Send us your pictures, video, news and views by texting NORTHERN ECHO to 80360 or email us
Rolls-Royce sign US Navy deal
ROLLS-ROYCE, the UK precision engineering manufacturer which employs 400 on Wearside, has secured a "significant" contract to power the US Navy's upcoming fleet of new hovercraft.
The aerospace manufacturer will work with a subsidiary of US defence firm Textron Systems to build the craft, which will be 11 per cent more fuel efficient than the existing fleet.
The hovercraft are used by the US government in a number of roles, including supporting the deployment of military personnel and in humanitarian relief efforts where docks or fixed ports are not available.
The Ship-to-Shore Connector (SSC) programme aims to replace the US Navy's current fleet over the next 20 years, and could extend to 73 in total. If the full fleet is built, it would lead to the manufacture of more than 300 gas turbines, according to the company.
RACING ON: Newcastle Racecourse has appointed Joanne Fenwick as events manager in a move it hopes will drive forward its growth as a venue for both private and corporate events and conferences.
Ms Fenwick joins the racecourse’s team from a Newcastle-based marketing agency, where she was sales and marketing manager, having been head of events and promotions at a media business in the city until the beginning of 2012.
She will work alongside executive director David Williamson, as well as the racecourse’s sales and marketing team in her new role.
OIL DEAL: BP is to take almost a 20 per cent stake in what is set to become the world's largest publicly listed oil producer as part of a £16.7bn deal.
State-backed Russian energy firm Rosneft has agreed to buy BP's 50 per cent stake in its troubled TNK-BP joint venture for £10.7bn cash and £6bn-worth of Rosneft shares.
The deal, which is subject to state and regulatory approvals, will see BP grab a 19.75 per cent stake in Rosneft, which will become the world's biggest publicly traded oil company with daily crude output of more than three million barrels.
BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg hailed the move as "an important day for BP".
LAW AWARD: Gordon Brown Law Firm is celebrating another accolade for the firm as the residential conveyancing team scoops another award.
The North East law firm won an award for Best Use of Technology in Business Development 2012 at the Legal 360 Annual Conference and Awards Dinner.
The award is new for 2012 and recognises the part that technology can play in supporting law firms.
TAXI TROUBLE: Manganese Bronze, the firm which make of the distinctive London black cab, is to appoint administrators after it failed to secure a funding boost from one of its largest shareholders.
The Coventry-based company was reportedly in talks with Chinese private automaker Geely, which owns a 20 per cent stake in the firm, over a £15m loan.
But the group, which recently recalled 500 black cabs due to a steering box fault, said it had been unable to secure funding with various parties and will bring in administrators.
Manganese, which employs nearly 300 staff and traces its roots to the 19th century as a maker of ship propellers, recently reported wider half-year losses of £3.6m.