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Durham misses out on UK City of Culture 2025 to Bradford

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Durham has missed out on the coveted City of Culture 2025 title leaving thousands in the region disappointed at missing out on millions of pounds worth of investment and a unique programme of events.

County Durham’s 2025 bid team and other influential people gathering at Beamish Museum on Tuesday evening as they watched on as Culture Secretary announced on BBC’s The One Show that Bradford had landed the prize, beating off compeititon from Southampton and Wrexham.

Following the big reveal there were a lot of disappointed faces after putting 18 months’ worth of work and effort into the region’s bid. Tuesday’s decision means that County Durham has missed out on a reported 15 million visitors, an injection of hundreds of millions of pounds into the economy and the creation and safeguarding of thousands of jobs.

The shortlist was compiled from a record group of 20 that had initially registered bids to take over the title, currently held by Coventry.

The then longlisted winners received a £40,000 grant to strengthen their applications. They additionally included Cornwall, Derby, Stirling and Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon.

The advisory panel, chaired by Sir Phil Redmond, visited the then four shortlisted places before making their final recommendation in May, which was later approved by Ms Dorries.

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said: “Congratulations to Bradford, which is a worthy winner of UK City of Culture 2025.

“Art and culture should be accessible to everyone and this prestigious title will help Bradford deliver unforgettable events for communities on their doorstep.

“There was stiff competition and I thank County Durham, Southampton and Wrexham County Borough for their excellent bids. 

“Coventry has shown us how powerful the UK City of Culture title is at boosting investment, attracting visitors and leaving a lasting legacy for local people.”  

It’s not clear at this time whether bid directors would be making another attempt for the 2029 City of Culture.

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Man denies 1992 murder of Sunderland schoolgirl Nikki Allan

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A man accused of the murder of a schoolgirl who was stabbed to death 30 years ago has denied the charge.

Seven-year-old Nikki Allan vanished on Wednesday, October 7, 1992 after leaving her grandparents’ flat in Wear Garth, Sunderland.

The next morning, Nikki’s school shoes were found a few hundred yards away outside of the Old Exchange building. Her body was discovered lying in a pool of blood inside the derelict building by a neighbour who was helping the police with their search for the missing youngster. She had been stabbed 37 times.

David Boyd, of Chesterton Court, Norton, Stockton-on-Tees, appeared at Newcastle Crown Court on the morning of Monday, June 20, where he faced a charge of murder.

The 54-year-old appeared via video link where he pleaded not guilty to the offence during the short, 25-minute hearing.

A trial had originally been listed to start on January 11 next year but the court heard it may now be put back until April 19. Any trial could last up to six weeks.

Boyd was remanded in custody in the meantime.

Judge Paul Sloan QC informed the court that a further pre-trial hearing will now take place on Monday, November 7.

The judge told Boyd: “I am adjourning your case to trial. The precise trial date will be confirmed, hopefully in the next few days.

“There will be at least one further pre-trial hearing before the trial date.

“In due course you will be required to provide a defence statement, setting out in detail your defence to the charge you face.”

Nikki’s mother Sharon Henderson sat in the public gallery for the hearing. She burst into tears when the charge was read out, was consoled by supporters and the court usher gave her a tissue.

After Boyd was charged, Northumbria Police Assistant Chief Constable David Felton said: “This is an extremely tragic case and our thoughts very much continue to be with the family and friends of Nikki Allan.

“A significant investigation has been ongoing ever since Nikki’s death 30 years ago.

“As with any unsolved cases of this nature, they are never closed. Our dedicated teams constantly review the evidence and follow any new investigative leads that may come to light.”

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Northumberland man accused of murdering his terminally ill wife faces trial in Cyprus

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North East Updates

Sky News reports that David Hunter, a 75-year-old man originally from Northumberland, will appear in a Cypriot court on Thursday accused of murdering his terminally ill wife last December.

 

Mr Hunter allegedly suffocated Janice, his wife of 56 years, before attempting to end his own life by taking an overdose. The former miner faces a life sentence if found guilty, after his request for the alternative charge of “assisted suicide” was rejected.

 

Lesley Cawthorne, the couple’s daughter, told Sky News of how her father is “haunted” by memories of her mother “screaming in pain” during her battle with terminal blood cancer, and is asking the Cypriot judges to show compassion.

 

“My mum made her wishes clear and my dad helped her.

 

“She just wanted it to end. She didn’t want to fight. She didn’t want treatment.

 

“She didn’t want a long, protracted death. She’d had enough and she just wanted to go.”

 

The trial will be heard by three judges on Thursday and Friday with further hearings expected over the coming weeks, and will be the first euthanasia case heard in Cyprus.

 

Follow our page for updates.

 

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Met Office hints at a North East heatwave with temperatures set to soar this week

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Newcastle Gateshead Sunny

Temperatures in the North East are set to reach up to 24°C by Friday, with temperatures gradually increasing throughout the week.

So, after a gloomy start to June, it looks like summer is finally about to kick in across England this week. Meteorologists are hinting at a possible turning point with a mini-heatwave on its way, hailing increasing Mercury levels.

Stephen Dixon, Met Office Spokesperson, said that “temperatures in the southeast could reach around 33°C on Friday, with temperatures in the northeast likely to be in the mid-to-high 20s for many”.

Some isolated spots in the northeast could even enjoy temperatures up to 29°C for some time on Friday.

“Although areas further south will see the highest temperatures, figures in the northeast of England will still be very warm for the time of year when they peak on Friday”, Dixon added.

These unprecedented temperatures are a result of a persistent area of high pressure over much of the UK and warm air from the continent nudging temperatures up well beyond their average for this time of the year.

However, those wanting to enjoy the sun are advised to make the most out of this week. A cold front is moving in from the north from Saturday, bringing with it uncertainty and a risk of showers. This will see the temperatures drop back to around 18°C.

How will you be making the most of the heatwave this weekend? Let us know!

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