Two North East areas could be given greater independence from Whitehall in a bid to help them boost regional economic growth, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has announced.
Sunderland and the Tees Valley are two of 20 areas are being considered for City Deal.
The "cities" are to enter negotiations with the Government to take on powers and responsibilities that will give them greater scope to thrive.
Nick Clegg believes this deals will be positive for the North East.
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Icy first thing and windy, with wintry showers lingering further south, especially at the coast. Brighter elsehwere
Emma brings you Saturday's forecast
Longest spell of winter so far. Bitterly cold with further wintry showers