Local Information

TWRI Policy and Research is based in Newcastle upon Tyne and it produces information and reports that cover the Tyne & Wear area, the North East of England and beyond.

Key Facts for Tyne and Wear and its constituent districts


Key Facts of Gateshead (PDF)

Gateshead Council is the largest of the five Tyne and Wear districts. It covers a total of 55 square miles and extends 12.6 miles along the south bank of the River Tyne.

It comprises the mainly urban areas of central Gateshead, Felling, Dunston and Blaydon and the more rural districts of Ryton, Whickham and parts of the Derwent Valley.

To provide services for a population of approx. 191,500 people (source: ONS MYE 2005), Gateshead Council employs nearly 10,000 people.

The council has a national and international reputation for sport, horticulture and public art and is home to Europe's largest out of town shopping and leisure complex, the MetroCentre.


Newcastle upon Tyne is a vibrant and energetic European city; a place where businesses prosper and people enjoy a quality of life which is second to none. It is a modern, attractive and compact location with a strong identity. The City's extensive international links, skilled workforce and excellent communications provide a service to some of the biggest names in the international business community and are a major attraction to investors all over the world. Its East Coast location and international airport are essential to firms looking to expand into wider European markets.

Newcastle's strengths are founded on a rich history. Its people were at the forefront of industrial innovation in the 19th century and established a world wide reputation for engineering excellence. The City is now an important business and financial centre, with a broad economic base spanning both manufacturing and service sectors. It is a place which offers enormous potential for industrial and commercial development.

The Newcastle area is amongst the most successful in the UK for attracting investment from abroad and is already the preferred location of many Far Eastern and US companies looking to enter the European market. Over 130 investors from 15 countries have chosen to locate in and around the City and now operate in a business community of over 17,000 companies.

North Tyneside

With a rare combination of urban, rural, coastal and riverside characteristics, North Tyneside is as much a heartland of contrast and options as it is a place of vision and opportunity.

Brimming with confidence, North Tyneside possesses unique vitality, drive and perception. In sharing the positive approach of the new North East, its people, though loyal to their traditions, welcome businesses and individuals who offer the option of a new way of life and the potential to reach exciting new horizons.

This is a place where there is ample scope to generate wealth, and the space to build lifestyles that meet individual aspirations.

South Tyneside

The Borough of South Tyneside is located on the south bank of the River Tyne, extending from the river mouth west to Gateshead and incorporates the towns of South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn. Covering an area of 6,357 hectares (24.5 square miles), it has a population of 151,300 (source: ONS MYE 2005) making it one of the smaller Metropolitan Districts in England.

Although a part of the Tyneside conurbation, South Tyneside has a number of pleasant, small villages and an attractive coastline within a few minutes drive of the industrial centre. It has superb sandy beaches, such as Sandhaven, and 4 miles of unspoilt coastline stretching from Sandhaven in the north to Lizard Point in the south. A two mile stretch of coastline, the Leas, is now owned and managed by the National Trust.


Sunderland is the largest city in England's North East Region, with a population of almost 300,000. It lies on the North Sea coast, facing Europe.

The major industries are automotive component manufacture, heavy and light engineering, electronics, telephone call centres, glass products, printing and clothing manufacture.

A £16 million National Glass Centre, opened in 1998, is located on the banks of the River Wear adjacent to the University of Sunderland’s award winning St. Peter’s Campus. The University is rapidly expanding and now has over 15,000 students.

There has been major investment in the City centre, with a doubling in size of The Bridges Shopping Centre, the refurbishment of Mowbray Park, extensive pedestrianisation and the creation of an integrated transport interchange at Park Lane. This is served by an extension to the Tyne and Wear Metro.

Tyne and Wear

Tyne and Wear (pronounced weir) is a metropolitan (city) area of some 1.1 million people located in the North East Region of England. It covers some 54,014 hectares which is only 6% of the North East Region's land but contains 43% of the Region's population. The conurbation straddles the larger River Tyne to the north of the county and smaller River Wear to the south. The county area is split into 5 administrative areas.

The City of Newcastle upon Tyne and North Tyneside lie to the north bank of the Tyne while Gateshead and South Tyneside lie on the south bank. The City of Sunderland straddles both sides of the River Wear. Together they form the county area of Tyne and Wear which ceased to exist as a statutory administrative tier of government (Metropolitan County Council) in 1986.

Tyne and Wear borders with Northumberland County to the North and Durham County to the South. Along with the other urban areas of Tees Valley, these four county areas constitute the North East Government Office Region. (GO-NE)

Special Reports

These are reports which TWRI has been specially commissioned to produce.