It’s nice to have some­thing

Sunday Sun - - News -

FROM ma­jor road­works fin­ish­ing to high-pro­file events tak­ing place, here are 10 things we can look for­ward to in 2019.

There are plenty of things go­ing on around the North East – prepa­ra­tions are be­ing made for pop­u­lar con­certs and big sport­ing events, and a num­ber of lengthy projects are sched­uled to com­plete. Mo­torists are be­ing promised some re­lief on the roads, and rugby fans have a few ex­cit­ing dates for the di­ary.

Here we take a look at some of the things we can ex­pect later this year.

1. World Trans­plant Games com­ing to New­cas­tle/gateshead

We’ve been picked to host the World Trans­plant Games in Au­gust 2019 and prepa­ra­tions are well un­der way.

More than 3,000 par­tic­i­pants from 50 dif­fer­ent coun­tries will de­scend on the North East, all of whom have had suc­cess­ful or­gan and tis­sue trans­plants.

Among the venues to be used are Gateshead In­ter­na­tional Sta­dium and Sports Cen­tral, in New­cas­tle.

The games are highly re­garded across the globe, as they demon­strate the phys­i­cal suc­cess of trans­plant surgery and the abil­ity of re­cip­i­ents to lead healthy, nor­mal lives.

2. Spice Girls, Rod Ste­wart, Rick Ast­ley and Take That to per­form in North East

We have some big names com­ing to our neck of the woods. The Spice Girls, who will go back on the road to­gether in 2019 with­out Vic­to­ria Beck­ham, will be seen at Sun­der­land’s Sta­dium of Light in June. Sir Rod Ste­wart will take to the stage at New­cas­tle Metro Ra­dio Arena in July and Take That will be per­form­ing at Mid­dles­brough’s River­side Sta­dium on June 1.

Mean­while, 1980s icon Rick Ast­ley has been an­nounced as one of the per­form­ers at the Mouth of the Tyne Fes­ti­val. He will be at the Tynemouth Pri­ory and Cas­tle on July 13.

3. Lu­miere will re­turn to Durham for 10th an­niver­sary spec­tac­u­lar

Lu­miere Durham will be back in 2019 with an ex­tra-spe­cial pro­gramme to mark its 10-year an­niver­sary.

The hugely-pop­u­lar light fes­ti­val, which trans­forms the city’s an­cient streets and build­ings ev­ery other year, al­ways at­tracts crowds of around 200,000 dur­ing its run.

It is due to take place be­tween Novem­ber 14 and 17, and is promis­ing to be a big birth­day cel­e­bra­tion show­ing off Durham in - lit­er­ally – a new light, as it brings back fes­ti­val favourites from the past decade as well as new art­works.

4. Sil­ver­link road­works to fin­ish

This has been a pain for driv­ers for more than two years. Work has been tak­ing place to build a triple-decker round­about at the A19 and A1058 Coast Road junc­tion, in North Ty­ne­side, since sum­mer 2016. Ever since then, the sur­round­ing roads have had a re­duced speed limit of 30mph, con­trolled by cam­eras, as well as var­i­ous con­traflows. The area is se­verely con­gested at peak times be­cause of this. But mo­torists will be re­lieved to know the work is due to fin­ish in March 2019.

5. Tyne Pedes­trian and Cy­clist Tun­nels to re-open

The his­toric Grade Ii-listed tun­nels are cur­rently closed for re­fur­bish­ment and are ex­pected to re-open in early 2019.

It’s been 10 years since the North East Com­bined Au­thor­ity first de­cided to ren­o­vate the tun­nel and six years since work be­gan.

Opened in 1951, it was once used by tens of thou­sands of ship­yard work­ers cross­ing be­tween How­don and Jar­row ev­ery day.

But it had fallen into dis­re­pair and what was first en­vis­aged as a rel­a­tively short ren­o­va­tion turned into a whole­sale over­haul.

The project has been be­set by prob­lems through­out, in­clud­ing the main con­trac­tor go­ing into ad­min­is­tra­tion and se­ri­ous as­bestos

■ City Pool and Turk­ish Baths

■ Del­e­gates from the World Trans­plant Games Fed­er­a­tion in New­cas­tle ahead of this year’s games

■ Il­luma­pho­nium, at a pre­vi­ous Durham Lu­miere. This year is the event’s 10-year an­niver­sary

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