A business group set up in the North East to help companies affected by the pandemic has broadened its scope to help firms hit by the new Omicron variant.

The Open North Foundation has made grants to around 20 companies, as well as offering other forms of support, since being set up by a group of business figures in the region last year.

The foundation has been supported with donations from businesses and other organisations, raising tens of thousands of pounds that has so far been used to help businesses that want to grow as part of the recovery from the pandemic.