As 2012 draws to a close, it's been another turbulent twelve months for the economy. This was the year we went back into recession - but also the year that unemployment fell.
At the heart of the story are the region's businesses - desperately trying to grow despite all the cuts. Since January, we've been following the fortunes of twelve of them in the ITV Business Club.
All this week we'll be looking back on their year. We begin with two firms who've been forced to look further afield for success.
More top news
Northumbria Police say two men have been charged with murder following the discovery of a woman's body in a burned out car on Tuesday.
It is 'allotment week'. Never one to miss an opportunity - Ross has dodged the showers and headed off to his for this weekend's forecast.
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez has spoken publicly about Mike Ashley's interview on Sky Sport, when the owner admitted to a lack of funds.