Cities Minister Greg Clark has confirmed that the Tees Valley's city deal bid will now go through to the next stage.
The next stage will work towards determining which powers can be transferred to a local level, in order to determine the detail before a final decision can be made.
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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.