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Found 368 results

  1. Budding singers are in with a chance to bag the Northumberland spotlight this Christmas and spread some festive cheer at the same time. The competition A Star is Born, which made its debut last year, is again out to find an up-and-coming talent to turn on the Christmas lights this November at Manor Walks shopping centre in Cramlington. The contest - won last year by 15-year-old Milly Melling from North Tyneside - is open to any aspiring singers aged between six and 17 who are up to taking part in a live audition for a chance to play a role in the annual switch-on and also win £500. Hosted by Cramlington Town Council and Heart FM, A Star is Born is open to entries - for individuals or groups - up until Sunday. Contestants will need to sing two songs, including a Christmas favourite, at a festive semi-final in Manor Walks' Centre Mall on November 17, where audience members also will have a chance to vote for their favourite act of the audition. Then three hopefuls will take part in the final of the competition the following week, ahead of the switch-on taking place on November 24.
  2. The next phase of the Universal Credit roll out will see the new benefit hit some North East towns this month. It's the latest step in the introduction of the new system which will see six benefits replaced by one. By early 2019, the whole country will have switched over but there are still some towns in our region yet to make the change. Below is a full run down of which towns will move over to universal credit, how it works and why it's controversial. The Nortumberland towns of Ashington , Berwick , Cramlington and Morpeth are the latest places in our region to start using the new benefit. From this week, everyone claiming one of the six benefits that Universal Credit replaced.
  3. Grace Taylor and Matthew King never should have met. Grace, 14, from Cramlington and Matthew, 20, from North Yorkshire, wouldn't have come across each other if their young lives hadn't been blighted by serious illness. The pair were thrown together in the most difficult of circumstances: while both undergoing treatment at the RVI's teenage cancer unit. They formed a friendship and now Grace is hoping to raise money to help her pal "have a normal life" after he lost his leg to Ewing's Sarcoma. Matthew was rushed to hospital in Darlington in March last year at the age of 18, after breaking his leg in a small fall. Doctors couldn't see why the accident would have caused a serious break - before they discovered that Matt, who had been experiencing pain in his legs while playing football for several years, had a tumour so large they had no choice but to amputate his leg.
  4. This adorable spaniel has been bringing comfort to elderly people across Northumberland. Martha is a 'special ambassador' at Home Instead Senior Care South East Northumberland and goes out with carers to visit clients. The adorable pooch was given a special mention in an inspection carried out by the Care Quality Commission after clients told them they loved meeting her. Home Instead specialises in caring for older people at home and was given an 'outstanding' rating by the CQC - a rating that is achieved by only 2% of inspected care providers. The business was set up 18 months ago by couple Guy and Carole Kirk and serves clients in Morpeth, Cramlington , Blyth and the surrounding area. Guy, of Morpeth, said: "We are humbled by the very many positive comments contained within the report and so proud of our team.
  5. This is the moment a pervert was snared by paedophile hunters trying to meet a child for sex - just days after being released from prison. Luke Stoddart made contact with a decoy profile online and the conversation soon turned to filth. But he was oblivious to the fact the 'girl' he was messaging was actually a decoy set up by the vigilante group 'Geordie Chasers'. Now the 22-year-old, from Fern Avenue, Cramlington, is facing a prison sentence after pleading guilty to a string of child sex offences. South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court heard Stoddart was released from jail on October 5 after being locked up in September 2016 for attacking a 16-year-old and grooming a 15-year-old. But days later he was already trying to arrange to meet up with a 13-year-old for sex over Whatsapp.
  6. A man has appeared in court charged with a string of child pornography offences. Robert Taws, 28, of Barrasford Road, Cramlington, did not enter a plea to the eight charges when he appeared at South East Northumberland Magistrates' Court for a short hearing. Taws is charged with six counts of making indecent photographs / pseudo-photographs of a child. The indecent photograph charges relate to images and videos ranging from category A, the most serious, to category C. He is also charged with possession of a prohibited image of a child and possession of an extreme pornographic image involving dogs and horses. Prosecutor James Long gave a brief summary of the offences but no plea or comment was added by Taws' solicitor.
  7. This is the moment a diver caught footage of a shark swimming by off the North East coastline. Raid master diver Lucy Harrison, 25, was diving at Blue Caps Reef, near the Farne Islands, when she spotted the creature in the distance on Saturday. It is unclear what species the shark is, but Lucy says other divers believe it is either a Porbeagle or Tope. Lucy, of Cramlington, who was out with the Deep Blue Pirate Dive Club, said: "I was just doing a dive and recording seals and I turned around and saw the shark. "When I came up to the surface I said there was a shark but they said I was being ridiculous and said 'no, no'." "I said I had it on video and when they saw it they were in disbelief."
  8. A woman and a child have been taken to hospital after a crash near Killingworth. Emergency services were called to the B1322 Backworth Lane, between Seghill and Killingworth, at 10.30am on Saturday. Two cars had been involved in a crash with five people reported to be inside the vehicles. Two fire crews from Tynemouth had to free a woman in her late 20s from one of the vehicles. She was placed on a spinal board stretcher and taken to Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington. A child was also taken to hospital after suffering "minor injuries".
  9. Out of control Michael Henderson has finally paid the price for repeatedly breaching a ban on contacting his ex - including by sending flowers and wedding cake for her and their children. The persistent pest had been forbidden from going near the mother of his children under the terms of a restraining order after assaulting her. But he showed a total disregard for the court order as he struggled to come to terms with the end of their 15 year relationship. Having already been given a suspended prison sentence for five breaches of the ban, within days he was back at it again. Now the 32-year-old has been jailed for 19 months at Newcastle Crown Court . As he was locked up and banned from Cramlington, Northumberland , the victim said in a statement read to the court: "I believe he is out of control.
  10. The owners of global baby brand Tommee Tippee are cheering a strong year following moves into huge new markets – and brand new £2m headquarters. Mayborn Group, which employs 1,300 around the world, has published accounts for 2017 which pull together worldwide sales and profit for its entire group, including baby bottle products under the Tommee Tippee name and sleep brand Gro. The firm’s revenue jumped from £81.6m to £165.7m and like-for-like sales were up 10.1%, while operating profit also soared, from £8.5m to £13.9m. Profit for the financial year ended at £4.5m, up on the previous year’s £2.9m. Before its financial year end in December 2017, Mayborn entered the sleep category after snapping up the leading UK, Australia and New Zealand sleep brand Gro, which has since been launched internationally into Europe, Asia and the US. During the second quarter, and with support from its shareholder Shanghai Jahwa, the firm also launched into China, the world’s biggest baby market. After just a year, directors said it is making significant progress in becoming one of China’s leading juvenile brands with more than 3,000 distribution outlets in specialist mother and baby stores alone.
  11. A date has been set for the transition from Northumberland County Council' s troubled development company Arch to its successor, Advance Northumberland. In June, the local authority's cabinet approved the closure of Arch Corporate Holdings and the establishment of the replacement holding company, which "will not take unnecessary risks with taxpayers' money". Now, a report to councillors has set out the steps required to transfer the assets, liabilities and trading operations of Arch to Advance Northumberland , which is scheduled to take place on Tuesday, November 13. "The steps required are complex in order to comply with current tax legislation and involve the transfer of significant sums of money that will be reimbursed by a final dividend payment," the report explains. The process, which the cabinet is being asked to approve next Tuesday, will see the council buy £3.3m of additional shares in Advance Northumberland, which will be used to buy Arch's subsidiary companies. The council will also buy a further £0.9m of additional Advance shares to enable the new company to buy Arch's trade and assets "at a nominal value".
  12. Overnight urgent care is due to return to Hexham after closing in July due to "staffing pressures". The 24-hour urgent care centre at Hexham General Hospital has been suspended between 10pm and 8am for more than two months. But now the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust has announced that arrangements have been put in place to resume the 24-hour service. The unit closed its doors between 10pm and 8am on July 18, as a result of “staffing pressures”. The closure was initially set to last for “at least” four weeks, but health bosses pledged to keep the matter “under constant review”. The trust then said in August the closure would last “for an indeterminate period”.
  13. A North East MP has demanded the "immediate scrapping" of controversial benefit Universal Credit. The system will worsen child poverty, increase homelessness and even lead to people taking their own lives, Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery has claimed. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown warned the country could face "chaos" similar to the poll tax riots if the national roll out continues, in the Daily Mirror today, He branded the welfare reforms a "cruel and vindictive" experiment that will exacerbate the "convulsions" of Brexit and risk public disorder. The Government says the reforms ensure working is worthwhile for claimants and simplifies the benefits system. But opponents believe it leaves claimants worse-off, and creates delays which leave people waiting for much-needed cash. Now, Labour Party Chair Ian Lavery has called for an end to Universal Credit, predicting dire consequences for Northumberland if the roll out goes head.
  14. A father-of-two started viewing indecent images of children because he was "inquisitive and bored", a court heard. Police found images of pre-pubescent children being sexually abused when they seized Ian Pattison's laptop last year. The 58-year-old told officers he had looked at the sickening images but not stored them, saying: "If you really want something, you keep them." Newcastle Crown Court heard Pattison had become "introverted" and a "compulsive user of the internet" after a series of personal tragedies and problems. Pattison, of Angerton Terrace, Cramlington, has now avoided a prison sentence after pleading guilty to three charges of making indecent images of children. From searches on his computer police found he had viewed three category A pictures, which are the most serious kind and involve penetrative sexual activity, seven category B and 13 category C.
  15. Six company bosses from the North East have been included on a list of the UK’s ‘most ambitious business leaders’. The LDC Top 50 has identified “the inspiring individuals running the UK’s most successful medium-sized businesses” - and single out Gary Hunter from Seaham-based “shopping influencer” Redu Group and Michael Reid, director at Ashington iced drink firm Polar Krush. A second “ones to watch” list also highlights a number of business leaders from the North East, praising Darren Jobling, CEO of Newcastle virtual reality firm Zerolight, Ryan Maughan from Cramlington’s Avid Technology group, Sarat Pediredla of Newcastle app firm hedgehog lab, and Ian Griffiths, co-founder of Newcastle’s WhoCanFixMyCar.com. Rebecca Burn-Callander of LDC, which compiled the lists, said: “Ambition comes in many guises. It may be to build an international empire or become a household name. “For some, ambition means disrupting a staid sector or providing a world-class service to customers. Many entrepreneurs are motivated by financial or growth targets, while others are driven to build organisations where people truly feel valued. “The individuals featured in LDC’s Top 50 Most Ambitious Business Leaders series display every variety of ambition, creating a diverse and exciting group of businesses that pack a major economic punch. This also rings true for the Ones to Watch, those leaders tipped for great things.”
  16. They were like scenes from a The Fast and Furious film - but instead of high performance sports cars in glamorous locations this was Vauxhall Corsas and a Ford Focus on a North East industrial estate. Dozens of people lined the streets as boy racers took turns to line up against each other in organised drag races on a makeshift "track" which was still open to the public. Footage above shows Damien Rodgers acting as the starter - on one occasion using a firework to kick one race off - as drivers go head to head over a short course on the industrial estate in Cramlington , Northumberland. Dash cam video seized from one of the drivers shows the song Sound of Da Police, by rap artist KRS One, playing. And after a number of races took place, the sound of the police was heard as officers came on the scene to disrupt the gathering after complaints by local residents. Now one man has been found guilty of dangerous driving, two were convicted of careless driving and Rodgers was found guilty of aiding or abetting careless driving.
  17. A woman was punched in the face during a "disagreement" in a Sainsbury’s car park, police have said. The 31-year-old was allegedly assaulted outside the Cramlington store on Manor Walks by an occupant of a silver Toyota Yaris. The victim, who police say was not seriously injured, had been a passenger in a grey Vauxhall Insignia. An investigation into the incident, which happened at 1.30pm on August 13, has been launched and police are searching for witnesses and anyone who may have dashcam footage. Officers have also released images of a man they would like to speak to following the assault. A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: "Enquiries into the incident are ongoing but police have now released an image of a man they would like to trace.
  18. Health and council leaders have bowed to public pressure and scrapped plans for a shared hospital and leisure site in Berwick Upon Tweed. Northumberland County Council and the Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust had argued that a joint development of a new infirmary and leisure centre at the Swan Centre in the town would improve health outcomes. But locals made their opposition clear, with almost 2,000 people signing a petition opposing a combined site. They argued the services offered by the proposal weren't enough for the remote town, where many residents are forced to make round trips of over 100 miles to use hospitals in Cramlington or Wansbeck. Now, the trust has announced the £25m hospital will be built on a standalone site. Jim Mackey, chief executive at Northumbria Healthcare said: “Feedback from the public – and from our elected public governors – has been unequivocal on the question of co-location: they don’t want it.
  19. A woman was caught on camera driving her car into a Northumberland pub three times before hitting other vehicles in the car park on a vandalism spree. Marilyn Iley had "snapped" and "completely lost control" when she targeted the family that ran the Milbourne Arms in Holywell during a series of incidents on June 8 this year. Newcastle Crown Court heard the first incident of damage was to a Mini parked on a driveway that belonged to the girlfriend of the landlord's son. Iley was seen on CCTV pulling up, getting out of her own car carrying a bar and striking the Mini several times before snapping off the rear windscreen wiper. The 43-year-old then got back into the vehicle and drove into the Milbourne Arms repeatedly before reversing into other vehicles. The court heard Iley, of Cramlington, had significant mental health problems and believed the pubs' owners had been responsible for a series of incidents that had happened to her, although there was no evidence they were.
  20. Northumberland skater Adam Miller has always dreamed big. And now his biggest dream has come true after securing a place with the world-renowned Disney On Ice. Adam, 20, is making his debut with Disney On Ice in the company’s aptly-named latest show Dream Big, which is at the Metro Radio Arena, Newcastle , from October 2 to 7. From Cramlington , the former St Paul’s and St Benedict’s pupil as a child used to watch the Disney On Ice shows at the Metro Radio Arena, brought there by his parents and often dressing up as characters like Woody and Buzz from Toy Story to cheer the skaters on. It was those trips that made Adam, who is in the ensemble in Disney On Ice presents Dream Big, want to join the company. “It’s my first Disney On Ice show so I am really excited to be here,” he says. “Disney On Ice is the reason I started skating initially. My parents took me to the show every year at the Metro Radio Arena so I used to be inspired by all the skating and how amazing it looked to perform on the ice in the show as well.
  21. Clean-tech firm Avid Technology has won six new contracts worth a total of £50m a year with a number of international automotive firms. The Northumberland business has struck the deal to develop electric and hybrid powertrain systems for a number of new clients. Avid’s new customers include an international supercar manufacturer , a tier one automotive supplier and two original equipment manufacturers (OEM). Managing director Ryan Maughan said: “Innovation is at the heart of what we do. We have been developing powertrain technology for electric and hybrid vehicles for over 12 years and are now seeing the market take off in a huge way. “As vehicle manufacturers move to electrified drive trains to reduce CO2 emissions and improve air quality, Avid is well positioned to capitalise on rapid growth in the market globally. “We have recently appointed a vice-president of business development to run our new USA office in Michigan to grow our presence in the North American market.”
  22. Manufacturing firm Miller UK is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a big rise in sales after changes to its management team and the development of new products. The Cramlington-headquartered firm - which designs, manufactures and supplies equipment for the earth moving industry - has endured a mixed few years and said in its last accounts that turnover had failed to hit forecasts. But now the group says it is on track for substantial growth in both turnover and profit, while it is close to launching new products it has described as “game changing” for its industry. Miller dates back to 1978 and employs around 200 people at Cramlington, with a joint-venture in China. The firm sells its products around the world and has partnerships with a number of major excavator manufacturers. Last year Miller reported turnover of £19.7m, a figure it hopes to exceed by the end of this month. It is also seeing increased profitability, with current trading around four times higher than last year’s profit. Founder and chairman Keith Miller said: “We’re trading ahead of 2017 and that’s down to customer focus. It’s the old fashioned business idea of making the customer feel special: going out and talking to them, listening to their problems and trying to solve them.
  23. A “nuisance” patient has been warned he could be jailed after he was found with a knife in an accident and emergency department. Ben Mckenna was already on a suspended prison sentence for possession of a blade when it was discovered he had the weapon while being treated at Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital in Cramlington. A court was told that a police officer seized the Stanley-type knife after it fell from a pocket in the 20-year-old’s jacket as he was being seen to by medics for a head injury in the triage room. However, rather than apologise, Mckenna, who wasn’t arrested immediately as he needed further treatment, became abusive and “pestered” two women sitting in the nearby waiting area before pulling a fire extinguisher from a wall, magistrates heard. As a result, he was asked to leave, but continued to make threats as he was escorted from the premises. McKenna, who was given a suspended prison sentence in June after being found in possession of a knife in Hanover Street, in Newcastle, in May this year, was subsequently detained by security staff and arrested.
  24. It's been the place of much activity this week, with queues round the block for its mammoth closing sale , but now Tommee Tippee Outlet has shut its doors for the final time. It was announced at the start of August that the store at Cramlington's Northumberland Business Park West would be closing, with a decrease in foot fall cited as the main reason. This past week thrifty shoppers have been flocking there in their droves to pick up a baby bargain, with parents and expectant parents snapping up ridiculously cheap dummies, gro-bags, nappy bins and much more. Last Friday and again on Monday, staff had to close the outlet within a few hours of opening after "excessive crowds" snapped up every bit of stock. Plenty of stock arrive in time for Friday's final day of trading, with 2 for 1 offers on a number of items. And after a busy day of custom, a member of staff took to the Tommee Tippee Outlet Facebook page to post a thanks to customers.
  25. Many people enjoy a curry but are rather picky about where they go for one. Well if you're looking for somewhere to go for one in the North East, four come highly recommended by the English Curry Awards, including one who won Restaurant of the Year for the whole country! Winners for the 8th English Curry Awards 2018 were revealed after a glamorous, black-tie awards ceremony was held on September 17 at the Copthorne Hotel Merry Hill in Dudley and a quartet of restaurants from the region came home with honours. The much-anticipated annual awards aim to recognise and reward the hard work, determination and dedication of those in the country’s curry industry. There were awards handed out for a host of categories, including four specific to the North East: Restaurant of the Year; Most Wanted Restaurant of the Year; Takeaway of the Year and Takeaway & Home Delivery of the Year. The big accolade of the night for the region was Restaurant of the Year, which was won by Shikara in Whitley Bay.