In this report we will review the investment market in the Tyne and Wear area, focussing on the cities of Newcastle upon Tyne and Sunderland.
Background and demographics
Tyne and Wear consists of five metropolitan boroughs – the City of Newcastle upon Tyne, City of Sunderland plus Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside covering an almost continuous urban area either side of the River Tyne and River Wear. The area has a population of 1.65m (280,000 in Newcastle) making it the sixth largest urban area in the UK.
The population of the area has declined from its industrial heyday. Although it began to grow again from 2000 onwards Tyne and Wear has experienced the lowest growth rate of any English region (1.4% compared to 4% nationally). While Newcastle itself has gained in population this has been balanced by decline in other areas, particularly Sunderland. ONS projections suggest the north east population generally will grow at the slowest rate in England (3.1%) over the next decade.
The north east generally has the highest levels of unemployment in the country (6.1% compared to 4.8% nationally in recent figures). There is, however, much regional variation: There are many prosperous districts, mainly north of the River Tyne, while parts of Sunderland and South Tyneside have high levels of unemployment and deprivation.