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Businesses and charities to take over unused buildings

Derelict buildings in Manchester and Liverpool are to be handed over to artists and entrepreneurs, under a Government scheme to revitalise run-down areas of northern cities.

The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, announced the move on a visit to Berlin, where a similar project has turned unused land and buildings into work space.

He wants pop-up shops, start-up businesses and charities to takeover vacant buildings temporarily. Councils and land-owners will be asked to match sites with potential users.

Nick Clegg speaking in Berlin Credit: PA

"Leaving useful land in the north to languish is not only bad for business, it can hamper the success of an area in so many ways. Which is why I want to see empty buildings brought back to life and back in business.”

– NICK CLEGG, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

The north of England has nearly twice as many hectares of previously developed vacant land and buildings as the south. Mr Clegg is setting up a working group of councils, businesses and charities, to report back in January.

"We need to understand what stands in the way of some of the most incredible space in the country being used and make things more flexible so that we can fill these buildings with artists, start-ups, and other entrepreneurs to restore the buildings' purpose and appeal."

– NICK CLEGG, DEPUTY PRIME MINISTER

Some areas and buildings have already been identified in Manchester, including plots on King Street, Cross Street, Deansgate and Piccadilly Place.

In Liverpool, the ABC Cinema, Lyceum Post Office and The Oratory are among the sites being considered.

Wind farm jobs boost for North West

Credit: PA

Its claimed that hundreds of new jobs have been created as a result of the growth of windfarms. A conference is being held in Manchester and delegates will be told the number of people working in the renewable energy sector is up and investment has hit £2.6 billion pounds. In October 2014 the North West's biggest off shore wind farm began operating in Cumbria, with 108 turbines off the Barrow in Furness coastline powering 280,000 homes.

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Oldham's bloomin' marvellous

It's official - Oldham residents have greener fingers than most. The town has picked up a gold award and the title of best city at the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom competition.

Oldham takes gold in Britain in Bloom Credit: Oldham Council

These awards give everyone involved a real sense of achievement and reflects the hard work, dedication and commitment from what has been a real co-operative project involving residents, schools and businesses. This is yet another example of Oldham’s growing regional and national reputation

– Councillor Barbara Brownridge, Oldham Council
Credit: Oldham Council

The very real dangers on our motorways

Most drivers spend many hours of our lives on motorways - but the gangs who carry out the roadworks risk their lives every day.

In fact, more than 300 have been killed in the last five years.

The dangers can be worse at night and, of course, when drivers speed or use mobile phones.

Roadworks on the M60 around Manchester are a particular nightmare for motorists at the moment.

The work will make it a smart motorway able to monitor a variety of different speed limits.

Ashley Derricott reports:

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Dangers facing our road workers

The dangers facing people who work on motorways and major A roads in Greater Manchester will be highlighted today. Road workers will talk about the risks from passing traffic. Last year saw the highest number of serious injuries for six years, with ten road workers suffering major injuries across England.

Credit: PA

 new multi million pound smart motorway scheme is currently underway on a 17 mile stretch between the M60 near Sale and the M62 near Rochdale. 317 people were injured while working on or near motorways and major A roads in the five years between 2009 and 2013.

Man sentenced for running illegal landfill site

A man has been given a suspended prison sentence for running an illegal landfill site in central Manchester.

Princeston Valentino Green, 51, from Kidderminster was sentenced to eight months in prison, suspended for two years at Manchester Crown Court. He was also fined £3000, ordered to undertake 200 hours community service.

Enough waste was found to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools Credit: Environment Agency

Officers from the Environment Agency found enough waste to fill five Olympic-sized swimming pools at the site at the Old Lancashire Dairy Mill at Knowsley Street

The waste was found at the Old Lancashire Dairy Mill Credit: Environment Agency

Environmental Crime Officer Sharon Owen said: “This is a great result for the community andbusinesses in central Manchester. The waste being stored illegally by Green andothers was an eyesore, posed huge health risks and blighted the local environment.

“The court imposed thesentence using with recently issued Sentencing Guidelines. Those committing serious waste crime face theprospect of significant penalties, including imprisonment.

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