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Newcastle City Council approves plans for £45 million refurbishment of the Civic Centre

Credit: Newcastle City Council

The cabinet of Newcastle City Council has approved plans to borrow £45 million to be spent on the refurbishment of the Civic Centre.

The council says improving the Grade II* listed Newcastle landmark would enhance it for future generations as well as creating a more efficient workplace for council staff.

It also claims energy savings, reduced maintenance bills and additional income will more than cover the costs of borrowing the money – including all interest charges on the loan.

The council says failing to invest in the building would cost taxpayers £35.3 million for basic repairs and maintenance to deal with the effects of wear and tear on the ageing structure.

Independent City Councillor Marc Donnelly, of Westerhope, said: "I am shocked and appalled at these proposals" and suggested the true cost would be near £90 million.

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Dozens of steel jobs to go at Tata plant on Teesside

Twenty-five jobs are to go at the TATA Steel plant at Skinningrove on Teesside.

The company say the decision has been made due to a drop in customer demand, but it is hoped there will be no compulsory redundancies or loss of shifts.

Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

The site employs more than 350 people, with over 1000 employed at further sites in Redcar, Lackenby and Hartlepool.

A consultation is now underway.

Brenda Blethyn: 'Wonderful' to think Vera has helped North East tourism

The North East crime drama, Vera, which has been been a tourism magnet for the region, is set for a return with a 5th series this weekend on April 5th at 8pm.

Ahead of the premiere Brenda Blethyn has told ITV News Tyne Tees how she is far from tired of playing the no-nonsense detective and about her favourite North East spots:

Watch Pam Royle's full interview with Brenda Blethyn at 6pm tonight.

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Tonight's Around The House

Around The House, tonight at 10.40pm on ITV. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Our political correspondent Paul Brand is joined by four new election candidates for a lively debate on immigration and the economy.

Paul Brand and guests (l to r): Lib Dem Julie Pörksen (on screen), Tory Will Goodhand, Lee Sherriff (Labour) and Phillip Broughton (UKIP) Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Around The House is on ITV tonight (Thursday 5 March) at 10.40pm.

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