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.
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Middlesbrough kept their unbeaten re-entry into the Premier League going drawing 0-0 at West Brom.
He has agreed a two-year contract at St. James' Park and becomes the tenth new face in the Magpies' first team squad this summer.
On the back of three consecutive Championship wins, the Magpies sit fourth, poised to move into the automatic promotion places.