The Construction Skills Network has released figures showing that construction in the North East fell by 9% in 2012, one of the worst falls in the UK.
The network warned that the region's difficult period is likely to continue for another 10 years.
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Residents in Sacriston have been told to keep their windows closed due to smoke in the area.
The young couple from South Shields were killed in the Manchester terror attack. Their families say the town has shown 'amazing support'.
Three officers were attacked in South Shields on Thursday evening