North East councils are set to receive £2.4m of Government money, designed to help high streets return to business.

This cash is designed to help authorities introduce safety measures to "kick-start local economies, get people back to work and customers back to the shops".

It will also support a range of practical safety measures including new signs, street markings and temporary barriers.

The money can also be spent on beachfronts and promenades.

The Government hopes to begin reopening non-essential retail from June 1, subject to the scientific advice.

High Streets Minister Simon Clarke MP, who represents Middlesbrough South and East Cleveland, said:

As we begin to slowly return to normality, the re-opening of our high streets will be key to kick-starting our economic recovery.

Simon Clarke MP

The funding comes from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The money, totalling £50m in England, will be allocated to councils on a per capita basis and will be ready to spend from June 1 2020.