LANDMARKS across the region are being lit up to mark the 70th birthday of the NHS.

The aim is to turn them blue on the evening of July 5 to say ‘Happy Birthday’ and to recognise the special place the NHS has in many people’s lives.

In this region Gateshead’s Millennium Bridge and Newcastle Civic Centre will be illuminated, along with the Penshaw Monument in Sunderland.

Darlington, Middlesbrough and Stockton are also participating.

Darlington Memorial Hospital will be lit up, along with the Centre Square fountain in Middlesbrough and Newport Bridge, among other locations.

Professor Chris Gray, NHS England’s medical director for Cumbria and the North-East, said: “We would love more buildings across the North to get involved and to light up blue on the evening of July 5.

“We are calling on churches, mosques, castles, historic homes and any buildings in towns, cities and villages to get involved and light up blue if they have the facilities to do so.”

“We also want the public to help us celebrate and get involved by taking photographs of the lit up buildings on July 5.

“They can shares these across social media with the hashtags #NHS70 and #LightUpBlue.”