The founder of Home Bargains has bought nearly 5,000 acres of farmland in Lancashire in a bid to help farmers ‘grow and promote British produce’.
A company set up by Home Bargains boss Tom Morris, The Halsall Estate Limited, has purchased the land from the Church of England in a deal potentially worth up to £50 million.
The 67-year-old billionaire is the director of The Halsall Estate Limited, a company which was incorporated in January, ITV News reports.
It has now purchased 4,960 acres of land located at Halsall, West Lancashire.
The Church Commissioners, who sold the land, administers the property assets of the Church of England – in total they manage around 95,000 acres of land as well as an £8.7 billion investment fund.
The Halsall Estate Limited said in a statement: “Following the purchase of Halsall Estate, all tenants have been assured that the terms of their existing tenancies will be honoured and there has been no change to any tenancy agreements on our behalf, before or after the purchase.
“Our aim is to work with local farmers to grow and promote British produce.”
A Church Commissioners for England spokesperson said it had ‘completed on the sale of 4,960 acres of land at Halsall, West Lancashire.’
They added: “All parties affected have been notified and where tenancies are in place these will remain.”
Mr Morris is known to be publicity-shy. Born to a Liverpool shopkeeper he’s one of seven siblings, and set up Home Bargains in the city back in 1976.
Joseph Morris, his brother, is currently the company’s operations director.
Asda cafe launches £1 winter meal deal for over 60s with unlimited tea and coffee
Diners will also be able to enjoy bottomless tea and coffee with their meal
Asda has launched a £1 meal deal in its cafes to help customers over the age of sixty with the cost of living crisis.
Throughout November and December, customers aged sixty and over will be able to get a bowl of soup, a roll, and unlimited tea and coffees for just £1 in its in-store cafes.
The supermarket is also running a ‘Community Cuppa’ campaign in its cafes by providing a warm space for those who may otherwise struggle to meet due to rising energy costs.
Spaces will be available on weekdays in November and December from 2pm to 6pm, and will offer all community group members unlimited free tea or coffee.
Asda co-owner Mohsin Issa said: “We know that this winter is set to be incredibly hard for thousands of pensioners as they worry about how to keep themselves warm in the face of rising living costs and a fixed income.
“We’ve already been able to serve over half a million meals through our Kids Eat for £1 initiative in our cafes and we’re hoping our new offer of soup and hot drinks for over 60s will prove just as impactful for those who need it most.
“Meanwhile, the cost of living grant programme led by Asda’s charity The Asda Foundation will support grassroots organisations who are providing a lifeline in their communities during these tough times.”
The supermarket’s charity, The Asda Foundation, will also be providing funding worth £500k to support community groups that are struggling with rising operating costs or increased demand for their vital services in the current climate.
This comes just months after the launch of Asda’s Just Essentials range, which boasts nearly 300 discounted products.
The range, which has been hailed as the ‘largest budget-friendly essentials range in the market’, contains 50% more low-cost items than the Smart Price range it replaced.
Discount products include fresh meat, fish and poultry, baked goods, frozen products and cupboard staples. There are also household essentials such as washing up liquid, shampoo and conditioner.
Find your closest Asda Cafe here.
Home Bargains to close every single store on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day
The retailer said it wanted to thank all its staff for how hard they’ve worked over the past year
Home Bargains has announced it will be closing all its stores on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day to give staff the chance to enjoy time off with loved ones.
The company, which employs around 28,000 members of staff across 600 stores, will also be closed on Christmas Day, and will shut early at 5pm on Christmas Eve.
In its announcement on Twitter, Home Bargains said: “We would like to thank all our staff for how hard you have worked this past year, and want you to relax and enjoy the Christmas break with your loved ones.”
A spokesperson for Home Bargains said of the decision: “We know how hard all our colleagues have worked throughout the year.
“Being a family-run business, we recognise the importance of spending quality time with our loved ones.
“Therefore, we feel it is only right to support our valued store teams by giving them extended time off around Christmas and New Year.”
The retailer’s decision has been applauded by people on social media, with one person writing: “Well done Home Bargains, leading the way again; hopefully more retail firms will do the same and give staff the holiday they deserve.”
Another commented: “All shops should close over the Christmas Holidays like they used to do. Staff need time out with their families as well.”
And a third noted: “All shops should do this without having to worry that some will complain for their imagined slights.
“Everyone deserves to spend the festive season with their loved ones, not just the people out shopping with theirs.”
Ilkay Gundogan’s wife says Manchester’s restaurants are ‘horrible’ and serve ‘frozen food’
‘Restaurants here are just focus on making money with drinks and shot like night clubs not quality food’
Ilkay Gundogan’s wife has ruffled feathers this week with her opinion on Manchester’s restaurants, which she says are all ‘horrible’.
Sara Arfaoui, who married the Manchester City captain earlier this year, was asked on Instagram Stories where her favourite eating spots are in the city.
However, the twenty-seven-year-old Italian national revealed she was yet to discover a ‘good restaurant’ in Manchester, adding that everywhere sold ‘frozen’ food.
She wrote: “Sorry… I’m sad to be honest but nothing. I tried so bad to find a good restaurant but… horrible food everywhere.
“Can’t find a real Italian or good sushi or just fresh food… everything frozen. Restaurants here are just focus on making money with drinks and shot like night clubs not quality food.
“Maybe in London but in Manchester nothing. I’m sorry.”
Sara’s comments were met with a wave of backlash by dedicated Manchester foodies, with renown food critic Jay Rayner even wading into the argument.
He responded: “This is a ludicrous point of view. Manchester’s packed full of brilliant, independent restaurants.
“It’s an absolute gem of a place to eat and comments like this during difficult economic times are not helpful to businesses struggling to make ends meet.”
One local restaurant owner also reportedly contacted her directly, only for Sara to double down on her remarks.
The owner said in a message: “There’s so many great restaurants in Manchester. I suggest you do research before you speak.
“And only because your husband is a footballer and you have money and you have everything probably paid for and a great life given to you here in Manchester.
“You should be grateful for that instead of slagging restaurants.”
At this, the model hit back: “So because we are successful people we can’t give an honest opinion?
“I tried all the best restaurants here but for me it’s a no. I can’t lie. Unfortunately I’m used to Italy so you can imagine it’s hard to compare.”
She added: “It’s a great city, great people but not for restaurants.”