SIR John Hall, the founder of the Metrocentre and the former chairman of Newcastle United, will give a talk about his love of the North East at a special event.

An evening of lectures, also featuring Lord Michael Bates, will be hosted by the Mayor of Darlington, Charles Johnson, who committed to holding cultural events in the town during his term of office.

The Mayor’s Darlington Lecture will take place on Thursday, March 6, in Central Hall, at the Dolphin Centre, Darlington, The theme of the event is The North East.

Sir John Hall is best known as the former chairman of the Magpies, with a stand named after him at St James’ Park. He was also the property developer behind the Metrocentre, in Gateshead, in the 1980s.

Lord Michael Bates is a deputy Speaker and deputy chairman of the House of Lords, and was Member of Parliament for the former constituency of Langbaurgh between 1992 and 1997.

Councillor Johnson said: “The theme of my Mayoral Year has been Civic Pride. We should all be taking pride in our town, and the North East; it is a wonderful place, full of industry and hard working people.

“I’m delighted that we have two eminent representatives of the North East speaking at the Mayor’s Lecture.”

Advance tickets cost £4 for the event and are available from Dolphin Centre reception on 01325-388406. Tickets on the door will be £5 (£4 for concessions). All proceeds will go to the Mayor’s fund.