A PLAN to give more funds to urban areas has been praised by the leader of Stockton Borough Council.

Councillor Bob Gibson has welcomed the Government's vision for cities of the future, announced earlier this week.

The proposals include new powers for local authorities, and extra money to convert old buildings and encourage inner-city development.

A dozen regeneration companies are to be set up across the country to help achieve the new aims, and Coun Gibson is campaigning for one to be in Stockton,

He said: "This is something we fervently support, and Stockton has become a leader in urban renewal.

"But there is so much further to go to achieve our ambition."