TEN years ago, this week, it was confirmed that trainbuilding and thousands of desperately needed manufacturing jobs would be brought back to the region where the train was born.

After months of frustration and uncertainty, Hitachi’s plans to build a factory and a manufacturing base to serve all of Europe at Newton Aycliffe, County Durham, was given the go-ahead, to universal delight.

The £4.5bn Intercity Express Programme (IEP) deal secured at least 500 high-quality jobs in England’s poorest region, plus many thousands more in manufacturing and service supply chains.

The Hitachi-led Agility consortium would build at least 530 rail carriages, bringing faster, more reliable journeys -and 11,000 extra seats -on key inter-city routes.

Meanwhile, passengers were left in shock after a flight bound for the North-East was forced to make an emergency landing when it lost a wheel on take off.

Emergency crews sprang into action at Exeter Airport when the captain of a Flybe flight reported problems with the Q400 aircraft, shortly after take-off.

The Northern Echo: The remains of the landing gearThe remains of the landing gear

The turbo-prop aircraft, heading for Newcastle with 43 people on board, landed at Exeter safely after circling for 90 minutes to use up fuel.

All passengers left the aircraft on its retractable steps and were put on the next available flight.

Meanwhile, mourners filled St Andrews in Spennymoor for Private Dean Hutchinson’s funeral, spilling out into the churchyard, up the grassy bank and onto the pavement beyond.

A sea of black and white - fitting for the avid Newcastle United fan - was broken only by veterans bearing standards lowered to the ground and firemen and fellow soldiers standing to attention.

The Northern Echo: The scene at Spennymoor of the funeral of Pt Dean Adam Hutchinson who died in a fire in Afghanistan Picture: ANDY LAMBThe scene at Spennymoor of the funeral of Pt Dean Adam Hutchinson who died in a fire in Afghanistan Picture: ANDY LAMB

Pte Dean Hutchinson, of the Royal Logistic Corps (RLC), was killed in a fire at Camp Bastion, the main British military base in Afghanistan, on Valentine’s Day.

His parents, Elaine and Paul, and his younger brother, Liam, followed Pte Hutchinson’s coffin, draped in a Union flag and topped with his beret and belt, into the church, while loudspeakers relayed the proceedings to those outside the church.

Many members of the RLC were still serving in Afghanistan, but those who could make it to the service were there to honour their fallen colleague.