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Osborne: "compelling" case for upgrading the A1

The Chancellor George Osborne said there was a "compelling argument" for improving the A1 between Newcastle and the Scottish Borders.

Campaigners have been arguing for years that the road should be made into a dual carriageway all the way along.

"The investment is going into transport - you have seen that in some of the improvements to the A1 around Newcastle - but there is a question then of the road up to the Scottish border.

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"I have heard the compelling argument for improving the A1: let's wait for the results of our study, which is not far off, and see if we can make this a real commitment."

– George Osborne MP, Chancellor.

On the rocks: Osborne tastes whisky in Berwick

The Chancellor George Osborne has been tasting whisky at a 150-year-old business in Berwick-upon-Tweed, as he announced a programme of investment for rural businesses.

He chose to make the announcement at Simpson's Malt, which has invested £90m in its malting businesses over the last 30 years.

George Osborne joins local figures in Berwick

Read: Osborne dodges maths question from schoolboy

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Osborne offers cash for North East rural businesses

The Chancellor George Osborne is visiting Berwick to announce extra funding that he said will support business growth in the North East from 2015, especially in rural areas.

Businesses in County Durham, Gateshead and Northumberland will be able to apply for grants from two funds, worth £22.5m.

The money is a combination of government money, private sector funding and European investment.

It could pay for the development of workspaces, investment in tourist attractions and accommodation, or investment in new equipment to help small businesses grow, where they have struggled to raise money from other sources.

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Colin Firth arrives in Berwick for film screening

Colin Firth signed autographs outside the Maltings Theatre in Berwick. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees
Colin Firth was followed by his co-star Jeremy Irvine. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees

Colin Firth arrived in Berwick a short time ago for the screening of his new film at the Maltings Theatre.

The Railway Man tells the story of Eric Lomax, who lived in Berwick and was a prisoner of the Japanese during the Second World War.

Flood Warning: Areas at risk in Berwick-upon-Tweed

A Flood Warning has been issued by the Environment Agency for the North Sea at Berwick-Upon-Tweed.

Flooding is expected for properties at the Chandlery, the Old Lifeboat Station, Pier Road, Longstone View, Bridge End South Bank, Riverside Road, Blakewell Road, Blakewell Gardens, West End, between the Bridges area, Main Street, Berwick Dock and Berwick Lifeboat Station. .

An area of low pressure is forecast to coincide with this afternoon's high tide. It is forecast to bring surge conditions which will increase the height of the expected spring tide. Strong winds and rain will create bigger waves, with a risk from overtopping and spray between 2:15pm and 4:45pm.

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