WISHBONE… It’s fair to say Stalybridge isn’t famed for its royal connections, but hopes were raised that the town could have its own Richard III-style discovery when human bones were excavated outside a new Aldi this week. Contractors dug up the bones at the site on Melbourne Street as part the supermarket’s car park, which is believed to sit on top of an old Methodist cemetery. Richard III’s remains were famously unearthed in a car park in Leicester in 2013. A team of archaeologists is now examining the remains found in Stalybridge, so we’ll have to wait and see which lost King it might be this time.
OUTDOOR PURSUITS… Not content with building a £10m castle-themed hotel at Legoland and a £9m CBeebies Land hotel at Alton Towers, Altrincham-based McGoff Construction has picked up another deal with entertainment giant Merlin, this time in Birmingham. The contractor has won an £8m fit-out deal on the Bear Grylls Adventure, which will open at the National Exhibition Centre late next year. The themed attraction includes all manner of activities including a high ropes course, indoor skydiving, climbing wall and assault course, although it’s not known whether it will also contain typical Bear Grylls-staples like a hastily-constructed shelter made of twigs or dangerous animals. Commercial director Dave McGoff said: “The Bear Grylls Adventure is the first of its kind in the world so to be involved in such a landmark scheme really is fantastic.” We’ll have to wait till next year to find out whether he’ll try the rope swing or not.
POINTLESS NAME CHANGE… Farewell, then, the Homes & Communities Agency. Some people never pronounced you right anyway. The HCA will be replaced by Homes England later this year. Or HE for short. Same initials as Historic England, which used to be called English Heritage. But not like EP, English Partnerships, which became the Homes & Communities Agency. See a pattern? What’s the point? How much of our money goes on branding and reprinting costs? And what does it achieve? Answers on a rebranded postcard please.
CELEBRATION… Asif Hamid has had a great week, so he tells us on social media. Firstly, picking up his MBE at the palace and then enjoying the wise words of Lords Prescott and Heseltine at a celebration of Heseltine’s contribution to Liverpool. “Two exceptional individuals with some great stories – a real treat,” glowed Hamid. No word yet though about what Hezza, Prezza or Her Madge thought about the deal LEP chair Hamid has made with Liverpool City Council to build his Contact Company a call centre on a prime waterfront site at Kings Dock. Sadly we are still waiting for Hamid to explain his way round the conflict of interest as well.
QUICK DECISION… It surely didn’t take long for Andy Burnham to accept the invitation to open Co-op Digital’s gorgeous Federation office in NOMA this week. Burnham equally wasted no time in pointing out that he is actually the Labour and Co-operative Mayor for GM. The alliance between the Labour and Co-operative parties goes back to 1927. There were 38 Labour and Co-operative party MPs elected to parliament in the 2017 general election.