The economy is struggling, and councils are facing huge cuts, but people in South Shields are nevertheless being promised a multi million pounds revamp of their town.
A master plan revealed today includes a new shopping area, new library and cinema, which councillors insist they can afford.
You can watch the full report from our Business Correspondent Ben Chapman below.
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Flu and norovirus continue to affect hospitals in the North East, with today's situation the same as yesterday's
The masterplan for Aykley Heads - home to Atom Bank and Salvus House - will now progress and a delivery model will follow later this year.
The ECB said it "would not be fair, reasonable or proportionate" for Stokes to remain unavailable.