Three areas of the region are to receive a million pounds each from the Big Lottery Fund.
You can see the full report from Derek Proud below.
More top news
"Big Sam" was spotted letting his hair down in the seaside resort weeks after securing Premier League survival for Sunderland.
A look ahead at the Bank Holiday forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
Do you want to Leave or Remain in the European Union? That's the question facing everyone in the country. But what do young people think?