Ebac Group, a County Durham-based company, is using the money to become the only manufacturer of washing machines in the country - a move that will create 200 jobs.
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Hartlepool golfer Graeme Storm beat Rory McIlroy to the South African Open - his first European Tour title honour in 10 years.
Metro users will be able to enjoy more early morning trains when the timetable changes on 5 February.
A study found almost half of working dads would like to downshift to a less demanding job to spend more time with their family.