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Middlesbrough, the largest town on Teesside
Middlesbrough, the largest town on Teesside
Teesside is located in England
Teesside in England
Coordinates: 54°35′20″N 1°11′15″W / 54.58889°N 1.18750°W / 54.58889; -1.18750Coordinates: 54°35′20″N 1°11′15″W / 54.58889°N 1.18750°W / 54.58889; -1.18750
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionTees Valley, North East England
Ceremonial County County Durham
North Yorkshire
Historic CountyCounty Palatine of Durham
 North Riding of Yorkshire
County Borough of Teesside1968-1974
 • Total672,500
Time zoneGMT (UTC)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
PostcodesTS1-8 & 10-27

Teesside (/ˈtsd/) is a conurbation around the River Tees in Northern England, including Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees unitary authorities.

It is common to see Teesside incorrectly spelt as "Teeside", with a single 's'. It is a centre for heavy industry, although the number of people employed in this type of work has declined – traditional industries, primarily steel-making (British Steel) and chemical manufacture (Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI)), have been replaced to a large extent by high technology activities, science development and service sector roles.

Teesside English[edit]

Teesside‘s speech pattern is heavily influenced by its location. Northern England English words are used commonly between locals and are only picked up as local by speakers from outside of the north.

Been around the historic Yorkshire-Durham county border and the east coast, words and speech patterns are shared with places from Sunderland to Kingston upon Hull. Due to this, relative accent changes while a Teessider’s life is spent closer to each extent, speech pattern can start to be affiliated closer to one extent or the other.

Similar migration to Tees, Tyne and Mersey conurbations have left somewhat of a similar flair to the areas and reaffirmed pre-existing links with the areas.

Local Government[edit]

Teesside non-metropolitan boroughs are Middlesbrough, Borough of Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and Redcar & Cleveland.

Combined authority & city region[edit]

A combined authority under the name Tees Valley runs in the area which set-up the Tees Valley City Region, including the four boroughs, the Borough of Darlington and is headed by a mayor, Ben Houchen.


Initial political entity[edit]

Before the county borough, Cleveland existed as a part of the North Riding of Yorkshire and was purely south of the Tees. Teesside was created due to Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, being linked heavily with Thornaby (which had recently amalgamated with Stockton South/ Mandale), Middlesbrough and Redcar by Industry.

Compared to modern Teesside conurbation, Hartlepool was not in this Teesside as well as Ingleby Barwick and Yarm, the latter two being in the Stokesley Rural District. This entity was short lived but the name was retained as a name for the area.[1]

Regions were introduced in 1974 for England causing south Humber to be put with Yorkshire to form Yorkshire and Humber and Teesside to split from Yorkshire and be put inside of the North East of England region with some of its other segmented land.[2]

Teesside as a built-up area[edit]

Local government reorganisation in 1996, recommended by the Banham Review, saw the county of Cleveland (County Borough of Teesside‘s successor) broken up into the four independent unitary authority boroughs of Hartlepool, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Cleveland, a smaller, renamed Langbaurgh. At this time they were returned to the counties of North Yorkshire and County Durham for ceremonial purposes.

Separate Boroughs

The four boroughs continued to use the Teesside name to promote the area and most signage into and around the region likewise.

Stockton-on-Tees became the only district in England split between two ceremonial counties when it acquired most of the former East Langbaugh wapentake equivalent, of which some had been under the Stokesley Rural District. This land south of the Tees, in Stockton-on-Tees Borough, is notably Yarm, Ingleby Barwick (in its before its expansion) and Thornaby. In 1998 the neighbouring Borough of Darlington also became an independent unitary authority.

County of Cleveland[edit]

The County of Cleveland was a non-metropolitan county, created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, named after a district of North Riding of Yorkshire, but not covering a sizeable amount the district – including Hartlepool borough and excluding land from Marske-Whitby. It was situated around the Teesside conurbation.

Non-metropolitan county of England
The former administrative county of Cleveland shown within England
 • 1974144,085 acres (583.09 km2)[3]
 • 1973566,740[4]
 • 1981565,935
 • 1991541,333
 • OriginCounty Borough of Teesside
 • Created1974
 • Abolished1996
 • Succeeded byUnitary authorities:
ONS code14
GovernmentCleveland County Council
 • HQMiddlesbrough
 • TypeNon-metropolitan districts
 • Units


A Bill as originally presented in November 1971 that intended the administrative county to have been called "Teesside" and to also include Whitby. The county, which had came to resemble the North Riding District with only the Whitby District being not reclaimed, was abolished in 1996.

Its boroughs became unitary authorities and the Tees re-established as the border between North Yorkshire and County Durham.[5][6]


On 1 April 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, the constituency was incorporated as a non-metropolitan county, from the County Borough of Teesside (only existing for six year), Hartlepool, the urban districts of Guisborough, Loftus, Saltburn and Marske-by-the-Sea and Skelton and Brotton, along with parishes from Stokesley Rural District.[7]


The Teesside area was partitioned between the boroughs of Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees, Middlesbrough and Langbaurgh-on-Tees, the latter of which took its name from the former Langbaugh wapentake. The wards were: Billingham East & West, Grangefield, Hartburn, Mile House, North End, Norton, Stockton South, Darlington, Thornaby East & West went to Stockton. The wards of Coatham, Eston Grange, Kirkleatham, Ormesby, Redcar and South Bank going to Langbaurgh; and the rest went to Middlesbrough.

The county town was Middlesbrough, had a total area of 225 square miles (583 km2) and an estimated population of 567,600 in 2000. The administrative county bordered County Durham to the north and North Yorkshire to the south, and it faced the North Sea to the east.


Cleveland was one of the areas in the first tranche of reviews conducted by the Banham Commission. The Commission's final recommendations, accepted by the government, were that each of the districts should be made a unitary authority, and additionally that the Tees should be re-established as a ceremonial border. This was fiercely contested by Cleveland County Council, who applied for judicial review over the decision. According to the Minister, David Curry, in the Commons debate on the order on 11 January 1995, this caused a delay from 1 April 1995 as the reorganisation date to 1 April 1996.

As the first of the Orders to be laid before Parliament, it was done in two stages. The Cleveland (Structural Change) Order 1995[8] had the main effect of abolishing the County Council, whilst the Cleveland (Further Provision) Order 1995[6] abolished the actual administrative county, creating four new (non-metropolitan) unitary authorities coterminous with each of the boroughs. A division was forced by the Opposition, on the first Order, with 310 in favour and 223 in opposition. Of Cleveland's 6 MPs, Mo Mowlam and Frank Cook (both Labour) voted against, with Tim Devlin and Michael Bates (both Conservative) voted for. Stuart Bell and Peter Mandelson (both Labour) were present at the debate but did not vote.

When this constituency was abolished Cleveland Police, along with other institutions covering the four boroughs, were retained.


The Teesside Built-up Area (BUA), previously the Teesside Urban Area, identified by the ONS for statistical purposes had a population of around 376,633 according to the 2011 census[9] which is up 3% on the 2001 figure of 365,323, and had the following subdivisions:

Eaglescliffe and Yarm are counted as a separate Yarm urban area, separated by a narrow gap, which had a population of 19,184[9] according to the 2011 census up 5% from the 2001 figure of 18,335.[10][11] Infilling development may join the two urban areas together. Marske-by-the-Sea is another separate Urban Area nearly contiguous with Redcar with a population of 8,282[9] down 7% from the 2001 figure of 8,921. Nearby Hartlepool is also sometimes considered as part of Teesside. The Hartlepool area has an urban population of 88,855[9] an increase of 3% from the 2001 figure of 86,085 and this can be referred to as the Teesside & Hartlepool Urban Area. If this definition is taken into consideration, with the addition of the Eaglescliffe area and Marske, Teesside would have a population of approximately 492,954 people.

Large-scale integrated chemical processing on Teesside[edit]

Billingham ICI Chemical-plant

Teesside industry is dominated by the commodity and in many instances, integrated chemical producers of the North East of England Process Industry Cluster (NEPIC). These companies are based on three large chemical sites around the mouth of the River Tees at Wilton,[12] Billingham and Seal Sands. These companies make products such as petrochemicals, commodity chemicals, fertilizers and polymers.

Uses in local culture[edit]

Teesside continues to be used locally to refer to the entire urban area and the name can still be seen in the following uses:

It has also been adopted for various other purposes as a synonym for the former county of Cleveland.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ *Youngs, Frederic A, Jr. (1991). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.2: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. pp. 661–667, 788–789. ISBN 0-86193-127-0.
  2. ^ Great Britain Historical GIS / University of Portsmouth, Teesside CB. Retrieved 17 September 2009.
  3. ^ Local government in England and Wales: A Guide to the New System. London: HMSO. 1974. p. 37. ISBN 0-11-750847-0.
  4. ^ Registrar General's annual estimated figure mid 1973
  5. ^ "Teesside: Town and country welcome Whitehall compromise". The Times. 21 March 1972.
  6. ^ a b OPSI - The Cleveland (Further Provision) Order 1995
  7. ^ "Cleveland County Council (Abolition) (Hansard, 17 June 1993)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
  8. ^ OPSI - The Cleveland (Structural Change) Order 1995
  9. ^ a b c d "2011 Census – Built-up areas". ONS. Retrieved 1 July 2013.
  10. ^ ONS map
  11. ^ ONS KS01 table
  12. ^ Hurworth, Colin (1999). Wilton the First Fifty Years. Falcon Press. ISBN 1872339018.

External links[edit]