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.
The council says the Grade II* listed Newcastle landmark needs improvement and failing to invest would also cost millions.Read the full story ›
Find out how MPs in our region voted over the Government's Welfare Bill, which contains £12 billion of proposed cuts.Read the full story ›
A group of campaigners from across Teesside who are opposed to the government's austerity measures are travelling to London today to join a national rally. The Teesside Peoples' Assembly against Austerity are calling for an end to austerity cuts. Coaches travelled from pick up points in Hartlepool and Middlesbrough at dawn this morning to head to the capital for this afternoon's demonstration.
NatWest and RBS customers were this morning facing banking issues as the company admitted "some" payments were "missing" from accounts.Read the full story ›
Tata Steel UK says it's approached the conciliation service ACAS to try to resolve a pension dispute wth its workforce.
The company has sites across the North East, at Hartlepool, Skinningrove, Lackenby, Darlington, York and Blaydon.
A one day strike is planned for later this month. Tata says it's facing a projected shortfall of more than £2 billion pounds this year. The Unite union says it's provoking the biggest crisis in the steel industry for a generation.
With only 100 days until the beginning of the Rugby World Cup click here to find out when the Web Ellis Cup arrives in North East.Read the full story ›
Prince Harry helped mark the 100 days until the start of the Rugby World Cup at a launch event in London, ahead of its arrival in the North East.
Newcastle is hosting three matches this October and tourism experts hope the tournament could bring as much as £43 million into the region.
Prince Harry made a speech the Trophy Tour at Twickenham this morning, alongside England legend Jonny Wilkinson.
The Webb Ellis Trophy is coming to the region at the end of next month as part of a nationwide tour.
South Africa is one of five international rugby teams that will play in the North East for the Rugby World Cup, which starts in 100 days.Read the full story ›
It's 100 days until the beginning of the Rugby World Cup 2015. The three matches to be hosted by Newcastle will be staged at St James' Park.
Here are the details:
- October 3 - South Africa v Scotland at 16:45
- October 9 - New Zealand v Tonga at 20:00
- October 10 - Samoa v Scotland at 14:30