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East Coast trains back in private hands

Trains between London, the North East and Scotland return to private hands Credit: Martin Keene/PA

Trains on the East Coast Main Line are back in private control today, as services are taken over by a consortium involving Virgin Trains and Stagecoach.

The line, which links the North East with London and Edinburgh, was brought into public hands in November 2009. It has since been run by a company under the control of the Government.

From this morning, trains will operate under the name Virgin Trains East Coast. Services carrying the new livery will be unveiled tomorrow, Monday 2nd March.

The decision to re-privatise East Coast has been criticised by the rail union, the RMT, and some North East Labour MPs, who said the arrangement had been working well for passengers and taxpayers.

The eight year deal includes a promise of new trains, more services and extra seats.

Osborne promises 50,000 North East jobs in five years

George Credit: PA

George Osborne is expected to outline ambitious plans to create 50,000 new jobs in the North East over the next five years.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer will visit businesses across the region today to set out the government's long-term plan, which he said would boost the regional economy by £6billion.

He will also promise more investment in transport in the North East.

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Dalton Park expansion to create 600 retail jobs

This artist's impression shows the extent of the finished development Credit: Dalton Park Retail

The Dalton Park retail outlet in County Durham is to be expanded over the next year, creating 600 jobs.

Work will start in May 2015 and end on May Day 2016. A further 400 people will be employed in construction jobs while the work is carried out.

It will cost £45m and create a cinema with seven screens and a new Morrisons supermarket, as well as a hotel, a pub and several restaurants and fast-food outlets.

The extension includes a cinema and restaurants Credit: Dalton Park
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325 job losses at Wonga due to restructuring

325 job losses at Wonga due to restructuring Credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Wonga has announced restructuring which expected to lead to the loss of 325 jobs.

The payday lender currently employs around 950 people and said the losses come as it aims to, "refocus on its consumer businesses."

Wonga can no longer sustain its high cost base which must be significantly reduced to reflect our evolving business and market. Regrettably, this means we’ve had to take tough but necessary decisions about the size of our workforce. We appreciate how difficult this period will be for all of our colleagues and we’ll support them throughout the consultation process.

– Andy Haste, Chairman, Wonga

The move is hoped to save the company £25 million over the next two years. Wonga said costs at the company tripled between 2012-2014.

There will now be a 30 day consultation period for those who are at risk of losing their jobs.

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Graduate joins government leaders in business debate

Jules Quinn set up her business in 2011 Credit: TheTeaShed

A Northumbria University graduate is to speak alongside government leaders at a conference focussing on the future of British business.

Jules Quinn set up her own business, design-led tea company TheTeaShed, with the help of Northumbria University in 2011.

She will be taking part in a panel discussion at the British Chambers of Commerce annual conference in London next week.

The conference, which brings together the country’s business and political leaders, will focus on how Britain’s next government can encourage a pro-enterprise, pro-growth landscape for business.

Jules was named the Young Business Woman of the Year in 2014 and was selected by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and UKTI to launch the government’s Business is GREAT initiative last year, which named her one of the top 10 female entrepreneurs to watch in 2015.

Teachers tour Nissan to learn better careers advice

Nissan and other firms will talk to teachers about how their pupils can get jobs in manufacturing Credit: PA

Teachers from across Sunderland are visiting the Nissan car factory today to learn more about jobs in manufacturing - in the hope that they will give students better careers advice.

They will also listen to talks from other local manufacturing firms. It is the first event of its type to target teachers, rather than students themselves.

The organisers, Work Discovery Sunderland, hope it will help young people in the area find jobs with local businesses.

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