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Boro fans campaign against closure of SSI Redcar

Football fans at Middlesbrough's home game against Wolverhampton Wanderers joined calls to rescue SSI UK's plant on Teesside.

Alan Shearer reopens iconic Newcastle factory

Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Alan Shearer has re-opened an iconic engineering factory in Newcastle, after it underwent a £20million transformation.

The investment in Armstrong Works by Reece Group has created 100 new jobs at the Scotswood Road site.

Once dubbed the world's first defence factory and the Workshop of the World, the factory produced the hydraulics for Newcastle's Swing Bridge and London's Tower Bridge, as well as parts for the Spitfire and the 'bouncing bombs' used by the Dambusters. It also made the first breech-loading gun for the war in Crimea and Chieftain tanks in the Second World War.

The factory was closed by former owners BAE Systems in 2012, with the loss of 330 jobs.

But the recent investment has reinvented the site as the new home of Reece Group and its 500 employees. The North East family firm is the holding company with engineering businesses operating in the defence, oil and gas, power generation, construction, medical and subsea markets.

Newcastle and England footballing legend Alan Shearer opened the factory. He said:

I am delighted to be asked to officially open the redeveloped Armstrong Works. The commitment of the Reece Group to the region is truly impressive. They have ensured the historic Armstrong Works with its industrial heritage remains in the hands of local innovative engineers.

– Alan Shearer

Energy jobs boost for Teesside and Northumberland

Hundreds of new jobs could be created following a government announcement to speed up private investment in power stations using renewable energy.

The firms will receive a guaranteed price for producing low-carbon energy.

The first projects to benefit are on Teesside and in Northumberland.

Lynemouth and the surrounding area was hit badly in 2012, when the former Alcan aluminium smelter was closed, with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

The power station next door, which employed 130 people and was sold to new owners, will be converted from coal to biomass.

Teesside Renewable Energy in Middlesbrough is also expected to press ahead with investment to produce biomass energy.

Berwick MP, Sir Alan Beith, says it is good news for Lynemouth.


Government backs new energy plant at Lynemouth

A biomass plant at Lynemouth in Northumberland is one of eight projects, in which the government has announced new investment.

The town was hit badly in 2012 when the former aluminium smelter was closed, with the loss of hundreds of jobs. An adjacent power station, which employed 130 people, was eventually sold to new owners and will now be converted to produce biomass energy.

The other seven projects given new support include Teesside Renewable Energy in Middlesbrough and Drax in Selby, in North Yorkshire, which will both also produce biomass energy. All together, the eight UK projects could support up to 8500 jobs.

250 jobs boost at Hartlepool shipyard

Hartlepool MP Iain Wright welcome new jobs on Teesside Credit: Heerema Fabrication Group SE

250 new jobs have been created by Heerema Fabrication Group at its yard near Hartlepool.

The news has been welcomed by Hartlepool MP and Shadow Minister for Industry Iain Wright.

The company is working on a contract for the Cygnus gas field development in the southern North Sea.

Cygnus represents an investment of £1.4billion by operator GDF SUEZ E&P UK and partners Centrica Energy and Bayerngas.

It is the largest southern gas basin discovery for 25 years and at peak will produce enough gas to meet the needs of 1.5million UK homes.

Blueprint for economic growth across Newcastle and Gateshead

A masterplan has been discussed to create jobs and homes across Newcastle and Gateshead.

Land has been earmarked for housing developments, business and industry in a bid to kickstart the economy.

  • More than thirty thousand homes are planned to meet growing demand

  • Around three quarters would be built on urban and brownfield sites

  • The remaining quarter are planned for greenbelt land

The 'Local Plan' as it is known, is a framework stretching to the year 2030. It will now go out to public consultation.

A final decision on the plan is expected to be made next year.

Watch Helen Ford's full report here:

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