Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has defended the North East after senior Conservative Peer Lord Howell said parts of the region were "desolate" and good areas for fracking for underground gas.
Mr Clegg said the North East could become a national hub for excellence in the new green economy. He said the region has some "profound economic and social challenges" but has huge promise as well, which had been recognised by investors like Nissan
More top news
A look ahead at the forecast for the Tyne Tees region.
A businessman who ran three international export companies from his County Durham home has been jailed after an investigation by HMRC
A "vicious and scheming" killer murdered her boyfriend then tried to recruit a local butcher to help her dispose of his body has been jailed