The former Newcastle United chairman, and boss of Shepherd Offshore, says training young people is the only way out of the skills shortage threatening to hamper the region's renewable energy future.
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The 60-year-old takes charge of the Black Cats with immediate effect.
What has the weekend got in store for the Tyne Tees region?
The operation took around three hours to complete, with the remains being disposed of by a specialist animal by-product company.