A £464m project to build a new hospital in the region was cancelled today, after the Con-Lib government decided it could no longer be afforded.

The Wynyard Park project, north of Stockton - to replace outdated general hospitals in Hartlepool and Stockton - is among 12 schemes scrapped immediately, saving £2bn.

Danny Alexander, the new chief secretary, told MPs that only projects that were "affordable, offered value for money and were genuine priorities" would go forward - accusing Labour of going on an irresponsible pre-election spending spree.

Scores of other schemes will go ahead - including, it is expected, major bus improvements across the Tees Valley - with full details to be released this afternoon.