Shoppers in Stanley say work to regenerate the area is badly needed. Over the next 12 weeks the paving on Front Street, the main shopping street, will be replaced. It's hoped that improving the look of the street will encourage more people to shop there and therefore attract more businesses.
It's part of a £33million masterplan which will redevelop several buildings in the town and a proposed new supermarket. The new Stanley Academy is due to open in September 2013.
More top news
Police have seized 539 units of alcohol from drinkers as young as 15 in a bid to crack down on underage bingeing.
"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.