North East England: Wikis


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North East England
North East
North East region shown within England
Status Region
— Total
Ranked 8th
8,592 km²
3,317 sq mi
— Total
— Density
Ranked 9th
2,515,442 (2001)
GDP per capita £15,688 (9th)
HQ Newcastle upon Tyne
Leadership Association of North East Councils
Regional development One NorthEast
European parliament North East England

North East England is one of the nine official regions of England and comprises the combined area of Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Tees Valley (including parts of North Yorkshire). The historic name for North East England is Northumbria and whilst a few regional bodies still use this name, it is rarely used in everyday conversation. The main city in the region is Newcastle upon Tyne. Other towns in the area are: Gateshead, Sunderland, South Shields, Durham, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Hartlepool and Darlington.



Generally the region is hilly and sparsely populated in the North and West, and urban and arable in the East and South. The highest point in the region is Cheviot, in the Cheviot Hills, at 815 metres (2,674 ft).

As well as its urban centres of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside the region is also noted for the richness of its natural beauty. Northumberland National Park, the region's coastline, its section of the Pennines including Teesdale and Weardale provides evidence for this. It also has great historic importance, the evidence of which is seen in Northumberland's Castles, and the two World Heritage Sites of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle and of Hadrian's Wall. St. Peter's church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland along with St.Pauls in Jarrow also hold significant historical value. They have a joint bid to become a World Heritage Site.

Economic history

Teesside Transporter Bridge

The shipbuilding industry that once dominated both Sunderland (once the largest shipbuilding town in the world) and Tyneside suffered a terrible decline during the second half of the twentieth century. Tyneside is now re-inventing itself as an international centre of art and culture and, through The Centre For Life, scientific research (especially in stem cell technology) and popular nightlife, in areas such as the Quayside or The Gate. After suffering economic decline during the last century, Sunderland is becoming an important area for quaternary industry, science and high technology. The economy of Teesside is largely based on its petrochemical industry. Northumberland and County Durham, both being largely rural, base much of its economy on farming and tourism.

In May 2005, the 'Passionate people. Passionate places.' regional image campaign was launched to promote North East England as a great place in which to work, study, visit and invest.

Local government

Coat of Arms of the UK Government.

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The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Map Ceremonial county Unitary authority Metropolitan districts
EnglandNorthEastNumbered .png 1. Northumberland
Tyne and Wear * 2. Newcastle upon Tyne, 3. Gateshead, 4. North Tyneside, 5. South Tyneside, 6. Sunderland
Durham 7. Durham
8. Darlington
9. Hartlepool
10. Stockton-on-Tees (North of River Tees)
North Yorkshire
(part only)
10. Stockton-on-Tees (South of River Tees)
11. Redcar and Cleveland
12. Middlesbrough

Key: metropolitan county = *


The region was created in 1994 and was originally defined as Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Cleveland. As part of a reform of local government, Cleveland has since been abolished and several unitary districts created. The North East has been considered to be very religious especially Northumberland (home of the Lindisfarne Gospels), some of the scenery in the outlying villages is of considerable quality.

The region is now considered to consist of four distinct 'sub-regions':

A referendum in 2004 as to whether a directly-elected regional assembly should be set up for North East England resulted in a decisive "no" vote.

In November 2004 people in the North East voted "no" in a referendum on whether to set up an elected regional assembly. The total number of people voting against the plans was 696,519 (78%), while 197,310 (22%) voted in favour.

Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott admitted his plans for regional devolution had suffered an "emphatic defeat".

Conservative spokesman for the regions Bernard Jenkin said the vote would mean the end of plans for a north east assembly. He told the BBC: "The whole idea of regional government has been blown out of the water by this vote".[1]


Lindisfarne Castle

The region has a rich natural heritage, its diverse landscape includes maritime cliffs and extensive moorland containing a number of rare species of flora and fauna. Of particular importance are the saltmarshes of Lindisfarne, the Tees Estuary, the heaths, bogs and traditional upland hay meadows of the North Pennines, the distinctive Arctic-alpine flora of Upper Teesdale, the Farne Islands (which contain rare seabirds such as the Roseate Tern) and the magnesian limestone grasslands of East Durham - a habitat found nowhere else in the world.

The North East also features woodland such as Kielder Forest, the largest man-made forest in Europe. This is located within Northumberland National Park and contains an important habitat for the endangered red squirrel. The region is the English stronghold of black grouse and contains 80-90% of the UK population of yellow marsh saxifrage. A recently created site for bird watching is Rainton Meadows.


Although the North East region has the lowest rate of HIV infection in the UK, it has the highest rate of heart attacks for men, and for lung cancer for women in England (just below Scotland), and the highest lung cancer rate for men in the UK. It has the joint highest birth rate for women under 20 in the UK (with Wales). It also has the highest youth unemployment (ages 16–24) in the UK, and the second highest trade union membership for men (after Northern Ireland). For English students in higher education, those for the North East are most likely (72%) to pick a university in their home region; Scotland is the highest with 95% staying in their home country. The North East also has the highest proportion of Christians in the UK.

By region, the North East has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in England. Inside the region, the top-tier authority with the highest rate is Hartlepool, with Easington the council district with the highest rate. The top-tier authority with the lowest rate is Northumberland and the council district with the lowest rate is Tynedale in Northumberland.


The East Coast Main Line cuts through the region with stops at Newcastle, Durham and Darlington, providing fast connections to London and Edinburgh. The region is also served by the Durham Coast Line which connects Sunderland, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough with the main line. The two main arterial carriageways, the A1 and the A19, mirror the railway trajectory. However, north of Morpeth, the A1 is single carriageway. There is a ferry terminal at North Shields. DFDS operate two ferries a day to Amsterdam and, until 1 September 2008, one a day on the Stavanger - Haugesund - Bergen route. The two main airports are Newcastle Airport located north of the city near Ponteland and Durham Tees Valley Airport located east of Darlington. The Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail network which serves the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, with stations in both Newcastle and Sunderland city centres, other towns and suburbs in the county, as well as at Newcastle Airport and other attractions such as the St James' Park, Stadium of Light, and Gateshead International Stadium

Transport policy

As part of the national transport planning system, the Regional Assembly is required to produce a Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involves region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by the Highways Agency and Network Rail.[2] Within the region the local transport authorities plan for the future by producing Local Transport Plans (LTP) which outline their strategies, policies and implementation programmes.[3] The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006-11. In the North East region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online: Darlington,[4] Durham,[5] Hartlepool,[6] Middlesbrough,[7] Northumberland,[8] Redcar and Cleveland,[9] Stockton-on-Tees[10] and Tyne and Wear.[11]


The North East region has the lowest GDP/capita in England, and second lowest in the United Kingdom only behind Wales. The economy was for several decades unusually highly focused on two industries, ship building and coal mining; hence the phrase taking coals to Newcastle. Land use in County Durham and Northumberland is agricultural in the majority. UK Coal is about to start surface mining at Steadsburn near Widdrington Station and Stobswood in Northumberland.

The former regional electricity company Northern Electric is now managed by CE Electric UK, based in Chester-le-Street.


Teesside Power Station

In the Tees Valley, ICI was next to Wilton on a huge site between Eston and Redcar, and also in Billingham. Petroplus refine oil at the Port Clarence (formerly Teesside) Refinery. Teesport is the second busiest port in the country. Hartlepool has a nuclear power station, and there is a gas turbine power station and a CHP power station on the ICI Wilton site. The area at Wilton and Teesmouth is a vast chemicals processing site, and has recently diversified into being the UK's leading site for (renewable) biofuel research. Purdey's and Amé were made by Britvic in Hartlepool (former Orchid Drinks) until February 2009, when production was moved to Chelmsford in Essex.

Huntsman Tioxide has a large plant at Greatham that makes titanium dioxide, and its European headquarters are in Billingham. Aldous Huxley's visit to the former ICI plant in Billingham inspired him to write Brave New World. Marlow Foods make Quorn and KP Snacks make McCoy's Crisps in Billingham. Abbey has its mortgages division in Thornaby-on-Tees. Corus Group makes steel on Teesside, notably Redcar, and makes pipes in Hartlepool. Tetley Tea have had their only tea bag factory in the UK at Eaglescliffe since 1969. It is the largest tea bag factory in the world, making 18 billion tea bags a year. The distribution centre is at nearby Newton Aycliffe in County Durham. The match was invented in Stockton-on-Tees in 1826 by John Walker.

Tyne & Wear

Newcastle Brown Ale - the yen an anny

Swan Hunter until 2006 made ships in Wallsend, but still designs ships. Scottish & Newcastle was the largest UK-owned brewery until April 2008 when it was bought by Heineken and Carlsberg, and has the Newcastle Federation Brewery in Dunston, which produced Newcastle Brown Ale. Production is about to be moved to Tadcaster. The government's Child benefit office is in Washington, which lost two data discs in 2007. Northern Rock, which became a bank in 1997, is based in Gosforth and there is the Newcastle Building Society. Greggs, the bakers, are in Jesmond. Findus UK until recently was based on the Balliol Business Park in Longbenton, home of P&G's detergent technical centre and one of its global business centres, and a tax credits call centre for HMRC. The previous Government National Insurance offices (demolished and replaced in 2000) in Longbenton had a 1 mile (1.6 km) long corridor.[citation needed] There is also Be-Ro and the large Go-Ahead Group bus company is in central Newcastle. Nestlé have a chocolate factory in Fawdon. The MetroCentre, the largest shopping centre in Europe, is in Dunston. BAE Systems Land and Armaments (former Vickers-Armstrongs) on Scotswood Road in Scotswood is the main producer of British tanks, such as the Challenger 2. Siemens make steam turbines at the CA Parsons Works in South Heaton, Newcastle. Sir Charles Parsons invented the steam turbine in 1884, and he developed an important local company. Domestos (sodium hypochlorite) was originated in Newcastle in 1929 by William Handley, and distributed from the area for many years. Barratt Developments is in Benwell, Newcastle, and Bellway plc is in Seaton Burn in North Tyneside. The Sage Group, who make accounting software are based in Newcastle. J. Barbour & Sons make outdoor clothing in South Shields.

Evans Halshaw, the car dealership, is in Sunderland. Also in Sunderland, between North Hylton and Washington on an old airfield, is a car factory owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd and the outdoor clothing company, Berghaus, in Castletown. Liebherr build cranes next to the Wear at Deptford. Vaux Breweries, who owned Swallow Hotels, closed in 1999. ScS Sofas are on Borough Road. There are many call centres in Sunderland, notably EDF Energy at the Doxford International Business Park, home of the headquarters of Arriva, the large international transport company, and Nike UK.


Ashington has the Alcan Lynemouth Aluminium Smelter with the Lynemouth Power Station next door. Hammerite and Cuprinol are made by ICI Paints in Prudhoe. Procter & Gamble in Seaton Delaval have a main factory making aftershave (Hugo Boss) and hair dye (Clairol and Nice 'n Easy). The site was formerly owned by Shultons, who originated Old Spice, and were bought by P&G in 1990.


GlaxoSmithKline has a site at Barnard Castle that makes pharmaceuticals. KP Snacks (owned by United Biscuits) make Phileas Fogg snacks in Consett. Black & Decker used to have a large factory at Spennymoor but production was moved to the Czech Republic in 2002. Electrolux closed its cookers factory there in 2008, with production moving to Poland. Northumbrian Water is in Pity Me, Framwellgate Moor.


Darlington stayed relatively un-industrialised throughout the 20th century with finance and manufacturing being the main elements of its economy. Today Darlington is recognised for its railways more than anything as the first steam-hauled public passenger railway in the world was constructed through the town. Cleveland Bridge & Engineering Company which is responsible for the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Tyne Bridge is still based in Darlington. The Orange mobile network provider also has a large site in Darlington. Argos and Aldi have major national depots in Darlington. Cummins, an American engineering company, also has a large site in Darlington. The town centre continues to develop into a successful retail hub for the region with a large new £110m shopping centre, 'The Oval', on the way in the next few years. The national safeguarding authority has set up its national office here, which vets people on jobs for vulnerable people. The Student Loans Company has recently set up in Lingfield Point, and Magnet Kitchens is in Lingfield in the east of the town. Darlington's economy is one of the most improving in the country.[citation needed]


Secondary education

Hummersknott School near Darlington

The North East education system consists of largely comprehensive schools but with a number of private and independent schools found in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington, Stockton and Northumberland in particular. At GCSE level, the region performs similar to other largely urban areas although generally results are below the national average. Middlesbrough performs the worst with average results significantly below the national average for England. Newcastle and Sunderland improved significantly in 2007 from the previous year. Only North Tyneside performed above average, with Northumberland and Darlington not far off. St Thomas More RC High School in North Shields (a voluntary funded Roman Catholic specialist technology college) and Emmanuel City Technology College (a selective independent state school) and Lord Lawson of Beamish Community School (A public state school, recently re-built) are two of the three performing schools in Gateshead. Other well performing schools in the region include the Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough, the Carmel RC Technology College, Hurworth School and Hummersknott School, all in Darlington.and ryton comprohensive school.

QE Sixth Form College in Darlington

At A-level, local education authorities in the north east are improving, but produce results substantially below other areas of the England. Sunderland performs the best, followed by Darlington which are both some way above the England average. Darlington is particularly noted for Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College, which is one of the most highly rated colleges in England. Sunderland and its catholic schools all do reasonably well at A level, as most other catholic schools in the area. Close to the England average are also Redcar and Cleveland and Northumberland. South Tyneside is consistently the worst performing LEAs at A-level in the region. Middlesbrough performs much better at A level than GCSE, and conversely North Tyneside performs relatively worse at A level for an LEA that performs so well at GCSE. All Northumberland have a sixth-form along with a three-tier system of education. Many schools in the area, especially Teesside do not have a sixth form.

The independent and private schools in the area perform highly. Central Newcastle High School and Royal Grammar School, Newcastle were both named in the top 100 independent schools nationally in 2006; Durham School is one of the oldest in England.[citation needed] The private schools out-perform the state schools in the urban areas.[citation needed]

Newcastle University

Tertiary education

At the higher education level the North East contains a number of internationally acclaimed universities. These include Durham University, the third oldest university in England and often ranked among the ten leading UK universities; Newcastle University, a member of the Russell Group, and the newer universities of Northumbria University, University of Sunderland and Teesside University (former polytechnics), which was voted Best University in the United Kingdom in 2009.

Local media

BBC building in north Newcastle

Local media include:

Reference line notes

  1. ^ BBC NEWS | Politics | North East votes 'no' to assembly
  2. ^ "Regional Transport Strategy: the National Picture". Government Office for the North East. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  3. ^ "The LTP Process". Department for Transport. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  4. ^ "Darlington 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Darlington Borough Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Durham 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Durham County Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  6. ^ "Hartlepool 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Hartlepool Borough Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  7. ^ "Middlesbrough 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Middlesbrough Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  8. ^ "Northumberland 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Northumberland County Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  9. ^ "Redcar and Cleveland 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  10. ^ "Stockton-on-Tees 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  11. ^ "Tyne and Wear 2006-11 Local Transport Plan". Tyne and Wear LTP. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 

External links

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Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary


Proper noun

North East England

Wikipedia has an article on:


  1. (from 1994) An official region of England (one of nine), within the United Kingdom.
    Comprises Northumberland, Tyne and Wear and County Durham as well as a small part of North Yorkshire.

Simple English

[[File:|thumb|North East England]]

North-East England is one of the nine official regions of England and includes the combined area of Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear and a small part of North Yorkshire.

The highest point in the region is The Cheviot, in Northumberland, at 815m and the largest city is Newcastle. Sunderland is the second-largest.

The region is known its urban centres and for its natural beauty: Northumberland National Park, the region's coastline, its section of the Pennines and Weardale. It also has great historic importance. There are two World Heritage Sites: Durham Cathedral and Hadrian's Wall.

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Map Ceremonial county County /unitary Districts
1. Northumberland a.) Blyth Valley, b.) Wansbeck, c.) Castle Morpeth, d.) Tynedale, e.) Alnwick, f.) Berwick-upon-Tweed
Tyne and Wear * 2. Newcastle upon Tyne, 3. Gateshead, 4. North Tyneside, 5. South Tyneside, 6. Sunderland
Durham 7. Durham † a.) Durham (city), b.) Easington, c.) Sedgefield, d.) Teesdale, e.) Wear Valley, f.) Derwentside, g.) Chester-le-Street
8. Darlington U.A.
9. Hartlepool U.A.
10. Stockton-on-Tees U.A. (North of River Tees)
North Yorkshire
(part only)
10. Stockton-on-Tees U.A. (South of River Tees)
11. Redcar and Cleveland U.A.
12. Middlesbrough U.A.

Key: shire county = † | metropolitan county = *

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