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Cup final to possible relegation: Chris Dawkes looks back on a troubled year for Hull City

This time last year Hull City's fans had just seen their team compete in their first ever FA Cup final and were looking forward to their first ever European campaign.

Fast forward 12 months and the landscape has changed quite dramatically. The club is up for sale, the owners are at loggerheads with fans and local sports groups and this weekend The Tigers could be relegated from the Premier League.

Chris Dawkes looks back on quite a year for Hull City.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance receives biggest ever single donation

Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) has received its largest ever single donation, getting plans for a new helicopter off to a flying start.

Yorkshire Air Ambulance receives biggest ever single donation

The donation of £944,254 was made by Yorkshire Building Society based on deposits placed in its Yorkshire Air Ambulance affinity savings accounts over the past year.

It will contribute towards the Charity’s plans for a future replacement helicopter and takes the total donated by the Society to YAA since 2007 to more than £2 million.

Yorkshire Building Society is committed to supporting good causes where our members and colleagues live and work. To have been responsible for the largest ever donation to the YAA is something the Society is very proud of. We are delighted to be able to help such a vital service as Yorkshire Air Ambulance, which is close to the hearts of many of our members in the region.

– Gary Lacey, Yorkshire Building Society Savings Product Manager

This is the largest, single donation the Charity has ever received and we are overwhelmed by the support of the Society. We are currently looking at provisions for a future replacement helicopter for one of our current aircraft, so these monies will significantly contribute towards the reserves we are starting to build to cover these costs

– Peter Sunderland, Chairman of the YAA

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Sheridan Smith to receive OBE...but her hat hasn't arrived

Sheridan Smith, who is from Epworth in Lincolnshire, is to receive an OBE today for her services to drama.

The actress, famous for Cilla, The Royle Family and Gavin & Stacy, will attend Buckingham Palace later today, but has revealed her hat which was specially made for the occassion hasn't arrived:

Extra funding sought for Hull regeneration projects

Councillors in Hull are meeting today to consider further funding towards the city's regeneration. A report is asking for an extra £9million to help make the city a world class visitor destination by improving facilities at attractions like the Hull New Theatre.

Artist's impression of Hull New Theatre

Although this additional funding will benefit all current regeneration plans, much improved offers will be delivered in four specific schemes:

Hull New Theatre has the opportunity to provide a significantly enhanced front of house offer with an additional 200 seats, taking capacity to 1359. New café bars and break out spaces will also be added to accommodate extra visitors.

City centre regeneration (Public Realm) work has already started, with trial pit digs taking place across the city centre. Additional funding would mean that a number of the plans scheduled to take place post-2017 would move forward enhancing the city centre further for 2017 and providing better links between city centre attractions and ultimately driving up footfall.

Ferens Art Gallery will receive a new glazed entrance to the front of the existing building, acting as a 'draught lobby' to ensure the best environmental conditions are achieved. This will mean the gallery can attract the very best national and international exhibitions including the Turner Prize in the future.

Woodford Leisure Centre already has designs to create a six-lane 25m swimming pool and increase the swimming offer available at the centre. Additional plans now include a sought-after learner pool and the installation of new environmental technologies that will reduce longer term operating costs.

These plans are already the most fundamental and far-reaching the city has seen in over 70 years and this additional funding will only enhance what we want to achieve. They will help to move our city into the 21st century, whilst respecting our wonderfully strong heritage. It is essential that we are ready, not just for our year in the spotlight in 2017 but beyond this; creating a legacy that has tangible benefits to the city and its residents. We know that investment into these key areas is imperative to securing a prosperous future and this Capital investment will increase visitors, helping to create much-needed jobs for the area. The people of Hull deserve the absolute best and that is what we want to give them.

– Cllr Stephen Brady
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