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North East region shown within England
3,317 sq mi
302 /km2 (780 /sq mi)
|GVA per capita||£15,688 (9th)|
|Admin HQ||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|Leadership||Association of North East Councils|
|Regional development||One NorthEast|
|European parliament||North East England|
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Politics and government of
North East England is one of the nine regions of England that are classified at the first level of NUTS for statistical purposes. It covers Northumberland, County Durham, Tyne and Wear, and Teesside, which is partly in North Yorkshire. The only cities in the region are Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland. Other large settlements in the region include Darlington, Gateshead, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar, South Shields and Stockton-on-Tees. The region is home to three large conurbations: Teesside, Wearside, and Tyneside, which is the largest of the three and the sixth most populous conurbation in the United Kingdom.
The region is generally 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 The Cheviot, in the Cheviot Hills, at 815 metres (2,674 ft).
The region contains the urban centres of Tyneside, Wearside and Teesside, and is noted for the rich natural beauty of its coastline, Northumberland National Park, and the section of the Pennines that includes Teesdale and Weardale. Its historic importance is evidenced by Northumberland's castles, the two World Heritage Sites of Durham Cathedral and Durham Castle, and Hadrian's Wall. St. Peter's Church in Monkwearmouth, Sunderland and St. Pauls in Jarrow also hold significant historical value and have a joint bid to become a World Heritage Site. The area has a strong religious past, as can be seen in works such as the Lindisfarne Gospels.
The coal and shipbuilding industry that once dominated the North East suffered a marked decline during the second half of the twentieth century. Tyneside is now re-inventing itself as an international centre of art, culture and, through The Centre For Life, scientific research, especially in stem cell technology. The Quayside and The Gate are popular areas for their nightlife. Sunderland suffered economic decline during the last century, but is now becoming an important area for quaternary industry, science and high technology. The economy of Teesside is largely based on the petrochemical and steel industries. Northumberland and County Durham are both largely rural, and base much of their economies 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.
The official region consists of the following subdivisions:
|Map||Ceremonial county||Unitary authority||Metropolitan districts|
|2. Tyne and Wear|
|a) Newcastle upon Tyne, b) Gateshead, c) North Tyneside, d) South Tyneside, e) Sunderland|
|7. Redcar and Cleveland|
The region was created in 1994 and was originally defined as Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, County Durham and Cleveland. A reform of local government abolished Cleveland and created several unitary districts. The region is now considered to consist of four distinct 'sub-regions':
A November 2004 referendum on whether a directly elected regional assembly should be set up for North East England resulted in a decisive "no" vote. The number of people who voted against the plans was 696,519 (78%), while 197,310 (22%) voted in favour. John Prescott, the Deputy Prime Minister of the time, admitted that his plans for regional devolution had suffered an "emphatic defeat". Bernard Jenkin, the Conservative spokesman for the regions, 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".
The region has a diverse landscape that includes maritime cliffs and extensive moorland that contains 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, and the Arctic-alpine flora of Upper Teesdale. Rare seabirds such as the Roseate Tern are found in the Farne Islands, and the Magnesian Limestone grasslands of East Durham are 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. Rainton Meadows is a recently created bird-watching site.
The North East region has the lowest rate of HIV infection in the UK, but has the highest rate of heart attacks among men and of lung cancer among women in England, and the highest lung cancer rate in the UK for men. It has the highest unemployment among youths aged 16–24, and along with Wales, the highest birth rate for women under 20 in the UK. After Northern Ireland, the North East has the second highest trade union membership among UK men. Higher education students from the North East are most likely (72%) to pick a university in their home region. The North East, as part of the "North" demographic region, has the highest proportion of Christians in the UK.
The North East region has the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in England. Among the region's top-tier authorities, Hartlepool has the highest rate, and Northumberland the lowest. Easington has the highest rate among former council districts, and Tynedale the lowest.
|This section may be too technical for most readers to understand. (September 2012)|
The region has the most multiple deprivation in England and, as measured by the Indices of deprivation 2007, has a significantly higher percentage of Lower Layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in the 20% most deprived districts than the 20% least deprived districts in England, and the highest percentage of LSOAs in deprived areas in England. Greater London alone has a smaller percentage of areas in the 20% least deprived districts than the North East.
The region's most deprived council districts, as measured by the LSOA data before County Durham and Northumberland became unitary authorities in 2007, are in descending order Easington (7th in England), Middlesbrough (9th), Hartlepool (23rd), Wear Valley (33rd), Sunderland (35th), Newcastle upon Tyne (37th), South Tyneside (38th), Wansbeck (46th), Redcar and Cleveland (50th), Gateshead (52nd), Sedgefield (54th), Derwentside (73rd), Blyth Valley (80th), and Stockton on Tees (98th).
The least deprived council districts in 2007 were, in descending order, Tynedale, Castle Morpeth, Teesdale, then Alnwick. Since the April 2009 abolition of these four districts, Northumberland is the least deprived, followed by North Tyneside.
Unemployment is a severe problem in the North East, where many children grow up in households where no adult works. Easington has the highest rate in the country, as 40.3% of its households with children have no working adult, followed by Sedgefield with 34%.
The region was found in March 2011 to have the highest overall unemployment claimant rate in England, with 5.0%, and the second highest in the UK after Northern Ireland's 5.2%. The highest claim rate inside the region is Middlesbrough, whose 7.7% rate is the second highest in England. It is followed by Hartlepool with 7.4%, Redcar and Cleveland with 6.4%, the former Wansbeck district with 6.1%, and South Tyneside with 6.0%. The lowest claimant count is in the former district of Tynedale, at 2.0%.
The North East has a strong tendency to vote Labour. In the 2010 election, 43% of the electorate voted Labour, while 23% each voted Conservative and Liberal Democrat. Within the region, Hexham and Stockton South trend Conservative, while Berwick-upon-Tweed and Redcar vote Liberal Democrat. At the 2009 European election, Labour got 25% of the region's vote, the Conservatives 20%, the Liberal Democrats 18%, and UK Independence Party 15%.
|NUTS 1||Code||NUTS 2||Code||NUTS 3||Code|
|North East England||UKC||Tees Valley and Durham||UKC1||Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees||UKC11|
|South Teesside (Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland)||UKC12|
|Northumberland and Tyne and Wear||UKC2||Northumberland||UKC21|
|Tyneside (Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, South Tyneside, North Tyneside)||UKC22|
The East Coast Main Line (ECML) stops at Newcastle, Durham and Darlington, and provides fast connections to London and Edinburgh. The Durham Coast Line connects Sunderland, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough with the main line. York-based East Coast serves the full length of the ECML and operates most of the stations on the route. Grand Central Railway has linked Sunderland, and Teesside with London since December 2007, and is non-stop from York onwards. It does not have electric trains, and uses the Northallerton–Eaglescliffe Line and Durham Coast Line. Local services along these and most other local routes in the North East are provided by Northern, based in Manchester. First TransPennine Express, also based in Manchester, have long-distance services from Newcastle and Middlesbrough to Manchester, via West Yorkshire.
The Tyne and Wear Metro is a light rail network which serves the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. It has stations in Newcastle and Sunderland city centres and other towns and suburbs in the county, as well as at Newcastle Airport and attractions such as the St James' Park, the Stadium of Light, and Gateshead International Stadium.
The two main arterial carriageways, the A1 and the A19, mirror the railway trajectory, although the A1 is single carriageway north of Morpeth. The Tyne Tunnel was opened as a single-carriageway in 1967, and an adjoining new tunnel was opened in February 2011. The A1 Newcastle Western Bypass was completed in the early 1990s. The A66 connects Teesside with Darlington. The A68 takes a cross-country central route over the North Pennines and Cheviot Hills to Scotland, often following the Roman road Dere Street.
|This section's factual accuracy may be compromised due to out-of-date information. (September 2012)|
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. 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. 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, Durham, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Northumberland, Redcar and Cleveland, Stockton-on-Tees and Tyne and Wear.
The North East region has the lowest gross value added (GVA) per capita in England, and second lowest in the United Kingdom, behind only Wales. The economy was for several decades exceptionally dependent on ship building and on coal mining in Durham and Northumberland, which gave rise to the phrase "taking coals to Newcastle". UK Coal plans to start[when?] surface mining at Steadsburn near Widdrington Station and Stobswood in Northumberland.
Land use in County Durham and Northumberland is mainly agricultural. North East Ambulance Service is based just west of the A1 Newcastle bypass, north of the Tyne near Newburn and Blaydon, which is also the home of NHS North East and the local regional development agency One NorthEast. The Great North Air Ambulance is based in Penrith and Durham Tees Valley, and also serves Cumbria. The region's Business Link (BLNE) has been based since October 2007 at Dawdon, south of Seaham on the A182.
This is a table showing the trend in regional gross value added at current basic prices published by the Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
|Year||Regional Gross Value Added||Agriculture||Industry||Services|
Teesport is the second busiest port in the country. Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was next to Wilton on a huge site between Eston and Redcar, and also in Billingham.[vague] Petroplus refine oil at the Port Clarence Refinery. The National Industrial Biotechnology Facility is at Wilton. 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 as the UK's leading site for renewable biofuel research.
Purdey's and Amé were made by Britvic in Hartlepool until February 2009, when production was moved to Chelmsford in Essex. Hereema Fabrication Group make North Sea platforms at the A1048/A179 roundabout in Hartlepool. Barker and Stonehouse make furniture north of Middlesbrough next to the A66/A178 junction, and PD Ports, who own Teesport, is based on the A178 near the Transporter Bridge. The Teesside Steelworks at Redcar closed in February 2010.
A large Huntsman Tioxide plant at Greatham makes titanium dioxide. Huntsman's European headquarters are in Billingham. Aldous Huxley's visit to the former ICI plant in Billingham inspired Brave New World. The Billingham Manufacturing Plant now makes fertiliser for Growhow, using 1% of the UK's natural gas. Marlow Foods produce Quorn and KP Snacks make McCoy's Crisps in Billingham. Santander UK's mortgages division is located in Thornaby-on-Tees. Tetley Tea have had their only tea bag factory in the UK at Eaglescliffe, in the borough of Stockton-on-Tees, since 1969. It is the largest tea bag factory in the world and makes 18 billion tea bags a year. Its distribution centre is at nearby Newton Aycliffe in County Durham.
Offshore Group Newcastle make oil platforms. Sage Group, who produce accounting software, are based at Hazlerigg at the northern end of the Newcastle bypass. Northern Rock, which became a bank in 1997 and was taken over by Virgin Money in November 2011, and the Newcastle Building Society are based in Gosforth. The Gosforth-based bakery Greggs now has over 1,500 shops. The Balliol Business Park in Longbenton contains Procter & Gamble research and global business centres and a tax credits call centre for HMRC, and is the former home of Findus UK. The Government National Insurance Contributions Office in Longbenton, demolished and replaced in 2000, had a 1 mile (1.6 km) long corridor. To the north on the A188 is Aesica Pharmaceuticals, on the former site of Boots Pharmaceuticals. Be-Ro and the Go-Ahead Group bus company are in central Newcastle. Nestlé use the former Rowntrees chocolate factory on the east of the A1. BAE Systems Land & Armaments in Scotswood, formerly Vickers-Armstrongs, is the main producer of British Army tanks such as the Challenger 2. A Rolls Royce apprentice training site is next door. Siemens Energy Service Fossil make steam turbines at the CA Parsons Works in South Heaton. Sir Charles Parsons invented the steam turbine in 1884, and developed an important local company. Domestos, or sodium hypochlorite, was originated in Newcastle in 1929 by William Handley, and was distributed from the area for many years. Rotary Power make pumps at St Peter's on the Tyne.
Clarke Chapman is next to the A167 in Gateshead. The MetroCentre, the largest shopping centre in Europe, is in Dunston. Scottish & Newcastle was the largest UK-owned brewery until it was bought by Heineken and Carlsberg in April 2008, and produced Newcastle Brown Ale at the Newcastle Federation Brewery in Dunston until production moved to Tadcaster in September 2010. On Team Valley are De La Rue, with their largest banknote printing facility, and Myson Radiators, the second largest in the UK market. Petards make surveillance equipment including ANPR cameras, and its Joyce-Loebl division makes electronic warfare systems and countermeasure dispensing systems such as the AN/ALE-47. Sevcon, an international company formed from a part of Smith Electric, is a world leader in electric vehicle controls. AEI Cables and Komatsu UK construction equipment at Birtley.
J. Barbour & Sons make outdoor clothing in Simonside, Jarrow. SAFT Batteries make primary lithium batteries on the B1344 on the Tyne. Bellway plc houses is in Seaton Burn in North Tyneside. Cobalt Business Park, the largest office park in the UK, is at Wallsend, on the former site of Atmel, and is the home of North Tyneside Council. Swan Hunter until 2006 made ships in Wallsend, and still designs ships. Soil Machine Dynamics in Wallsend on the Tyne makes Remotely operated underwater vehicles, and its Ultra Trencher 1 is the world's largest submersible robot.
The car dealership Evans Halshaw is in Sunderland. The car factory owned by Nissan Motor Manufacturing UK between North Hylton and Washington is the largest in the UK. Grundfos, the world's leading pump manufacturer, build pumps in Sunderland. Calsonic Kansei UK, formerly Magna, make automotive instrument panels and car trim at the Pennywell Industrial Estate. Gestamp UK make automotive components. Smith Electric Vehicles, the world's leading manufacturer of electric vehicles, originated in Washington. The LG Electronics microwave oven factory opened in 1989, closed in May 2004, and later became the site of the Tanfield Group. Goodyear Dunlop had their only UK car tyre factory next to the Tanfield site until its 2006 closure. BAE Systems Global Combat Systems moved to a new £75 million factory at the former Goodyear site in 2011, where they make large calibre ammunition for tanks and artillery. The government's child benefit office is in Washington. Liebherr build cranes next to the Wear at Deptford. The outdoor clothing company Berghaus is in Castletown. 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, which is also the home of the headquarters of the large international transport company Arriva and Nike UK. Rolls Royce plan to move their production of fan and turbine discs to BAE Systems' new site in 2016.
Ashington has the Alcan Lynemouth Aluminium Smelter, next to the Lynemouth Power Station. Hammerite and Cuprinol are made in Prudhoe by ICI Paints. A Procter & Gamble factory in Seaton Delaval makes Hugo Boss aftershave and Clairol and Nice 'n Easy hair dye at a site formerly owned by Shultons, who originated Old Spice and were bought by P&G in 1990. McQuay UK makes air conditioning systems on the Bassington Industrial Estate at the A1068/A1172 junction in Cramlington, and Avery Dennison UK make labels on the Nelson Industrial Estate off of the A192. Schweppes' Abbey Well mineral water, the official water of the London 2012 Olympic Games, is made by Coca-Cola in the east of Morpeth. The National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec) is at Blyth.
Phileas Fogg snacks are made by the United Biscuits subsidiary KP Snacks in Consett on the Number One Industrial Estate. Nearby CAV Aerospace make ice protection systems for aircraft. Thomas Swan, an international chemicals company, is in Crookhall. The Explorer Group, who own Elddis, make caravans at Delves. The LG Philips Displays cathode ray tube factory at Carrville, Durham was the second largest employer in the north east after Nissan, before the company went bankrupt in 2006. Northumbrian Water is in Pity Me, Framwellgate Moor. Esh Group is a large construction company based south of Durham in Bowburn. Schmitz Cargobull UK is the UK's biggest trailer manufacturer, notably for refrigerated trailers, and is based at Harelaw near the Pontop Pike mast.
Black & Decker and Electrolux had large factories at Spennymoor, but moved production overseas. Thorn Lighting of the Zumtobel Lighting Group are on the Green Lane Industrial Estate at Spennymoor. Since 2007 RF Micro Devices (RFMD) have made electronic wafers on the Heighington Lane Business Park at Newton Aycliffe, on the site formerly owned by Fujitsu. Slightly to the north, TKA Tallent make automotive axles and chassis components. Husqvarna-Flymo, formerly owned by Electrolux, are on the Aycliffe Industrial Estate, where the world's first hover mower was built in 1965. In West Auckland, Potters Europe make road reflectors. GlaxoSmithKline has a site at Barnard Castle that makes pharmaceuticals.
NSK make ball bearings on the North West Industrial Estate at Peterlee, and GWA International subsidiary Gliderol UK build garage doors. Mecaplast UK produce automotive components on the Low Hills Industrial Estate in Easington Village near Peterlee. Reckitt Benckiser make cough syrup and indigestion remedies at Shotton, near Peterlee until 2014. Walkers Crisps have a site north of Peterlee.
Darlington stayed relatively un-industrialised throughout the 20th century, with finance and manufacturing as the main elements of its economy. Darlington today is recognised primarily for its railways, 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, Argos and Aldi, and the American engineering company Cummins all have sites in Darlington. The town centre continues to develop into a successful retail hub for the region, and a large new £110m shopping centre, 'The Oval', is under construction. The national safeguarding authority has set up its national office here. The Student Loans Company has begun operations in Lingfield Point, and Magnet Kitchens is in Lingfield east of town.
There are over 250 nursery/primary schools in the County Durham area of the north east, which range from schools with their own nursery, to schools that are either infant only or junior only. Areas such as Gosforth have first schools which have neither years 5 nor 6, and therefore educate children up to the age of 8 and 9.
The North East education system consists largely of comprehensive schools, but a number of private and independent schools are found in Newcastle, Sunderland, Durham, Darlington, Stockton and in particular, Northumberland.
The region's secondary school attendance is the lowest in England at around 125,000, with the next lowest in the East Midlands. Truancy at its schools is a mixed picture. It has the second highest overall rate for urban areas, after Yorkshire and the Humber, but the lowest rate in England in its rural areas. Middlesbrough has the region's highest rate with 7.2% persistent truants, which is the second highest rate in England after Manchester (7.3%). Next is Newcastle upon Tyne, with 6.4%, then the former district of Wansbeck, with 6.3%
At General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) level, the region's performance is similar to that of other largely urban areas, although its results are generally below the national average. Middlesbrough tends to perform the worst, and to produce results well below the national average. Local education authorities (LEAs) in the North East have improved at GCSE in recent years. North Tyneside performed the best in 2011, followed by Gateshead, Northumberland, and Darlington. No LEA in the North-East was above the 2011 national GCSE average. South Tyneside was the lowest for the English Baccalaureate, followed by Middlesbrough and Hartlepoool. Gateshead and North Tyneside were the highest, and Gateshead was the only LEA above the national average for this measure.
The region's parochial schools tend to perform better at GCSE. These include St Thomas More RC in Blaydon, the selective independent state school Emmanuel City Technology College in Gateshead, All Saints C of E School in Ingleby Barwick, English Martyrs School and Sixth Form College in Hartlepool, St Bede's Catholic School and Sixth Form College in Lanchester, County Durham, and the Carmel RC Technology College in Darlington. Other regional schools that perform well include Whitley Bay High School the Macmillan Academy in Middlesbrough, Park View School in Chester-le Street, and the Hurworth School near Darlington. Many area schools do not have a sixth form, especially in Teesside, Sunderland and South Tyneside, but all Northumberland schools have a sixth-form along with a three-tier system of education. Middlesbrough and Newcastle have the most students who pass no GCSEs.
North East LEAs at A-level are improving, but produce results below those of other areas of England. Sunderland performed the best in 2011, with consistently good results, followed by Hartlepool and Darlington, which are above the national average, and unrepresentative of most areas in the North East. Darlington's Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College is one of the highest-rated colleges in England. The area's Catholic schools all do reasonably well at A level. Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, and Cleveland and Newcastle were also above England's average. Newcastle does significantly better at A-level than at GCSE, with consistent improvement, while Gateshead does much worse at A-level than GCSE, and produced the second lowest A-level results in the region in 2009. The worst results at A-level were from Middlesbrough, Durham, South Tyneside and Gateshead. South Tyneside had in previous years been consistently the region's worst performing LEA at A-level.
The independent and private schools in the area perform highly. Dame Allan's Schools, The King's School, Tynemouth, Royal Grammar School (NRGS) and Durham School are all members of the prestigious The Headmasters' and Headmistresses' Conference. The Central Newcastle High School and the Royal Grammar School were named as among the nation's top 100 independent schools in 2006. Durham School is considered to be one of the oldest schools in the UK, and its Old Boys were the founding members of the original Newcastle Falcons Rugby club. Mowden Hall School, a selective day and boarding prep school in Northumberland, is another well-established and reputable independent school. The private schools out-perform the state schools in the urban areas. In the region, school children from Northumberland are most likely to attend university, followed by Stockton on Tees and North Tyneside.
At the higher education level the North East contains a number of internationally acclaimed universities. These include Durham University, which is the third oldest in England and is 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, which was voted Best University in the United Kingdom at the 2009 Times Higher Education awards. There are no higher education colleges in the region.
The main university in the region is Newcastle University. It offers the broadest range of courses and has the largest research budget. The next largest university by funding is Durham University, which has a research grant of about 70% that of Newcastle's. Newcastle has the most total income, followed by Durham, while Sunderland has the least.
Over 50% of the region's students come from the region, and around 35% are from other regions. At first degree level, around 55% are from the North of England, and about 30% are from the North East. More students come from elsewhere than leave the North East for other regions, due to the distances involved. Of students native to the region, 80% study in the North of England, with Yorkshire and the Humber more popular than the North West, and around 55% study in the North East. The region has a higher proportion of students from so-called low participation neighbourhoods, as compared to elsewhere in England. Durham University has the least from these neighbourhoods. Northumbria University has the most students, followed by Teesside University. Durham University has the fewest total students.
Almost 60% of graduates stay in the region, while 10% go to Yorkshire and another 10% go to London. Both areas are accessible via the East Coast Main Line.
Local media include:
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