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The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge visit Sunderland

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have been in Sunderland where they took in the city's vibrant arts scene and state-of-the art engineering.

William and Kate officially opened the Fire Station, which was transformed into the city's £3.5 million pounds new music and arts hub. Chatting to a group from Young Asian Voices at the arts centre Kate asked if one of the girls would draw a henna design on her hand.

Credit: Andy Commins/Daily Mirror/PA Wire/PA Images

The duchess seemed delighted when 18 year old Shajida Begum drew a black flower with a swirl. Kate also asked the girls for a pack of bindis, which she said she wanted for her daughter Charlotte. The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge then donned safety gear to help put the finishing touches to Northern Spire, the new Wear crossing.

Wearing hard hats, goggles and high visibility jackets, William and Kate tightened a couple of nuts on the £117 million infrastructure project aimed at helping with the regeneration of the city.

As he used a ratchet wrench, the duke joked about doing "the DIY" and later quipped "we'll walk away and the bolt will drop out".

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Credit: Sunderland City Council

Named the Northern Spire following a public vote the bridge is already a major landmark, standing twice as high as Nelson's Column and taller than Big Ben's clock tower.

The 1,550-tonne pylon structure is the second part of the Sunderland Strategic Transport Corridor - a five-phase plan to improve links between the A19 and Sunderland city centre and the Port of Sunderland.

The Sunderland City Council project due to be completed this spring was built over three years with the Government contributing around two-thirds of its £117 million cost and the council the rest.

Kate had put her fluorescent bib over her green Dolce & Gabbana coat and Seraphine black and white dress and had tied her hair into a ponytail to wear the safety headgear.

Credit: Sunderland City Council