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New body to promote region's automative industry

Assembly line at Nissan. Credit: PA

A major new body to promote and support the growth of the North East's automotive industry officially opens for business today.

The North East Automotive Alliance (NEAA) is an industry-led organisation which brings together major names including Nissan, Nifco, Komatsu, Sevcon and Hyperdrive.

The industry generates £7 billion in sales for the NorthEast and is responsible for £5.1 billion in exports.

The sector directly employs 26,000 people and impacts on a further 141,000 jobs.

A spokesman says around 8,500 people in the industry are due to retire in the next 10 years, leaving skills gaps - and this is one of the areas NEAA will be working to address.

It will also work at attracting new companies and jobs to the region, supporting business excellence and best practice.

There are many opportunities ahead for companies in the automotive industry in North East England to win new business in the UK and from overseas and to improve their competitiveness and capability. The North East Automotive Alliance will provide the platform for making sure companies in the North East are able to take full advantage.”

– Kevin Fitzpatrick, Nissan’s Vice President for Manufacturing in the UK

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Clarkson police probe - more details

Jeremy Clarkson Credit: PA Wire

North Yorkshire Police have spoken to potential witnesses to the fracas which cost Jeremy Clarkson his job at the BBC, saying the force has "a duty to investigate" what happened.

Clarkson's Top Gear contract has not been renewed by the BBC after an internal investigation found he attacked show producer Oisin Tymon after an angry - and lengthy tirade - in a hotel in the county.

In a statement, the force said they had been contacted by "concerned members of the public" asking what action they were taking.

A spokesman said: "No-one who was present at the hotel during the incident came forward to report an offence to the police. Nonetheless, we have a duty to investigate where we believe an offence might have been committed, and that is what we have been doing with this case.

"We have already spoken to some people who were in the hotel at the time, but there are still others we need to speak to, who could help us to determine exactly what happened.

"Also, as is usual in these circumstances, we have made contact with Mr Tymon through his lawyers, to ask him to speak to us so we can ascertain how he wishes to pursue this matter.

"When these routine inquiries are completed, we will be able to assess whether or not further action needs to be taken from a police perspective.

"Meanwhile, we'd like to reassure the public that the matter is in hand, and we dealing with it responsibly and proportionately."

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Richmond Castle host final Afghan medal parade

Soldiers from a regiment based at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire are conducting the final Afghan medal presentation parade in Richmond Castle.

Friends and family of the soldiers have gathered at Richmond Castle to see the ceremony. Credit: ITV News Tyne Tees/Claire Montgomery

The medal parade marks the end of Operation Herrick in Helmand province in Afghanistan.

The 46 medals are being presented for service during Op Herrick in May – November 2014.

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