FIVE years ago this week, The Prince of Wales visited Middleton-in-Teesdale, giving £50,000 to farmers through The Princes Trust.

Thanks to the money, 54 farmers received IT training which ensured they could operate their businesses more efficiently.

The Prince also visited a youth drop-in centre where he joined 15-year-olds for a game of pool and played games.

Upper Teesdale Agricultural Support Manager Diane Spark told The Northern Echo: "The Prince seems to be the only person doing things for the countryside and rural areas."

Other news to hit the headlines included an exclusive Northern Echo report into the North-East investors facing financial ruin.

They believed they had bought a dream home in Cyprus, but the homes were never finished even though deposits had been paid.

North-East MEP Fiona Hall said: "People could lose their UK homes to pay the mortgage on a holiday property that was never built. Life savings will be lost. “

In the same week, the longest double dip recession in 60 years officially ended, with North-East companies said to be taking on employees for the fastest rate since 2008. Then Chancellor George Osborne said the economy is back on the right track.

Locally, four Darlington footballers teamed up with students from Darlington College of Art and Design for a charity fashion show in aid of Mencap.

The event involved Darlington FC players Leon Scott, Joe Tait and Amar and Arjun Purewal, who each took a turn to model clothing from local businesses.

Also in that week, Lady Elsie Robson wife of the late Sir Bobby Robson opened a £2.8m housing development that had previously been an allotment site.

The houses were developed by Durham Aged Mineworkers' Homes Association (DAMHA) creating 24 bungalows at Steel Street, in Consett, which is now known as Shotleyfield View.

The Northern Echo also reported how a 16-strong squad from Darlington and Weardale Chung Do Kwan Taekwondo Club won 14 out of 16 medals in a national tournament.

The champs, who travelled to Liverpool for the competition, included: Katey Wallace, Viktoras Kostinas, Andrew Vipond, Daniel Graham, Anna Thompson, Sara Graham, Harry Evans, Chris Evans, Leah Moss, Connor Holmes, Tony Graham, Andrew Barley, Louis Welch and Keira Moles.