Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service serves a resident population of 1.09 million divided amongst the five constituent councils of Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland in the North East of England. Read the section on our relationship with other Authorities.
The population density of the area is comparable to that of other Metropolitan areas (Greater Manchester, Merseyside, South Yorkshire, West Midlands and West Yorkshire), and accounts for 43% of the North East’s population in just six percent of the total land area.
The area covered by the Service covers an area of 538 square kilometres and borders with Counties of Durham to the south and Northumberland to the north. By road, Tyne & Wear is around 451 km north from London and 175 km south from Edinburgh.
Of the 1.09 million dwellers in the area, 3.1% (34,000) are of ethnic origin with primary languages including Bengali, Cantonese, French, Farsi, Hindi, Kurdish, Punjabi and Urdu.
In addition to Tyne and Wear's two major cities, the area boasts two large football stadiums, numerous museums and art galleries, three universities and a number of higher education colleges. The county has a range of well-developed transport links including the Metro light railway system, the UK’s tenth busiest international airport, an international ferry terminal and Newcastle Central Railway Station which acts as a major staging point on the east coast mainline railway and cross country networks.
Traditional employment areas of shipbuilding, coal mining and heavy industries has declined significantly over the last twenty-five years, giving rise to a changing risk profile, and transitions in unemployment rates. Today, many of the traditional industries have been replaced by modern industrial developments and service based organisations, although manufacturing remains a sizeable sector (producing almost a quarter of the area's GDP). Some of the largest employers in the area include; Nissan Motor Manufacturing (UK) Ltd, AA Insurance, The Sage Group and Komatsu.
As a result of the area's economic redevelopment, it has gained an international reputation for sport, shopping, nightlife, historic architecture, urban parks and the contemporary arts. This reputation has been enhanced by such events as the Great North Run, New Years Eve celebrations and the Sunderland Air Show – all of which contribute to the North East becoming one of England’s fastest growing tourist regions.