The UK Independence Party has unveiled its vision for the North East after Brexit.
The party says a major new document launched today - 'A Vision For The North East' - sets out Ukip North East's proposals for a vibrant region post-Brexit, and shows its intention to remain a major political player in the region for years to come and consolidate its role as the main challengers to Labour in the North East.
The document outlines Ukip's vision fro the region from rebuilding fisheries to upgrading roads, from business rates to proposing new Veterans' Centres in cities to look after ex-forces personnel.
With the economic gap between the North East and the rest of the country having grown dramatically in recent years, the region has the highest unemployment in the country - and the difference between the North East and the UK average is now more than five times greater than it was a decade ago.
North East Euro-MP Jonathan Arnott said: "For far too long the North East has been abandoned and ignored by our governments. It's time for us to fight for a fair deal in terms of funding, but also for our national government to understand the needs of local business and manufacturers.
"We're a region that builds things, that makes things, that sells things. Our government and councils should be doing everything they can to make that easier."
Ukip’s North East Regional Chairman Coun Steve Turner added: "Ukip is all about bringing power back to the people, and that's what the party stands for in local government.
“We oppose the council Cabinet system, support local referendums and are the only party to operate a no-whipping system because councillors should represent local people not party bosses."
The local party says the timing of the new document - just 10 days before voting closes in the Ukip leadership election - demonstrates that the regional party is determined that the North East is not forgotten by the candidates at this critical time.
The full document is available for download on the UKIP North East website