Live updates

North East's busiest shopping weekend

As Christmas approaches, it is predicted that more than £4 billion will be spent by an estimated 30 million shoppers this weekend alone.

In our region, shopping centres including the MetroCentre in Gateshead were packed with people hoping to bag some bargains. Towns and cities including Sunderland and those in Redcar and Cleveland are offering free parking at evenings and weekends to draw in the crowds.**

**

Julie Harrison reports.**

Advertisement

Eldon Square and Metrocentre set for multimillion pound revamp

Some of Britain's biggest shopping centres, including Eldon Square in Newcastle and the Metrocentre in Gateshead, are to get new identities after their owner announced plans for a £25 million revamp.

Capital Shopping Centres will adopt the name "intu" as part of the rebrand for 12 of its sites across the country - a move they hope will increase spending both in stores and online.

The company is also planning to install free wifi across its estate so that shoppers can log on to the internet and its website from their smartphones.

Changes to Eldon Square should be completed by May, with the Metrocentre following later in the year.

Norröna brings hundreds of shoppers from Faroe Islands

The high speed ferry is in the Tyne today
The high speed ferry is in the Tyne today Credit: ITV

Shoppers from the Faroe Islands have made an eight hundred mile round trip to get their hands on Christmas presents for family and friends back home.

For the fourth year in a row, passengers have visited the region to shop in Newcastle City Centre and at the MetroCentre - bringing a boost to the North East's economy.

The Faroese are said to be fond of British food, and in particular fish and chips and Cadbury's Dairy Milk - a rarity in Denmark.

"We have welcomed a record number of cruise and ferry passengers this year, almost doubling passenger numbers and cruise calls.

The Port's passenger operations generate almost fifty million pounds each year in terms of tourst spend in the region, supporting over 1700 jobs."

  • Andrew Moffat, Chief Executive Officer for Port of Tyne

Advertisement

Former home of Newcastle Brown Ale is bought by Metrocentre

The company that owns the Metrocentre has paid £2.8m for the Federation Brewery site.

Newcastle Brown Ale was brewed there between 2005 and 2010 - after production moved from the Tyne brewery in Gallowgate.

It was originally put up for sale for £6m last year.

Gateshead Council have confirmed the sale to Metrocentre owners Capital Shopping Centres and said they were looking forward to working with them as the site is developed.

Advertisement

Today's top stories