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There’s still a few months until it takes place but this year’s Northumberland Live in Bedlington will most definitely have The X Factor thanks to its headline act.
Rounding things off on what will hopefully be a sun drenched day of fun on Saturday, July 28 will be Matt Cardle, who triumphed on the famous ITV show in 2010, seeing off Cher Lloyd, One Direction and Rebecca Ferguson in that year’s final.
Matt’s first solo single, When We Collide went straight to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and became the second biggest-selling single of 2010 with 815,000 copies sold within two weeks. By the following June it had sold one million copies. The singer/songwriter is now gearing up to release his fourth album Time To Be Alive which will come out on April 27.
This year will be the third that Northumberland Live at Bedlington has taken place. Last year, The Commitments entertained thousands of people at the free spectacle and two years ago, the first concert saw Johnny Hates Jazz headline.
Once again, the Northumberland Live Festival looks set to appeal to all ages and members of the family. Also announced on the bill is Midnight Soul Sisters who will perform classics songs by The Supremes, Tina Turner, Amy Winehouse, Chic and Beyonce. Other bands will be announced in due course.
The event is being funded by East Bedlington Parish Council with contributions from Ward Councillors funds and personal contributions from Keith Grimes and John Batey.

A man has appeared in court after being charged following a spate of robberies in Newcastle.
Andrew Robinson, 38, from Newlands in Gosforth, Newcastle has been charged with three counts of robbery, two counts of possessing an offensive weapon and one count of imitation firearm.
One incident occurred at around 2.30pm, on March 15, at Nisa Local, St James Street in Gosforth, where the offender used a hammer to threaten staff into handing over money.
The other two took place on March 23, the first at around 6.15am at the Shell Garage in Gosforth where the offender used an imitation firearm to steal a quantity of cash. The second robbery that day was at around 5.30pm, at Omers Convenience Store, Addycombe Terrace in Heaton, where the offender again used a hammer to threaten staff into handing over money.
Robinson appeared at Bedlington Magistrates Court on March 26 and will next appear at Newcastle Crown Court on April 23.
 

A swathe of brightly coloured bluebells is truly a thing of beauty and here are some of the best places to enjoy them in the North East.
Do let us know if there is anywhere we’ve missed and we will add it to the list - just email community@ncjmedia.co.uk with all the details. The bluebells are usually in flower from mid April until late May.
The Woodland Trust said: “This early flowering makes the most of the sunlight that reaches the woodland floor before the full woodland canopy casts its shade. Millions of bulbs may grow closely together in one wood, creating one of nature’s most stunning displays. Half of the world’s population of bluebells are here in the UK. You’ll find them in broadleaved woodland, along hedgerows and in fields.”
The Woodland Trust say the hybrid or Spanish bluebell is overtaking the traditional, sweet-scented native plants. Here is how to tell the difference:
Native plants are deep violet-blue though a genetic mutation occasionally causes white flowers, the flower stem droops or nods distinctly to one side, almost all flowers are on one side of the stem, hanging down to one side. The flowers are a narrow, straight-sided bell with parallel sides, petal tips curl back and the flowers have a strong, sweet scent.
The Spanish bluebells are pale to mid-blue, and often also white or pink. The flower stem is stiff and upright, with flowers sticking out all the way round the stem. Flowers are a wide open, almost cone-shaped bell and the petal tips flare slightly outwards. They have little or no scent at all.

Northumberland residents are reminded that all bin collections across the county will be one day late during the week of the Easter Monday bank holiday.
Monday collections will take place on the Tuesday, Tuesday on the Wednesday, Wednesday on the Thursday and Thursday on Friday.

All collections this week, beginning 26 March, are as normal.

The day changes affect all collections, including recycling, general rubbish and garden waste.

For more information about waste and recycling in Northumberland, including checking your collection days, visit www.northumberland.gov.uk/waste

A state-of-the-art cancer treatment centre is set to create 50 jobs when it opens in Northumberland this summer.
The Rutherford Cancer Centre, in Bedlington, is due to open later this year, creating a large number of jobs in clinical and administrative roles.
The centre is one of five being developed by Proton Partners International across the UK, after the company raised £200m to develop the facilities.
Part of the funding came from The Journal’s Let’s Grow programme.
Chris Land, centre manager at the Rurtherford Cancer Centre, said: “This centre is the result of substantial research and investment into the best way to treat specific types of cancer. We are going to provide proton therapy which has a number of advantages over more traditional treatments like radiotherapy as it targets the cancer specifically without damaging healthy tissue near it.
“As well as the healthcare benefits, our £38m North East centre will create up to 50 jobs with both clinical and administrative posts, and the construction project also created jobs for local workers.

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