brewing’s filing of a notice of intention to appoint an administrator. The firm had looked to grow following the pandemic, increasing staff numbers, expanding its capacity with a new brewery at Springwell and opening new tap rooms in Leeds, including one in Italy.

Knight Frank’s call for best bids for Bradford’s Odsal Stadium following its appointment to sell the lease currently held by the Rugby Football League was our second most widely read story. The 12.85 acre site is home to Bradford Bulls and Odsal Motorpsort.

Rekom UK, which has nearly 40 pubs and nightclubs across the UK, including in Leeds, Hull, Halifax and York, also filed a notice of intent to appoint administrators. The firm blamed cost of living increases for a fall in demand, particularly among students and young adults.

Henry Boot Development’s sale of its £80m Mabgate Yard build-to-rent development in Leeds was our fourth most popular story.

In fifth place are the reports that Sports Direct founder Mike Ashley is considering putting in a bid for Sheffield’s Meadowhall Shopping Centre.

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