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Richard Branson looking to inspire North East young

Richard Branson. Credit: PA

Tycoon Sir Richard Branson will be in Newcastle later to try and inspire the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The owner of the Virgin business empire will be attending an event for young people at the Northern Stage theatre.

It comes just two days after a consortium involving Virgin took over train services on the East Coast mainline.

It is three years since Virgin Money took over Northern Rock, the failed Newcastle-based bank.

Gateshead Council confirms cuts including job losses

The council has voted to back proposals including 193 job losses

Gateshead Council has confirmed a budget for the next year, which will include 193 job losses and an increase in council tax.

The authority said all libraries will stay open, although some may relocate to new buildings and have shorter opening hours.

Full council backed the proposals. The council has lost nearly half its central government funding over the last five years.

“Setting the Budget this year has been a huge challenge. These are tough times and we’ve had some hard decisions to make.

"Since 2010, government funding grants to the Council have been cut by 45% and we’ve had to find savings of nearly £110 million. But despite significantly reduced resources, we still have an ambitious vision for Gateshead and we’ll continue to work hard to achieve it.”

– Cllr Mick Henry, Gateshead Council


'Painful decisions' over cuts to be made in Gateshead

Gateshead Civic Centre Credit: Gateshead Council

Gateshead Council will finalise cuts today at a meeting of the full council.

If ratified, 193 jobs will be cut, bringing the total to almost 2,000 job losses in the last 5 years, and £20 a year will be added to council tax bills for most households.

The authority has lost nearly half its funding from central Government, and says its making painful decisions to try to protect services.


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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