Newcastle's former Co-op store redevelopment starts

Artist's impression An artist's impression of how the new development will look

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Work on a £17m project to turn a former "landmark" Co-op department store in Newcastle into retail and leisure outlets is under way.

The Grade II listed art deco building on Newgate Street, had been closed since 2007, though the food hall stayed open until 2011.

Now, it is being transformed into a 184-bed Premier Inn, along with retail and leisure units and an NCP car park.

The development is expected to be completed in December.

Interserve Plc, which is managing the project, said it will provide more than 450 jobs locally and "boost" local businesses.

A spokesman said: "It is great to see many of the iconic features of the building being sensitively replaced or restored while fully modernising the building for future tenants."

The six-floor building was bought by the National Grid UK pension scheme in March.

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Newcastle upon Tyne

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BBC Local Live

    Stockton 'top for NE pay' 14:20:

    Areas of Teesside are at both the top and bottom of the North East pay league, according to analysis by a recruitment agency.

    League table of pay in the North East

    Figures put together by ManpowerGroup UK said the area of the North East with the highest average pay was Stockton, with £25,200 a year, while its neighbour Middlesbrough came bottom with an average of just £19,600.

    The company said its figures were based on the annual survey of hours and earnings from the Office of National Statistics.

    Danger driver sentence hailed 14:11:

    Cleveland Police has welcomed the sentence handed out to Ashley Lindo, who killed a boy eight years ago by dangerous driving and this year led police on a high-speed chase through Middlesbrough.

    Cleveland Police vehicle

    Today Lindo was jailed for 18 months. PC Thomas Bradley said: "Mr Lindo's activity that day in April shows he has clearly not learned his lesson from the tragic events of some years ago.

    "It was only a matter of good luck that another tragedy was avoided this time and the sentence shows the courts take an extremely dim view of such behaviour."

    News on the hour 13:59:

    The top local headlines at 14:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A group of Dutch and Australian police have called off another attempt to reach the crash site of flight MH17 in eastern Ukraine, in which two Newcastle United fans were killed.
    • BBC Tees: Durham Police is looking for a would-be thief who left his shoe at the scene of a crime.
    Death crash victim named 13:48:

    A pedestrian who died after being hit by a van in Chester-le-Street has been named by police.


    Kevin Andrew McLoughlin, 45, was hit by a Ford Transit Tipper as he walked along the B6313 at Bluehouse Bank, where there is no footpath, at 23:30 on Thursday.

    He suffered a fatal head injury and was confirmed dead at the scene.

    Planes over the beach 13:32:

    Our colleagues at BBC England are featuring this brilliant pic of the Sunderland Airshow today.

    People on a beach enjoy the sunshine while planes fly above them.

    Chris Bardett took this shot of the RV8tors display team flying over Seaburn Beach. We'd like to see your photos - you can email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.

    North East flagging behind 13:20:

    Parks, cemeteries and crematoriums in the North East have picked up a total of 65 Green Flag awards from an environmental charity.

    Keep Britain Tidy runs an annual set of awards for well-maintained public spaces.

    Durham County Council celebrates Green Flag awards

    But the North East did not compare well with other areas - it picked up fewer awards than any other English region.

    Dangerous driver jailed again 13:09: Peter Harris Look North

    A dangerous driver who killed a boy on a footpath eight years ago is back behind bars today after leading police on a high-speed chase.

    Ashley Lindo, 24, admitted dangerous driving at Teesside Crown Court and was jailed for 18 months.

    Lindo has a long history of driving offences. In 2006 he killed 8-year-old Daniel Conroy Curtin on a path near the River Tees and was locked up for three years. His latest offence involved a one-mile chase through Middlesbrough town centre, not far from the place where Daniel was killed.

    News on the hour 12:52:

    The top local headlines at 13:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: Two men are in hospital after being attacked in Hartlepool. Both incidents happened in the early hours of yesterday morning and police are trying to work out whether they are linked.
    • BBC Newcastle: The United Nations human rights chief says the apparent shooting down of the Malaysian airliner over Ukraine, which killed two Newcastle United fans, may amount to a war crime.
    'Best interests' of elderly 12:40: BBC Newcastle

    Newcastle City Council says it has acted in the best interests of elderly residents after a High Court judge ruled it is not paying enough for care of pensioners.

    The company which runs care homes in the city, The Abbeyfield Society, argued that a decision by the authority to freeze payments for the care of a number of elderly residents was unfair - and the judge agreed.

    The council says that at a time of severe pressure on its budgets, it will continue to work with care providers.

    Airshow a 'soaraway success' 12:29: Sunderland Echo Newspaper
    Charge over samurai sword raid 12:17:

    A man has been charged with trying to rob a shop in South Shields wielding a samurai sword, police say.

    Lee Amess, 20, of Renoir Gardens allegedly walked into a Nisa shop on Whiteleas Way armed with the blade and demanded money on Saturday morning.

    Staff refused to give him anything and he left without hurting anyone.

    News on the hour 11:59:

    The top local headlines at 12:00 include:

    • BBC Tees: Nearly 900 people have been killed or injured on the roads of Teesside and County Durham in the last four years in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
    • BBC Newcastle: Energy companies are being invited to bid for licences to extract shale gas, but no applications have been made in the North East.
    Lowe into swimming final 11:49: Paul Addison BBC Tees Sport

    Hartlepool swimmer Jemma Lowe wins her heat in the 200m butterfly in 2:09.28. She's now into tonight's final. Watch the Commonwealth Games live here.

    North East has lowest house prices 11:39:

    The North East continues to have the lowest house prices in England and Wales, new figures show.

    House prices graph

    The Land Registry statistics show the average house in our region cost £98,555 in June, compared with an England and Wales average of £172,011.

    The North East also had the lowest growth in house prices - 0.8% in the year to June - against an average rise of 6.4%.

    Poyet 'eyeing Rodriguez' 11:25:
    Woman raped near bowling alley 11:13:

    A 26-year-old woman has been raped in Newcastle.

    The attack is thought to have taken place between 23:00 on Friday and 04:00 on Saturday around Westgate Road, near the bowling alley.

    Police said the man was in his 20s or 30s, about 5ft 8in, thin, with dark brown or black hair.

    News on the hour 10:59:

    The top local headlines at 11:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A High Court judge has ruled that Newcastle City Council's not paying enough for decent care for the elderly.
    • BBC Tees: Nearly 900 people have been killed or injured on the roads of Teesside and County Durham in the last four years in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
    NE house prices up 0.8% 10:47:

    Average house prices in the UK in June were unchanged - yes that's right unchanged - says the Land Registry. It is the only one whose index measures the actual sale price. It's not the first house price data to show a levelling off and one or two have even suggested slight falls. One reason could be April's tougher mortgage affordability rules but that's unlikely to be the only explanation.

    A street of colourfully painted houses in London

    On an annual basis, the West Midlands saw a 4.7% increase in average house prices, while the South East saw house prices jump 7.8%. At the other end of the scale, house prices in the North East are up just 0.8% since June last year.

    Your views needed 10:34:

    What do you think of BBC Local Live? We'd like your feedback about this service.

    Girl's brain tumour returns 10:21: The Gazette Newspaper

    Teesside parents Sally and Wayne Hodgson say inspirational four-year-old Ruby will need surgery again after a tumour returned for the third time.

    Cheryl lands fourth solo No1 10:10:

    Cheryl Cole has landed the fourth solo number one of her career, becoming only the third British female in chart history to achieve the feat.

    The Heaton-born singer's success with Crazy Stupid Love puts her alongside Geri Halliwell and Rita Ora.

    Cheryl Cole

    Cheryl said: "It feels great to be back but even more special to have achieved my fourth number one. So exciting!"

    News on the hour 09:59:

    The top local headlines at 10:00 include:

    • BBC Newcastle: A care home company which took Newcastle City Council to court over the fees it pays them has won its case.
    • BBC Tees: Nearly 900 people have been killed or injured on the roads of Teesside and County Durham in the last four years in accidents caused by distracted drivers.
    Crash death biker was father-to-be 09:48: Newcastle Chronicle

    The pregnant partner of a motorcyclist who died in a road crash has vowed never to let her unborn baby forget its dad.

    'Emergency passports available' 09:36:

    Regarding strike action at passport offices, including one in Durham, the Home Office said in a statement: "We have contingency plans in place to ensure that during any industrial action passport offices will maintain a service to the public and keep any inconvenience to a minimum."

    "All HM Passport Office customer service centre counters will remain open and we will be able to issue passports for those in emergency situations, with urgent travel needs."

    MH17 crash 'a war crime' 09:25: BREAKING NEWS

    The downing of Malaysian plane MH17 in east Ukraine may constitute a "war crime", UN human rights chief Navi Pillay says.

    The crash killed Newcastle United fans Liam Sweeney and John Alder, who were on their way to watch the club's pre-season tour of New Zealand.

    Passport office to remain open 09:20:

    The Home Office says all its passport offices, including the one in Durham, will continue to deliver a service today despite strike action taking place.

    The Passport Office

    Members of the PCS union are walking out in a dispute over workload and staffing levels.

    Rubbish apology 09:09:

    Durham County Council tweets: Apologies to anyone whose bin wasn't emptied on Friday. We're still catching up on the backlog and will be back to empty them today.

    News on the hour 08:58:

    The top local headlines at 09:00 include:

    Top headlines
    Record numbers at air show 08:46: Alfie Joey BBC Newcastle

    Almost a million people turned up at the Sunderland International Air Show at the weekend - a record for the event.

    The Red Arrows perform over the seafront at Seaburn

    The team at BBC Newcastle had a brilliant time covering it and you can hear some of the highlights this morning on Alfie and Charlie.

    Bridging the gap 08:35: Jonathan Swingler BBC Tees

    This bridge between Middlesbrough and Stockton is going to close for six weeks to be painted red and silver. There's more on BBC Tees and you can listen live here.

    Tees Newport Bridge
    Missing woman found safe 08:21:

    A woman from Stockton who went missing last week has turned up safe and well.

    Jennifer O'Neil

    Jennifer O'Neil had last been seen on Thursday, but made contact with police late last night.

    Another sunny day ahead 08:09: Kay Crewdson BBC Weather

    Most places will be dry with a fair amount of sunshine. There may be the odd shower, but these should be brief and mainly light. It'll feel quite warm, with temperatures slightly above average. Coastal areas may feel a touch cooler, because of an onshore breeze.

    Kay Crewdson

    The maximum temperature will be 23C (73F). Check the forecast near you.

    Good morning 08:00: Robert Cooper BBC News Online

    Welcome to BBC Local Live on this sunny morning. I'll be bringing you news, sport, weather and travel updates from across the North East.

    If you'd like us to feature your comments or pictures, send them to us by email, tweet us @BBCNewsNE or join our Facebook page.



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