Sir John Hall, one of the region's best-known businessmen, is returning to his home town to try and revamp the high street.
The businessman hails from Ashington and says that he is delighted to be sharing his expertise back on home turf.
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Jake Berry toured the site and had a briefing with senior councillors, officials and construction workers.
The proprietor of a pub in Gristhorpe has been fined £600 for serious breaches of food hygiene regulations.
The Black Cats defender will make his return from injury against in the Cumbrians on Tuesday night in the Carabao Cup.