The European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney has been contracted by the Korea Institute of Ocean Science and Technology to help boost the development of its tidal energy test site at Jang-Juk Strait near Jindo Island.

The signed agreement will see Stromness-based EMEC use its experience and knowledge as a tidal test site operator to advance the Korean test site development.

KIOST is developing a grid-connected tidal energy test site development on the Jang-Juk Strait in the southwestern sea of Korea. The Korea Tidal Current Energy Centre site, which will have a 4.5 MW grid capacity, is expected to be operational by 2022.

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EMEC have been contracted to deliver technical support to KIOST after managing the design, build and operation of its four marine test facilities over the last 17 years in Orkney.

An EMEC technical report will review operational elements of the test site design including the cable layout, protection, and maintenance as well as data acquisition and systems, electrical infrastructure, and grid connection.

As the KIOST site is a new development, EMEC will also assess the likelihood of any environmental impacts associated with tidal energy projects on the marine ecosystem and provide guidance on environmental monitoring strategies for use at the site. The cash value of the contract has not been disclosed.

Rob Flynn, commercial manager at EMEC, said: “The K-TEC facility is an important development for the tidal sector, and proof of its growing commercial readiness and expansion beyond Europe. KIOST and Korea have incredibly strong background in ocean science and engineering, and it’s encouraging to see them bring that to the tidal energy sector.

“Enabling marine energy globally is at the core of what we do at EMEC. We’re happy to bring our experience of operating test sites to bear on this project and help make it a success. I’m really excited to see how this facility develops, and we wish great success for our friends at KIOST.”

Dr Jin-Soon Park, of KIOST, said: “I am very pleased that EMEC, which has been operating a marine energy test sites since 2003, and KIOST, which has been conducting tidal energy research since 2001, have been promoting joint research on the K-TEC construction for tidal energy development.

“The convergence of EMEC's knowhow and KIOST's design technology will make the K-TEC facility a safer and more effective tidal energy converter test site. In addition, it is expected that K-TEC will be able to revitalize the tidal energy industry in Korea and in Asia as well.”

The company behind restaurants such as Wagamama and Frankie & Benny's has said that one in 10 of its sites will not reopen before the end of the year.

The Restaurant Group said that the sites, largely in airports, will open next year at the earliest, as they are unlikely to attract enough customers to make reopening worthwhile.

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The affected sites are in areas "where footfall is anticipated to remain considerably week (primarily in some airport locations)", the company said in an update for shareholders on Friday.

All the stores that will reopen this year will have started serving customers by the end of September, the company said.

Meanwhile, 60% of its sites that open sometime before the end of August will be given a chance to take advantage of the Government's new Eat Out to Help Out scheme, which gives diners up to 50% off their meal during the first three days of the week.

One in four of the Restaurant Group's restaurants and pubs will be open by the end of this month.

"The group has now started a phased reopening of its restaurants and pubs for eat-in trade in line with Government guidance," it told investors.

"We are very pleased to be able to welcome back our customers and colleagues ensuring that their safety is paramount, whilst maintaining an enjoyable experience.

"The diversified portfolio of the group allows each division to adapt to the challenges of social distancing uniquely, whilst keeping the customer at the heart of every decision."

Last month it announced that 125 Frankie & Benny's sites will close permanently, with 3,000 jobs on the line.

It will be left with around 400 restaurants and pubs after the restructuring.

The company's board took a 40% pay cut at the start of April as they tapped into Government furlough money. On Friday they upped their pay, but will still take 20% less than normal until all staff are off Government-backed furlough.

One of Britain's biggest gym chains lost around one in five of its members during lockdown, even though it froze their payments.

The Gym Group said that 178,000 people had cancelled their memberships with one of its 179 gyms.

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The announcement came as the business prepares to open its doors for the first time in four months after the Government told gyms and nail bars they would be allowed to reopen.

Before lockdown, on March 18, the company had 870,000 members. This had dropped to 692,000 on Thursday, at an average age of 32.

Direct debit repayments will now restart, but members can request to have their membership frozen for longer.

Chief executive Richard Darwin said: "We are pleased to have been able to work with Government and the rest of the health and fitness sector on how best to operate in a Covid-secure way.

"We are encouraged by the response of our members, the vast majority of whom are keen to get back to the gym to begin working out again."

According to its own research, 92% of members are keen to get back to exercising at one of the The Gym Group's 160 sites in England, 13 in Scotland and three in Wales.

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