THE bow of HMS Glasgow is seen in for the first time digital form as the build progresses at pace.

BAE Systems said every detail of the Type 26 frigate is designed digitally before entering production.

HMS Glasgow is now moving through construction to outfit phase in readiness for the vessel's first time in the water in 2022.

READ MORE: BAE Systems announces £100m worth of HMS Glasgow contracts

The defence giant last month announced a raft of contracts totalling £100 million as part of a £1 billion investment across the defence giant's supply chain, supporting a further 250 jobs at a milestone moment at its Glasgow shipyards.

HeraldScotland:

The UK Government has committed to all eight of its frigates being built in Glasgow, and, together with the international programmes, it represents three decades of work, supporting 4,000 jobs, the majority of which are in the city.

HeraldScotland:

BAE Systems signed the contract for construction of the first three ships in 2017, which was worth £3.7bn.

BAE Systems said: "Every aspect of #HMSGlasgow is digitally designed before we enter production. Here’s a digital overlay on the forward block to give you an idea how she will look. HMS Glasgow continues to take shape. #26on26."

The UK's competition watchdog is to look into a massive deal in the concrete sector, saying it could block customers from accessing the best deals.

The Competition and Markets Authority said that if Breedon's acquisition of quarries and concrete mixing sites from Cemex goes ahead, customers in 15 areas of the UK might find that competition to win their business drops.

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The CMA said it is planning to refer the investigation to a phase two probe unless the businesses can allay its fears by next Wednesday.

CMA senior director Colin Raftery said: "These products are widely used in a range of building projects across the UK, and account for a material part of the construction costs faced by businesses and public bodies.

"As the majority of these materials are sourced locally, it's vital to ensure that enough competition will remain at the local level so there's enough choice and prices remain fair."

The £178 million deal would see 100 sites move from Cemex to Breedon, including aggregate-producing quarries, ready-mixed concrete facilities, asphalt plants and a cement terminal.

The CMA said it is concerned that competition in the supply of non-specialist aggregates, ready-mixed concrete or asphalt could be affected in 15 local markets across the UK.

There are also areas in the east of Scotland where the deal might make it easier for suppliers to align their behaviour, and compete less for customers in the region.

"While sufficient competition will remain in most areas, we are concerned that the deal could result in high prices and lower quality products in some areas where Breedon wouldn't face sufficient competition," Mr Raftery said.

Breedon, which has five working days to respond or face a phase two probe from the CMA, said it had completed the acquisition on July 31.

"The outcome is broadly in line with Breedon's expectations and the company now has a short period during which to offer remedies to address the CMA's outstanding concerns," Breedon added.

"These are expected to take several months to implement, during which time the former Cemex assets will continue to be held separate from Breedon and operated as Pinnacle Construction Materials."

Sub-prime lender Provident Financial has tumbled to a first half loss amid falling doorstep lending customer numbers, but said the hit from the pandemic was not as bad as first feared.

Shares jumped 12% as it said it performed better than expected, despite swinging to an underlying pre-tax loss of £32.6 million for the first six months of 2020, against profits of £80.4 million a year ago.

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Its doorstep lending arm took the hardest hit, with losses more than doubling to £37.6 million, though its Vanquis Bank and Moneybarn businesses remained profitable.
Customer numbers in its doorstep lending consumer credit business tumbled around 29% to 379,000 as knockdown hit its ability to take on new borrowers.

Provident booked impairment charges of £240.3 million for the first half, but it said losses were better than it had internally braced for at the start of the coronavirus lockdown.

On a reported basis, it sunk to a pre-tax loss of £28 million compared with profits of £43.1 million.

It pledged to repay employee furlough cash to the Government, but cancelled its interim shareholder dividend payout.

Malcolm Le May, chief executive of Provident Financial, said the first half of the year had been "the most difficult and testing in my career".

He said: "Financial and operational performance were better than expected, and therefore we have decided to repay all furlough support to the Government.
"We believe this is the right thing to do."

The group said it had seen some "encouraging signs of increased activity levels" since the end of June, with its car finance division Moneybarn seeing record new business in July.

It cautioned: "The potential economic shock, and uncertainty, that Covid-19 will bring to the UK economy over the coming months must not be underestimated."

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