More than 150 workers at Remploy factories across the region will lose their jobs.
A total of five factories will be affected - Spennymoor, Gateshead, Newcastle, and Ashington in the North East, and Cleator Moor in Cumbria.
The move has provoked anger from workers and some Labour MPs who've called it 'a cruel act'. But ministers insist that many disability groups now accept that it is no longer appropriate to have segregated workplaces.
An £8 million support programme has been put in place to support those affected.
More top news
Sir Tom will be joined on the panel by Oscar-winning actress and singer Jennifer Hudson and rock star Gavin Rossdale.
A new study claims that speech will become our main way of interacting with machines and that will impact the way we talk.
A night of high drama at St James Park saw Newcastle United haul themselves back into the promotion race.