Gateshead is located on the southern bank of the river Tyne, opposite Newcastle upon Tyne to the north, and bordering County Durham to the south, Northumberland to the west and South Tyneside/Sunderland to the east.
Gateshead is a constantly changing borough combining modern facilities with a fascinating heritage. The borough stretches almost 13 miles along the south bank of the river Tyne and covers 55 square miles, making it the largest of the five Tyne and Wear authorities.
Gateshead is a borough of contrasts. It has a large urban hub centred around the main town centre area in Bridges ward and has a number of smaller urban centres and busy employment areas such as Blaydon, Whickham, Felling and Birtley. However, around two thirds of the borough is rural with numerous small settlements such as Kibblesworth, Sunniside, Chopwell and High Spen.
Built on traditional industries of mining and heavy engineering, the 1930s saw diversification through the development of the Team Valley Trading Estate (TVTE), the first trading estate of its type in the UK. Centrally located for the region, the TVTE has become prominent for transport and distribution activities and is the borough's most prestigious employment centre; attracting the highest number of inward commuters to the borough on a daily basis.
The 1970s saw the decline of many of the region's traditional industries. A high proportion of those who lived in Gateshead worked in these industries, resulting in unemployment and high levels of deprivation and financial and social exclusion, the impact of which is still being felt today.
In the 1980s Gateshead saw the development of the MetroCentre, one of the UK's and Europe's largest shopping centres.
The urban core, shared with Newcastle, is the focus of regeneration, promoting growth through the digital economy, knowledge-based businesses and cultural-led regeneration. Major initiatives such as the Sage Gateshead, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead College and the Gateshead Millennium Bridge have all been developed over recent years.
Gateshead has a population of around 202,400 (ONS MYE 2017) living in 90,500 households (ONS 2016 Based Projections for 2018). The population reduced by around 13,000 after the 1980s but has grown significantly since then. In just the last decade the population has grown by around 7,500. This growth has been most significant for middle and older age groups with a 7% increase in 45-64 year olds and a 15% increase in those aged 65 and over. In contrast, the number of 0-24 year olds decreased by 0.3% and those aged 25-44 decreased by 2% over the decade. Population projections from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predict that this ageing population trend will continue into the future, becoming more pronounced if life expectancy continues to increase.
It is estimated that around 3.7% (7,500) of the population are from a Black or Minority Ethnic (BME) group (Census 2011). The BME population has increased from around 1.6% in 2001 (Census 2001).
Within Gateshead, socio-economic inequalities exist as illustrated by the 2015 Index of Multiple Deprivation (CLG). Gateshead is ranked 73rd most deprived out of 326 local authorities in England. Within Gateshead there are 15 areas which fall within the 10% most deprived areas in England, equating to almost 23,600 people or 12% of the population of Gateshead. Much of this deprivation is based within the central and eastern urban areas of the borough.
Around 93,900 or 73.8% of working age (16-64) Gateshead residents are in employment which compares with an average of 75.2% for England as a whole (ONS Annual Population Survey Y/E Mar 2018), and around 5,055 or 4.0% are unemployed claiming jobseekers allowance or universal credit (DWP Aug 2018).
The average household income in Gateshead is just under £31,200 per year, compared with a national figure of just over £38,700 (CACI, 2017).
At 77.5 for males, and 81.3 for females, life expectancy is lower than the England averages of 79.5 and 83.1 respectively. However, life expectancy has increased by over 1 year for women and 2 years for men in the last decade (ONS 2014-16). Around 22% of people in Gateshead reported that their health limits day to day activities compared to around 18% nationally, but only 8% are in bad health (Census 2011).
59% of housing is owner occupied, and 22% is managed on behalf of the Council by the Gateshead Housing Company. 13% of housing is rented from a private landlord or letting agency and 6% from a registered social landlord (Census 2011).
The percentage of pupils achieving grade 5 or above in English and Maths GCSEs (similar to a high grade C or low grade B in the old grading) is 40.1%. The National Average based upon all schools is 39.6% (DfE School Performance Tables 2016/17).
'Attainment 8' is a score based on how well pupils have performed in up to 8 qualifications. In Gateshead, the score was 46.8 compared with the national average of 44.6 (DfE School Performance Tables 2016/17).
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