One of England’s smallest regions in both area and population (2.6 million), the North East is a region of great contrasts.The moorlands and forests of the North Pennines and Border Hills form its western part. Its eastern side is a 160-kilometre section of North Sea coastline, on which long-established industrial conurbations are grouped around the main river estuaries of the Tees, Wear and Tyne.
The region has two World Heritage sites, Durham Cathedral and Hadrian's Wall, and national parks cover around a third of its territory.
The past 30 years have seen enormous changes in the North East with the loss of over 110,000 jobs in primnary and manufacturing industries. Today, just over 12% of the workforce is employed in manufacturing. The retail and tourism sectors support an estimated 55,000 jobs and new areas such as microelectronics, the offshore industry and biotechnology make a significant contribution to the regional economy.
Despite this diversification, the region is still dealing with the economic and social consequences of its past dependence on traditional industries and contains some of the country’s most deprived areas.
The region has:
- Further education colleges 16
- School sixth forms 65
- Sixth form colleges 5
- Academies /CTC 5
- Independent specialist providers 4
- Independent providers (WBL/Apprentices) 78
- Foundation learning 42
It comprises 12 local authorities and three sub-regional groups have been established here to support the planning and commissioning process.