Music star Sting has returned home to receive a Freedom of the Borough award in North Tyneside.

The musician, originally called Gordon Sumner, accepted the honour at a special ceremony.

He was surrounded by family and friends at the Exchange 1856 building in North Shields.

Sting told the audience how proud he was very proud and that North Tyneside meant a great deal to him.

Sting said: "I have an abiding sense of gratitude for the place I was born and raised. I have a very real gift of knowing exactly where I come from, and who I am.

"Know thyself, the philosopher said, and don’t get carried away.

"I’ve come full circle to the river that spawned me and the community that raised me.

"I hope I’ll continue to represent me, my friends, and my community and that I won’t let you down – that’s a promise."

Having initially been granted the award in 2010, the formal celebration was put on hold due to Sting's demanding touring schedule.

It was only recently, during a chance encounter with Councillor Frank Lott at a Newcastle United game, that the opportunity to commemorate Sting's outstanding achievements finally emerged.

North Tyneside’s Elected Mayor, Dame Norma Redfearn DBE, added a few words to close the ceremony.

She said: "We’re very proud to welcome Sting home to North Tyneside to receive the award at the beautifully transformed Exchange 1856 building.

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"The venue will play a key role in fostering the next wave of musical and artistic talent as part of our North Shields Cultural Quarter.

"I am delighted that Sting is the first artist to grace the stage on this special occasion.”

The Freedom of the Borough award is the highest honour any local authority can bestow, and it recognises the 72-year-old's achievements, lasting influence on the global music landscape, and advocacy for North Tyneside.