LEADERS from across the North will gather today to set out how the region can unite behind a single voice in a Convention for the North.

Elected mayors and council leaders will meet in Newcastle in a call for businesses and organisations to come together over the summer and agree a way forward on the big issues likely to define the North over the coming years.

Those attending include Sue Jeffrey, leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Simon Henig, leader of Durham County Council.

A Convention spokesman said: “This offers the first chance for a united North to speak to government with a strong voice, a crucial step in rebalancing the UK and holding the Government to account.”

Leaders will gather in Newcastle following the start of the Great Exhibition of the North and will discuss steps needed to bring together northern leaders for the wider Convention this summer. The Convention is not intended to be a new statutory body but will speak on important regional issues.