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Coastal Communities cash coming to the North East

Parts of the North East coast are sharing £2.5 million to attract more tourists and create new jobs.

The money is coming from the Government's Coastal Communities Fund.

Watch Amy Lea's report

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Man charged with murder after death of 55-year-old woman in Middlesbrough

A forensic team was called to Ibstock House Credit: ITV News

A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder following the sudden death of a woman on Teesside.

Police were called to a report of the death of a 55-year-old woman on Ingram Road in the Berwick Hills area of Middlesbrough at 9:30 am on Wednesday.

An investigation was launched and a number of emergency service vehicles cordoned off the area.

A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder Credit: ITV News

A forensic team also attended the scene around Ibstock House, a block of flats next to a derelict pub.

Ian McKenzie appeared at Teesside Magistrates' Court on Thursday, where his case was transferred to Teesside Crown Court.

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Another gold for Gateshead's Sandra Armstrong at the Special Olympics

Sandra, who has autism only started swimming four years ago. Credit: ITV News

A swimmer from Gateshead has won her second gold medal at the Special Olympic World Games in the United Arab Emirates.

Sandra Armstrong took first place in the twenty-five-metre freestyle event on Monday afternoon.

The 57-year-old has already won one gold as part of Great Britain’s swimming team in the 4x100 metre freestyle event.

  • We caught up with Sandra before she left for the games:

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Sandra, who has autism only started swimming four years ago and says the games have been "great fun".

The games are the pinnacle of competitive sport for people with an intellectual disability - and more important than a medal is the life-changing impact the experience has.

South gets its own 'Angel of the North' from Gateshead sculptor

Artist Joseph Hillier, who lives in Gateshead, on a boat beside his sculpture Messenger Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

The UK’s largest cast bronze sculpture is being unveiled after two years in the making and it has been likened to Gateshead's Angel of the North.

The “young, powerful” female figure, entitled Messenger, has been cast at a foundry in a tiny Welsh village, using the ancient technique of lost wax casting.

It will stand in front of the Theatre Royal Plymouth, which commissioned Joseph Hillier, who lives and works in Gateshead, to create the work.

Mr Hillier studied at Newcastle University. After graduation, Hillier held a research post at Newcastle University for a number of years, whilst making a series of exhibitions in the UK.

Messenger arrives in Plymouth Sound by barge Credit: Ben Birchall/PA

Comparisons are being made between the sculpture and the Angel of the North.

The Cornish-born sculptor previously told the Press Association that the piece will be the largest bronze sculpture in the UK by volume – at 25.6 metres cubed and will weigh nine and a half tonnes.

It was made in sections, with 30 master craftsmen and women welding together 200 bronze panels.

Credit: ITV News

Messenger was cast at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Llanrhaeadr-Ym-Mochnant and travelled to Plymouth Sound on a barge before heading to its destination on a low-loader lorry.

It is being installed as part of Theatre Royal Plymouth’s £7.5 million regeneration project.

Theatre chief executive Adrian Vinken described the work as “mind-blowing”.

Messenger has been made by Hillier for the Theatre Royal Plymouth as a monument to the creativity of theatre and will be open to the public from Friday evening.

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