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Protesters to march against Gateshead Council cuts

A march in Gateshead is taking place to protest against cuts to the council's budget this afternoon, February 7.

Organisers the Public Services Alliance are calling for protection of public sector jobs and better protection of threatened services including libraries, leisure centres, older people's services and mental health services.

Gateshead Council's leader Mick Henry is required to make £46m worth of savings over the next two years.

There will be speeches from Labour politicians, Dave Anderson MP for Blaydon, Stephen Hepburn MP for Jarrow and Ian Mearns MP for Gateshead.

This is the first march against cuts in Gateshead.

North East to receive least from government regional growth funds

The North East is set to receive the least from the latest round investments in the form of regional growth funds.

The government has announced today our region is to get over £40 million between 2016 and 2021, which is the smallest sum of any of the English regions.

The Deputy Prime Minister says its down to which local companies bid for the funds:

In total the government is investing £1 billion in local economies across England as an expansion of their regional growth funds deal.

There aim is to pass funding from the central government into the hands of local authorities, businesses and universities, who they believe can invest with inside knowledge of what is needed in their area.

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More visitors attracted to the region in year of Grand Depart

The North East had an 8% growth (372,000 people) in visitors in 2014. There was also a 3% rise in spending - £181m.

A VisitBritain report revealed more international tourists began travelling across the country than ever before.

It's thought the Tour de France played a part in the record number of visitors to Yorkshire last year (12%, reaching a new record of 1.08 million). London saw a rise of 6%.

Around The House: Tonight at 10.40pm

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

Paul Brand presents this month's political programme from Westminster.

North East MPs Bridget Phillipson and Ian Swales are among the guests to discuss the ups and downs of the election campaign so far.

Also in the programme; how much do we need to earn, to be able to have a decent life?

Join Paul Brand for Around The House, tonight (Thurs 22 January) at the new earlier time of 10.40pm.

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Le Tour brings in record number of holidaymakers

A record number of tourists visited Yorkshire last year, due in no small part to the county hosting the Grand Départ of the Tour de France.

Le Tour brings in record number of tourists

From January to September overseas visits to Yorkshire went up by 12 per cent to 1.08 million and these tourists spent a total of £465 million. The strongest growth in visits came from Australia, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, Spain and USA.

Holiday visits in particular, across the first nine months of 2014, saw a significant jump of 32 per cent and the amount spent by tourists whilst holidaying went up by 70 per cent. Strong holiday visit growth came from France, Italy, Netherlands, Ireland, Spain and USA.

In the third quarter, covering July, August and September, there were 472,000 overseas visitors to the county, breaking previous records and up 19 per cent on 2013. A total of £230m was spent during this three-month period up one per cent on 2013.

Yorkshire is playing a big part in helping to drive Britain's record tourism boom. Last year's Tour de France Grand Depart showcased the best of this wonderful region to the world and now it is about keeping up that momentum. It is why we have launched a £10 million fund to help strengthen tourism in the North and why the Deputy Prime Minister and myself have met key stakeholders in Sheffield, including Welcome to Yorkshire's Gary Verity, to discuss what more can be done to help further growth in the region.

– Tourism Minister Helen Grant

Yorkshire’s global profile has never been higher – and this is further evidence of the huge beneficial impact of bringing the world’s largest annual sporting event to the county. We know when visitors from around the world come to Yorkshire to see it for themselves they fall in love with the county, which in turn helps drive up repeat visits. The new Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race starting this May will help us capitalise on the foundations already laid.

– Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire
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