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Tyne and Wear
Flag of Tyne and Wear
Flag of Tyne and Wear[1]
Tyne and Wear within England
Shown within England
Status Metropolitan county and
ceremonial county
Origin 1974
(Local Government Act 1972) Created from Northumberland (North of Tyne) and County Durham (South of Tyne)
Region North East England
- Total
Ranked 44th
538 km2 (208 sq mi)
ONS code 2D
NUTS 2 UKC22/23
- Total (2006 est.)
- Density
Ranked 14th
2,044 /km2 (5,290 /sq mi)
Ethnicity 96.8% White
1.8% S. Asian
Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council, Newcastle upon Tyne City Council, North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council, South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council and Sunderland City Council.

Members of Parliament

  • David Anderson Lab
  • Nick Brown Lab
  • Mary Glindon Lab
  • Alan Campbell Lab
  • Ian Mearns Lab
  • Chi OnwurahLab
  • Julie Elliott Lab
  • Catherine McKinnell Lab
  • Stephen Hepburn Lab
  • Sharon Hodgson Lab
  • Bridget Phillipson Lab
  • Emma Lewell-Buck Lab

Metropolitan Boroughs
Tyne and Wear numbered districts.svg
  1. Gateshead
  2. City of Newcastle upon Tyne
  3. North Tyneside
  4. South Tyneside
  5. City of Sunderland

Tyne and Wear (pronounced WEER-') is a metropolitan county in North East region of England around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. It consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of South Tyneside, North Tyneside, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and City of Sunderland. It is bounded on the east by the North Sea, and has borders with Northumberland to the north and County Durham to the south.

Prior to the 1974 reforms, the territory now covered by the county of Tyne and Wear straddled the border between the counties of Northumberland and Durham, the border being marked by the river Tyne; that territory also included five county boroughs.

Tyne and Wear County Council was abolished in 1986, and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) are now unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county continues to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference,[2][3][4] and as a ceremonial county.


The Local Government Act 1888 constituted Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and Sunderland as county boroughs (Newcastle had had "county corporate" status as the "County and Town of Newcastle upon Tyne" since 1400). Tynemouth joined them in 1904. Between the county boroughs, various other settlements also formed part of the administrative counties of Durham and of Northumberland.

The need to reform local government on Tyneside was recognised by the government as early as 1935, when a Royal Commission to Investigate the Conditions of Local Government on Tyneside was appointed.[5] The three commissioners were to

"examine the system of local government in the areas of local government north and south of the river Tyne from the sea to the boundary of the Rural District of Castle Ward and Hexham in the County of Northumberland and to the Western boundary of the County of Durham, to consider what changes, if any, should be made in the existing arrangements with a view to securing greater economy and efficiency, and to make recommendations."

The report of the Royal Commission, published in 1937,[6] recommended the establishment of a Regional Council for Northumberland and Tyneside (to be called the "Northumberland Regional Council") to administer services that needed to be exercised over a wide area, with a second tier of smaller units for other local-government purposes. The second-tier units would form by amalgamating the various existing boroughs and districts. The county boroughs in the area would lose their status. Within this area, a single municipality would be formed covering the four county boroughs of Newcastle, Gateshead, Tynemouth, South Shields and other urban districts and boroughs.[7]

A minority report proposed amalgamation of Newcastle, Gateshead, Wallsend, Jarrow, Felling, Gosforth, Hebburn and Newburn into a single "county borough of Newcastle-on-Tyneside". The 1937 proposals never came in to operation: local authorities could not agree on a scheme and the legislation of the time did not allow central government to compel one.[8]

Tyneside (excluding Sunderland) was a Special Review Area under the Local Government Act 1958. The Local Government Commission for England came back with a recommendation to create a new county of Tyneside based on the review area, divided into four separate boroughs. This was not implemented. The Redcliffe-Maud Report proposed a Tyneside unitary authority, again excluding Sunderland, which would have set up a separate East Durham unitary authority.

The White Paper that led to the Local Government Act 1972 proposed as "area 2" a metropolitan county including Newcastle and Sunderland, extending as far south down the coast as Seaham and Easington, and bordering "area 4" (which would become Cleveland). The Bill as presented in November 1971 pruned back the southern edge of the area, and gave it the name "Tyneside". The name "Tyneside" proved controversial on Wearside, and a government amendment changed the name to "Tyne and Wear" at the request of Sunderland County Borough Council.[9]

post-1974 pre-1974
Metropolitan county Metropolitan borough County boroughs Non-county boroughs Urban districts Rural districts
Tyne and Wear County.png
Tyne and Wear amalgamates 24 former local government districts, including five county boroughs.
Gateshead Gateshead - Blaydon • Felling • Ryton • Whickham • Chester-le-Street
Newcastle upon Tyne Newcastle upon Tyne - Gosforth • Newburn • Castle Ward •
North Tyneside Tynemouth Wallsend • Whitley Bay • Longbenton • Seaton Valley • -
South Tyneside South Shields Jarrow Boldon • Hebburn • -
Sunderland Sunderland - WashingtonHoughton-le-SpringHetton-le-Hole Easington •

Local government[]

Although the metropolitan county council was abolished in 1986, several joint bodies exist to run certain services on a county-wide basis. Most notable is the Tyne and Wear Passenger Transport Authority, which co-ordinates transport policy. Through its passenger transport executive, known as Nexus, it owns and operates the Tyne and Wear Metro light rail system, and the Shields ferry service and the Tyne Tunnel, linking communities on either side of the River Tyne. Also through Nexus, the authority subsidises socially necessary transport services (including taxis) and operates a concessionary fares scheme for the elderly and disabled. The Passenger Transport Authority is a "precepting authority", raising funds by imposing a levy on the Council Tax of the five constituent authorities of Tyne and Wear. In April 2014 Nexus became an executive body of the new North East Combined Authority.

Other joint bodies include the Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, which was created from the merger of the Tyne and Wear Archives Service and Tyne and Wear Museums. These joint bodies are administered by representatives of all five of the constituent councils. In addition the Northumbria Police force, which covers the whole of Northumberland and Tyne and Wear, is one of several joint forces in England spanning two or more counties. The force was created in 1974, and so is not a by-product of the abolition of the county council.


Tyne and Wear is divided into 13 Parliamentary constituencies. Historically, the area has been a Labour stronghold, South Shields is the only Parliamentary constituency that has never returned a Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) to the House of Commons since the Reform Act of 1832.

General Election 2010 : Tyne and Wear
Labour Liberal Democrats Conservative BNP UKIP Others Green National Front Trade Union & Socialist Christian Party Turnout
Overall Number of seats as of 2010
Labour Liberal Democrats Conservative BNP UKIP Others Green National Front Trade Union & Socialist Christian Party
13 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0

At the level of local government, three of the region's five unitary authorities were controlled by Labour in 2005, the exceptions being Newcastle City Council and North Tyneside Council. Since an upset result in the local elections of 2004, the former has been controlled by the Liberal Democrats. No one party has overall control of North Tyneside Council: while the Conservatives hold the greatest number of seats, 28, they lack an overall majority, there are 32 other councillors. North Tyneside is the only authority in the area with a directly elected Mayor. Currently a Conservative member.


For a complete list of all villages, towns and cities see the list of places in Tyne and Wear.

Borough/City Locality Authority
Metropolitan Borough of Gateshead Low Fell

Sheriff Hill
Rowlands Gill

Gateshead Metropolitan Borough Council
City of Newcastle upon Tyne Byker

North Kenton
West Moor
Newcastle upon Tyne

Newcastle upon Tyne City Council
Metropolitan Borough of North Tyneside Backworth

Forest Hall
North Shields
Whitley Bay

North Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
Metropolitan Borough of South Tyneside Boldon

South Shields

South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council
City of Sunderland Castletown

Hylton Red House
Shiney Row
South Hylton
Springwell Village
Warden Law
Ashbrooke Tunstall

Sunderland City Council

Places of interest[]

  • Gateshead
    • Angel of the North
    • Beamish Museum, which crosses the Gateshead/Chester-le-Street boundary
    • BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art
    • Gateshead International Stadium
    • Gateshead Millennium Bridge
    • Gibside
    • MetroCentre
    • Saltwell Park
    • Tanfield Railway, Sunniside (crosses boundary into Derwentside)
    • The Sage Gateshead
  • Newcastle upon Tyne
    • Discovery Museum (previously Museum of Science & Engineering)
    • Hadrian's Wall
    • Hancock Museum
    • Jesmond Dene public park
    • Newcastle Castle Keep
    • St James' Park
    • Leazes Park
    • Centre for Life
    • Town Moor
    • Tyneside cinema
    • Chinatown, Newcastle
    • Quayside
    • Metro Radio Arena
    • Laing Art Gallery
    • Theatre Royal
    • Northumberland Street
    • Grey Street
    • Grey's Monument
    • The Biscuit Factory
    • Tyne Bridge
  • North Tyneside
    • Segedunum Roman Fort & Museum, Wallsend
    • St Mary's Island bird reserve
    • Tynemouth Castle
  • South Tyneside
    • Arbeia Roman Fort & Museum, South Shields
    • Marsden Rock bird reserve
    • Souter Point Lighthouse
    • Bede's World, Jarrow
  • Sunderland
    • The Museum and Winter Gardens
    • Mowbray Park
    • Seaburn Beach and Roker Beach
    • Barnes Park
    • The National Glass
    • Hylton Castle
    • Penshaw Monument
    • St. Peter's Church
    • Stadium of Light
    • The Empire Theatre
    • Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art

See also[]

Portal.svg North East England
  • List of Lord Lieutenants of Tyne and Wear
  • List of High Sheriffs of Tyne and Wear
  • Tyne–Wear derby


  1. ^ "Tyne & Wear". County Flags. Flying Colours Flagmakers. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  2. ^ Office for National Statistics - Gazetteer of the old and new geographies of the United Kingdom, p48. URL accessed 12 March 2007.
  3. ^ Metropolitan Counties and Districts, Beginners' Guide to UK Geography, Office for National Statistics, 17 September 2004. URL accessed 12 March 2007.
  4. ^ North East England Counties, The Boundary Commission for England. URL accessed 12 March 2007.
  5. ^ London Gazette, 10 May 1935
  6. ^ Local Government in the Tyneside Area (Cmd.5402)
  7. ^ Government of Tyneside : a Regional Council. The Times. 19 March 1937.
  8. ^ Local Government on Tyneside. Sir K. Wood and Report of Commission. The Times. 22 September 1937.
  9. ^ Hansard, 6 July 1972, column 909

External links[]

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Places in Tyne and Wear

Coordinates: 54°58′26″N 1°36′48″W / 54.974, -1.6132

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