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North East unemployment rate falls to 7.9%

The number of people seeking work in the North East has come down, according to the latest quarterly figures, although this region still has the highest unemployment rate in England.

Unemployment figures Credit: ITV

Between January and March 103,000 were looking for work in the region - 4000 fewer than the previous three months.

The North East unemployment rate is 7.9 per cent.

North East endorses devolution deal

The North East Combined Authority has voted to accept an historic multi-million pound devolution deal for part of the region.

The move, which took place at Durham Civic Centre, will see the authority receive £30m a year over the next 30 years and given control over other investment.

The North East would also get a directly elected mayor.


Sunderland's Penshaw Monument to be lit up in Belgium colours

Penshaw monument when it was lit up in the French colours following the Paris attacks Credit: PA

Sunderland's Penshaw Monument is being lit in Belgium's colours tonight as a mark of solidarity following the attacks in the city.

The flag on Sunderland Civic Centre has been flying at half-mast.

"It has been truly shocking to watch the events unfolding in Brussels today.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the explosions and with the emergency services who worked so tirelessly to rescue them.

"As part of the International community it is important that Sunderland shows its sympathy and continuing support to all those in Belgium and across the world affected by these terrible attacks.

"We hope that lighting up one of our most iconic landmarks the Penshaw Monument will help symbolise that support, and provide a focal point for people’s tributes to those in Brussels."

– Leader of Sunderland City Council, Councillor Paul Watson

If you have any pictures of the monument, please feel free to email them through to us at

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