Computer services groups Logica and CMG are planning to cut nearly 1,500 jobs in merger plans unveiled yesterday.

The groups said they had agreed terms of a merger to create LogicaCMG, which would be 60 per cent owned by Logica shareholders and 40 per cent owned by CMG. A spokesman said the group was expecting to make cuts of about six per cent in the combined worldwide workforce of 24,000. About 8,000 are employed in the UK. The spokesman could not say how many jobs would go in the UK. The cuts are part of plans to make yearly cost savings of about £60m.

Funeral home: A funeral home on the site of a former cinema opens its doors on Friday, with an open day. Clergymen will bless the four chapels of rest at the £865,000 Co-operative Funeral Home in Stanley, County Durham, in a dedication service. The High Street site had been derelict for several years. It was formerly the Pavilion cinema, which opened in 1926. After that operators included an Italian restaurant and a car parts centre.

CALL for cut: Pressure on the Bank of England to lower interest rates to a 47-year low intensified yesterday following more woe for UK manufacturers. The Bank's monetary policy committee begins its two-day rate-setting meeting today armed with data showing a surprise drop in output. Yesterday's figures from the Office for National Statistics showed output in September had fallen 0.4 per cent below the level seen in August after a sharp fall in vehicle production.

BA surge: British Airways yesterday showed its aggressive cost-cutting drive was paying off as it reported a sharp turnaround in profits. The group is in the process of cutting 13,000 jobs to save cash as it battles against the tough business environment. It showed the cuts were working as pre-tax profits for the three months to September 30 surged to £245m, against £5m for the same period the previous year.

Rail division: Project management and engineering design consultancy White Young Green has announced it has created a rail division, bringing the total number of staff employed at its Newcastle office to 66