The Justice Minister Simon Hughes has been visiting Tinsley Special Products on Teesside, which is one of 11 North East companies receiving money in the latest round of the Regional Growth Fund.
The RGF aims to help businesses expand and create jobs, and is aimed particularly at areas reliant on the public sector.
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Sir Michael Wilshaw has said there was "very bad homophobic bullying" at free schools in Durham and Sunderland and parents deserve better.
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