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
Ahead of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme, we have travelled out to Belgium and France with people to whom it means so much.
Three of our region's boxers have been officially named in Great Britain's squad to compete at the Olympic Games in Rio
The Highways Agency said the £61m scheme to increase the number of lanes from two to three will tackle congestion