South Tyneside

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Borough of South Tyneside
Hotel ville South Shields South Tyneside 28.jpg
Coat of arms of South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council.png
Coat of Arms of the Metropolitan Borough Council
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South Tyneside within Tyne and Wear and England
Coordinates: 54°57′32″N1°26′17″W / 54.959°N 1.438°W / 54.959; -1.438
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region North East
County Tyne and Wear
Settled~160 AD
Established1 April 1974
Admin HQ South Shields
  TypeLeader and Cabinet
  Body South Tyneside Council
   MPs Kate Osborne (L)
Emma Lewell-Buck (L)
  Total24.88 sq mi (64.43 km2)
  Land24.87 sq mi (64.41 km2)
  Water0.008 sq mi (.02 km2)
 (2011 Census)
(Mid-year 2018)
150,265 [1]
  Density6,178/sq mi (2,385.5/km2)
(2011 census)
95.1% White
1.7% South Asian [2]
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
  Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)

South Tyneside is a metropolitan borough in the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear, North East England. It forms part of the Tyneside conurbation.


It is bordered by three other boroughs – Gateshead to the west, Sunderland in the south and North Tyneside to the north. The border county of Northumberland lies further north. The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of the County Borough of South Shields along with the municipal borough of Jarrow and the urban districts of Boldon and Hebburn from County Durham.

Part of the Tyneside conurbation, the sixth largest in the United Kingdom, South Tyneside has a geographical area of 64.43 km2 (24.88 sq mi) and an estimated population of 153,700 (Mid-year 2010), measured at the 2011 Census as 148,127. [3] It is bordered to the east by the North Sea and to the north by the River Tyne. A Green Belt of 23.64 km2 (9.13 sq mi) is at its southern boundary.

The main administrative centre and largest town is South Shields. Other riverside towns are Jarrow and Hebburn, while the villages of Cleadon, Whitburn and The Boldons border the South Tyneside green belt, with Wearside to the south at Sunderland.

South Tyneside is represented by two Members of Parliament with two constituencies: South Shields (including Whitburn) and Jarrow (which also serves Hebburn, the Urban Fringe villages and eastern parts of Gateshead).

Mr. Martin Swales has been Chief Executive at South Tyneside Council since 3 December 2009. Mr. Swales previously served as Strategic Director of Development at North Tyneside Council.


Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Jutes, Vikings, the early 20th century arrival of the Arabs and more recently the settling of people from the Commonwealth, notably the Indian sub-continent, and the European Union reflect the present-day culture of South Tyneside.

In South Shields (Latin : Arbeia, Brythonic: Caer Urfa), excavations and a reconstructed fort are found at Arbeia (AD 160). This fort served as a garrison and an outpost of the Roman Empire, and is part of Hadrian's Wall World Heritage Site. The hospitality strip at Ocean Road is famed throughout the region for its Indian, Italian, Middle Eastern and Chinese cuisine. Mill Dam, with former Customs House (now a theatre, cinema and arts complex), cobbled lanes and Mission to Seafarers centre, stands tribute to the long and proud history of shipping in the town and the River Tyne.

Bede's World in Jarrow (Old English :Gyrwe) is dedicated to the life of the Venerable Bede, the 'Father of English History'. The nominated World Heritage Site is straddled by two rivers – the Tyne and the Don. There is a medieval monastery (St. Paul's Church, AD 681), an Anglo-Saxon farm with rare-breed animals and buildings constructed in original materials from that period, and the Georgian Jarrow Hall. The Jarrow Crusade of 1936 was a key event in the town's history and the original banner carried by the marchers to London can be viewed at Jarrow Town Hall. [4]

There has been a fairly sizeable Arab community in South Shields since the 1890s. [5] This is also one hypothesised explanation of the term "Sandancer" (derived from "sand dancer") for people born and brought up in South Shields.


South Tyneside Council is formed of 54 members. Following the 2018 local elections this consists of fifty-three Labour councillors and one Conservative. [6]


Shipbuilding and repairing, coal mining and exports, and the chemical industries declined from the latter half of the 20th Century, resulting in mass unemployment. In more recent years, however, this trend has reversed and South Tyneside attracts new industries, most notably in the service sector. There is still a considerable manufacturing base of ship-repair and offshore services, engineering, electronics, clothing, furniture, paper products, timber and small precision engineering.

At one time, Tyneside built 25% of the world's ships.[ citation needed ] South Tyneside College specialises in maritime training and attracts students from around the world, though it recently gave away its telescope, and turned over its locally famous domed planetarium for use as a mosque.

Tourism is also an important and growing industry.[ citation needed ]

Places of interest

South Shields town centre and riverside are undergoing significant regeneration, with new housing, business, retail and leisure uses replacing old industrial sites. The town centre offers high street shopping, a regular market by the Grade I listed old town hall, a new library and exhibition space called The Word, the head post office, museum & art gallery, a new bus/Metro interchange opened in 2019, cross-river pedestrian ferry to North Shields, Harton Quays office development and promenade, the town hall and civic offices. The Customs House is located within the historic Mill Dam conservation area and hosts a theatre, cinema, art gallery and restaurant. Arbeia formed the easternmost extremity of the Roman Empire at Hadrian's Wall and is located at the mouth of the River Tyne on the North Sea coast. Excavations, a reconstructed fort and museum are open to the public on the historic Lawe Top site (Old English: hill top).

The foreshore boasts a quality seaside experience, with the local landmarks of the Groyne lighthouse and mile-long South Pier to the north, and Marsden Rock and Souter Lighthouse to the south. There are award-winning sandy beaches at Littlehaven, Sandhaven and Marsden Bay; revitalised seafront promenades and scenic cliff top walks; the traditional thrills of Ocean Beach Pleasure Park and Dunes Adventure Island including fairground rides, an indoor bowling alley and amusement arcades; the North and South Marine parks with bandstand, boating lake, outdoor play areas and miniature steam railway; new state-of-the-art swimming pools, waterslides and fitness centre at Haven Point, a sailing club and Gypsies Green Stadium; the original Tyne Lifeboat, Jubilee Memorial and bronze statues of the Conversation Piece; a range of hotels, guest houses, chalets and caravan & camping sites; plus numerous restaurants, pubs and cafes, including the legendary local Minchella's ice cream and Colman's fish and chips.

In summer there is a free festival, including a large street parade and entertainment from local and international stars at the outdoor amphitheatre and at Bents Park. An open-top tour bus connects the numerous places of interest during the busy summer tourist season. The Great North Run is the world's biggest half marathon and takes place every September/October, starting in Newcastle and finishing on The Leas at South Shields.

On the coast road to Whitburn is Marsden Rock – an impressive limestone sea stack colonised by sea birds and a longstanding tourist attraction. Further down the coast is Souter Lighthouse, the first in the world to be powered by electric current. Much of the coastal scenery in this area was, until two decades ago, dominated by the spoil heaps and pit head winding gear of Westoe and Whitburn collieries, but these are now gone and the area's natural environment has been restored.[ citation needed ]

Jarrow is home to St. Paul's Monastery, Bede's World museum, Jarrow Hall, the Viking Shopping Centre and J Barbour factory outlet.

Hebburn riverside has open views of the renewable and offshore-related industries across-river at Wallsend. The town centre has undergone redevelopment with new residential building and civic and leisure facilities.[ citation needed ]

The suburban villages of Cleadon, East and West Boldon, Harton, Monkton, Westoe and Whitburn have traditional pubs, historic buildings and independent boutiques. There is an athletics track at Monkton and cricket grounds at Westoe and Whitburn.


The physical environment of South Tyneside varies greatly in a small area: from the bustling riverside towns of South Shields, Jarrow and Hebburn to the urban fringe villages of Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn; from established industrial areas at the Port of Tyne and Tyne Dock riverside to new business parks at Monkton, St Hilda's and Boldon; from the highest point at Cleadon Hills down to the River Don estuary at St Paul's and Bede's World; from traditional Victorian terraces and impressive Edwardian mansions to typical inter- and post-war suburban housing; from the remains and reconstructed gatehouse of Arbeia Roman Fort to the UK's first purpose built mosque at Laygate; from the great River Tyne to the expanse of Shields Harbour at Littlehaven; from the stunning natural coastline of The Leas and the sandy beaches, bays and limestone cliffs at Marsden Bay and Whitburn to the traditional seaside parks, amusements and funfair at South Shields seafront; and from Marsden Quarry to the Great North Forest.

The EcoCentre at Hebburn is a building constructed from recycled materials, self-reliant in power generation by means of its own wind turbine and is efficient in waste management.[ citation needed ] There is also a local authority-managed wind turbine at Middlefields.

The weather in South Tyneside as with the rest of the North East region is variable and typical of a Maritime Climate.


The A194(M), A19 and other trunk roads link South Tyneside to the national road network. The Tyne & Wear Metro is a light rail system connecting the area with the rest of the Tyne & Wear conurbation, including Sunderland and Newcastle station and Newcastle Airport. The Tyne Road and Pedestrian Tunnels traverse the river between Jarrow and Howdon. A pedestrian ferry also serves the towns of North and South Shields. The Port of Tyne situated at Tyne Dock is a growing terminal handling large volumes of freight, including exports from the Nissan car plant in Washington.


Well-known South Tynesiders include[ citation needed ] author Dame Catherine Cookson, [7] former three times Prime Minister of New Zealand Sir William Fox, [8] actress Dame Flora Robson, [9] Monty Python actor Eric Idle, [10] Hollywood director Ridley Scott, waxed jacket inventor J Barbour and athlete Steve Cram. Author Lewis Carroll was inspired to write 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking-Glass' by local residents he met when staying in Whitburn. Singer Joe McElderry who won the 2009 X Factor also comes from the area as well as two members of 2011 X Factor winners Little Mix, Jade Thirlwall and Perrie Edwards. South Shields is the only town to have two X Factor winners from its area. Ginger of British rock heroes The Wildhearts and Nathaniel Carter is from South Shields.

Sister cities

South Tyneside is twinned with Épinay-sur-Seine, France; Noisy-le-Sec, France; and Wuppertal, Germany


Climate in this area has mild differences between highs and lows, and there is adequate rainfall year-round. The Köppen Climate Classification subtype for this climate is "Cfb" (Marine West Coast Climate/Oceanic climate). [11]

Climate data for South Tyneside, UK
Average high °C (°F)7
Average low °C (°F)3
Average precipitation mm (inches)33
Average precipitation days131315151214111113151515162
Source: Weatherbase [12]

Related Research Articles

Tyne and Wear Metropolitan county in North East England

Tyne and Wear is a metropolitan county in North East England, situated around the mouths of the rivers Tyne and Wear. It came into existence in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972. It consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and the City of Sunderland. The county is bordered to the north by Northumberland, to the south by County Durham and to the east of the county lies the North Sea. It is the smallest county in North East England by area, but by far the largest in terms of population.

Jarrow Human settlement in England

Jarrow is a town within the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside, a part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear in North East England. Historically in County Durham, it is situated by the River Tyne and is home to the southern entrance / exit of the Tyne Tunnel.

South Shields Town in Tyne and Wear, England

South Shields is a coastal town at the mouth of the River Tyne, about 3.7 miles (6.0 km) downstream from Newcastle upon Tyne in north east England. Historically part of County Durham, it became part of Tyne and Wear in 1974. According to the 2011 census, the town had a population of 76,498, the third largest in Tyneside after Newcastle and Gateshead. It is part of the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside which includes the towns of Jarrow and Hebburn. South Shields is represented in Parliament by Labour MP Emma Lewell-Buck. The demonym of people from South Shields is either Geordie which is used for people from Tyneside or Sandancer which is the less colloquial term for people from South Shields.

Tyneside Place in England

Tyneside is a conurbation of the urban areas on the north and south banks of the River Tyne in North East England. Centred on Newcastle upon Tyne, it incorporates the surrounding metropolitan boroughs of Gateshead, North Tyneside and South Tyneside. The population of Tyneside as published in the 2011 census was 774,891, making it the eighth most-populous urban area in the United Kingdom. In 2013, the estimated population was 832,469 and since then has significantly increased. Tyneside is considered to be the core conurbation of the Tyneside-Wearside metropolitan area.

Civil parishes in Tyne and Wear

A civil parish is a country subdivision, forming the lowest unit of local government in England. There are 10 civil parishes in the ceremonial county of Tyne and Wear, most of the county being unparished; North Tyneside and South Tyneside are completely unparished. At the 2001 census, there were 41,044 people living in the 10 parishes, accounting for 3.8 per cent of the county's population.

Jarrow (UK Parliament constituency)

Jarrow is a constituency represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2019 by Kate Osborne of the Labour Party.

South Shields (UK Parliament constituency)

South Shields is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament (MP) by the first past the post system of election. It has been represented by Emma Lewell-Buck of the Labour Party since 2013.

The Boldons Human settlement in England

The Boldons are a group of three small villages in the north east of England – East Boldon, West Boldon and Boldon Colliery – north of Sunderland, east of Newcastle and south of South Shields and Jarrow. In 2001 they had a population of 13,271.

Whitburn, Tyne and Wear

Whitburn is a village in South Tyneside, on the coast of North East England. It lies within the metropolitan borough of South Tyneside, roughly halfway between South Shields and Sunderland, in the ceremonial county of Tyne and Wear. Historically part of County Durham, the village has a population of 5,235.

Hebburn Human settlement in England

Hebburn is a small town on the south bank of the River Tyne in North East England situated between the towns of Jarrow and Gateshead and to the south of Walker. The population of Hebburn was 18,808 in 2001, reducing to 16,492 at the 2011 Census for the two Hebburn Wards. Once part of the private Ellison estate, and made an independent Urban District in 1894, in 1974 it became part of the metropolitan county of Tyne and Wear. Hebburn lies within historic County Durham.

Westoe, South Tyneside Human settlement in England

Westoe was originally a village near South Shields, Tyne & Wear, England, but has since become part of the town and is now used to refer to the area of the town where the village once was. It is also an electoral ward for local politics purposes.

The first settlers of the South Shields area were the Brigantes, although there is no evidence they built a settlement at South Shields. The Romans built a fort there to help supply Hadrian's Wall. Many ruins still exist today. The fort was abandoned as the empire declined.

The 2003 South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 1 May 2003 to elect members of South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council in Tyne and Wear, England. One third of the council was up for election and the Labour party kept overall control of the council.

The 2004 South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council election took place on 10 June 2004 to elect members of South Tyneside Metropolitan Borough Council in Tyne and Wear, England. The whole council was up for election with boundary changes since the last election in 2003 reducing the number of seats by 6. The Labour party stayed in overall control of the council.

South Tyneside District Hospital Hospital in England

South Tyneside District Hospital is a healthcare facility providing healthcare services for South Shields, Jarrow, Hebburn, Boldon, Cleadon and Whitburn. It is managed by South Tyneside and Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust.

1973 Tyne and Wear County Council election

The 1973 Tyne and Wear County Council election was held on 12 April 1973 as part of the first elections to the new local authorities established by the Local Government Act 1972 in England and Wales. 104 councillors were elected from 95 electoral divisions across the region's five boroughs. Each division returned either one or two county councillors each by First-past-the-post voting for a four-year term of office. The election took place ahead of the elections to the area's metropolitan borough councils, which followed on 10 May 1973.


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