£60k donation to Newcastle food bank

West End Food Bank has been given a £60,000 to buy a van and secure services for 2015. The donation was made by Springfield House Trust.

Live updates

Local businesses learn how they could benefit from High Speed rail project

Local businesses hear how they could benefit from HS2 Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The company behind the Government's High Speed rail project is in the North East today.

HS2 Limited is meeting local businesses in Chester-le-Street to talk to them about how they can bid for contracts.

The economic benefits of the infrastructure project have been widely debated.

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Durham Miners' Gala 'under threat'

The Miners' Gala could be under threat Credit: ITV

The Miners' Gala in County Durham is under threat after the Miners' Association was told it had to pay out a £2million in legal bills after losing a compensation battle.

The row leaves thousands of men with no payout for osteoarthritis of the knees.

That court-ordered bill comes after losing the battle with the Government. The DMA now has to look at costs including The Big Meeting.

National

HS2 'will start in 2017', Transport Secretary confirms

Tonight's vote in Parliament on the HS2 bill means the high-speed rail line will begin construction in 2017, the Transport Secretary has confirmed.

Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin at the proposed site of the HS2 East Midlands Hub in Long Eaton Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire/Press Association Images

Patrick McLoughlin also tried to calm the fears of anti-HS2 campaigners over the impact of the proposed route on their areas, saying:

"I am aware of the concerns some who live very close to the HS2 route have. I am confident however that by working together we can ensure this vital new north-south railway is designed in the right way, and we will have spades in the ground in 2017 as planned."

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Lunch club for elderly and homeless may have to close

A lunch club, which is a refuge for homeless and elderly people on Teesside, is under threat because the church hall where it meets is up for sale.

The founder of Tickle Your Tastebuds, Wendy Brading, won ITV's Local Hero award in 2012 for her work with the group, which provides hot meals for vulnerable people in Middlesbrough, including recovering drug users, prostitutes and lonely older people. Wendy said to close now would be devastating.

27 turbines makes Teesside wind generation site biggest in North East

A wind turbine generating electricity in the North East Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

The offshore wind farm operating off the Teesside coast has 27 turbines making it by far the biggest such site in the North East.

But it is dwarfed by the London Array with 175 turbines.

There are more than 20 such sites of varying sizes along the UK coast line.

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