A Teesside training facility has been given a vote of confidence by securing a second round of Government funding.

Middlesbrough's Food Technology Centre (FTC) has been awarded £150,000 to finance a two-year programme to support the food and drinks industry in the North-East.

It is the first of the country's six regional sites to be awarded the cash from Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

FTC chief executive Janet Bainbridge said: "The Defra funding, in particular, underlines both the value of the services we provide and the importance of the food industry to the regional economy."

The centre has already secured £500,000 from the European Regional Development Fund and £284,000 from the European Social Fund.

The money means they can continue to provide training, technical support, advice and supply information to the regional catering industry, which employs some 49,000 people. It was formed in 1998 by the University of Teesside.