Tees Valley

The Tees Valley is a city region in the North East of England around the lower reaches of the River Tees.[1] The region is not a geographical valley.

Tees Valley
Location of Tees Valley
Coordinates: 54°36′18″N 1°15′25″W / 54.605°N 1.257°W / 54.605; -1.257Coordinates: 54°36′18″N 1°15′25″W / 54.605°N 1.257°W / 54.605; -1.257
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
RegionNorth East England
Established2011 (as a Local enterprise partnership)
Administrative HQThornaby-on-Tees
(Cavendish House)
 • TypeCombined authority
Local enterprise partnership
 • BodyTees Valley Combined Authority
Tees Valley Unlimited
 • MayorBen Houchen, (Conservative)
 • Total306.93 sq mi (794.95 km2)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total701,818
 • Density2,300/sq mi (880/km2)
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)

It is administered by the Tees Valley Combined Authority which consists of five unitary authorities: Darlington, Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton-on-Tees. Previously, the County Borough of Teesside was created for the area of Teesside in 1968. In 1974, this was replaced by the county of Cleveland which was then abolished in 1996. The five borough councils then established a combined authority in 2016 after a public consultation in 2015.

Middlesbrough is the smallest of the five Tees Valley districts at only 20.8 square miles and a district population of 138,400. However, it has the largest built-up area with an urban population of 174,000. Stockton-on-Tees is the largest Borough with a population of 194,000.



The Tees Valley region does not have city status granted by the Crown. There are two central towns of Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees with Hartlepool, Redcar and Darlington also having boroughs. The Teesside conurbation excludes Darlington.

In common usage, the terms "Tees Valley", "Teesdale" ( west of the Valley), "Teesside" (urban areas) and "Cleveland" (east of the valley) are usually used interchangeably with each term more common than the others in the west of the valley, urban areas and east of the valley, respectively.

Archaically, the southern area was known as the Langbaurgh Wapentake given its name from Langbaugh which was close to the southern original meeting point for governance. Norton was the main north valley town. Middlesbrough and Stockton have since taken over from Langbaurgh and Norton.[2]

Local governmentEdit

Map of the Tees Valley Region

The official region consists of the following 5 unitary authorities, each governed by a council:

Unitary Authority Population Area
(sq mi)
Population density
(per km2)
Darlington 105,367 76.3 535
Hartlepool 92,590 36.1 985
Stockton-on-Tees 194,119 79.2 952
Redcar and Cleveland 135,042 94.5 551
Middlesbrough 138,400 20.8 3242

UK ParliamentEdit

Tees Valley is divided into seven and a part UK parliamentary borough constituencies, formed from the combined area of wards. Stockton is the only borough covered by two whole constituencies with all others holding one and a part except Hartlepool with one:

Four constituencies are held by the Conservative Party after the 2019 general election, up by three since the 2017 general election. Labour hold the other three. Sedgefield's partial seat is also represented by a Conservative MP, as of the 2019 election.

Combined AuthorityEdit

  Tees Valley is under the strategic local governance of a combined authority. The headquarters of the TVCA are at Cavendish House in Thornaby-On-Tees. Voters in the region covered by the Authority, announced in October 2015, directly elected their first regional Mayor in 2017.[3][4][5]


The Mayor of Tees Valley is a directly elected politician who, along with the Combined Authority, is responsible for the strategic government of Tees Valley.[6] There are other mayors for the boroughs of Middlesbrough and Stockton-on-Tees.[7] Hartlepool also had a Mayor from 2002 to 2013.

The current, overarching, Tees Valley Mayor is Ben Houchen. His work is scrutinised by the elected TVCA, which may amend his annual budget (by two-thirds majority) but otherwise lacks the power to block his directives. The Mayor is responsible for Tees Valley's strategic planning and is required to produce or amend a plan for each electoral cycle.[8]

Lord LieutenantsEdit

Two Lord Lieutenants (Durham and North Yorkshire) are appointed by the borough’s ceremonial counties.

Health ServicesEdit

University Hospital of North Tees

They are four NHS trust foundations and seven hospitals in the region:

Independent hospitals include:


This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Tees Valley at current basic prices published (pp. 240–253) by Office for National Statistics.

Gross value added (£ millions)
Year Agriculture[1] Industry[2] Services[3] Total[4]
1995 26 2,746 3,574 6,347
2000 23 2,716 4,622 7,362
2003 22 2,568 5,478 8,069
  1. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  2. ^ includes energy and construction
  3. ^ includes Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured
  4. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding

Enterprise zoneEdit

The Tees Valley Enterprise Zone is an enterprise zone which encourages industrial development. It was initiated by the local enterprise partnership Tees Valley Unlimited and its creation was announced by the government in 2011. At its launch, the zone contained 12 sites. Four of these sites offer enhanced capital allowances, aimed at large manufacturers. These sites are Wilton International and South Bank Wharf, both in Redcar and Cleveland, Port Estates in Hartlepool and New Energy and Technology Park in Billingham, Stockton-on-Tees. The remaining sites offer reduced business rates.[9] In March 2015 the government announced that a thirteenth site is to be added, South Bank Wharf Prairie, aimed at oil and gas decommissioning business.[10]


Teesport is on the River Tees and is currently the third largest port in the United Kingdom, and amongst the ten biggest in Western Europe. This port handles over 56 million tonnes of goods per annum which are mainly associated with the local petrochemical, chemical and steel processing industries. The port is an important piece of logistical infrastructure for the NEPIC cluster of process companies.





Road Route Notes
  A1(M) West of Darlington A motorway standard stretch of the A1
  A19 South for the rest of Yorkshire and North to Tyne and Wear. Between Stockton & Middlesbrough, then Stockton & Hartlepool, as aproxoximate borough borders.
  A66 Most of Tees Valley is served, terminating between Middlesbrough and Redcar, linking to Hartlepool via the   A19, running to the west coast of England. The road is motorway standard around Darlington.
  A67 Darlington to Stockton It is the main road for the airport, running adjacent to the railway, and was previously designated as the   A66 from Darlington to Eaglescliffe and   A19, Eaglescliffe southwards through Yarm.
  A68 Darlington to Edinburgh Runs west of Darlington.

Triple-digit roads

Road From To Notes
  A135 (Yarm Road) Stockton-on-Tees Egglescliffe
  A139 Stockton-on-Tees Billingham
  A167 Topcliffe Kenton Bar
  A171   A66 as Cargo Fleet Lane Scarborough Until the road goes out of the region, it is also known as: Sunnyfields, Orchard Way, Ormesby Bank, Middlesbrough Road, Whitby Road, Fancy Bank, Birk Brow Road & Fancy Bank
  A172   A66 as Marton Road, Middlesbrough   A19 as Stocking Hill also known as Stokesley Road, Pannierman Lane & Dixons Bank
  A173   A172 (Middlesbrough) Skelton-in-Cleveland Also known as Church Lane & Skelton Ellers.
  A174 Thornaby-On-Tees Whitby As the road goes out of the region, it is known for a short stretch, as Apple Orchard Bank
  A177 Stockton Durham
  A178 Middlesbrough Hartlepool
  A179   A19 Hartlepool


Most of the area is served by Stagecoach's Tees Flex network, a pre-bookable service running in and around the valley, mainly serving Stockton on Tees, Darlington and Redcar and Cleveland. Services are operated by a dedicated fleet of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter minibuses.


Stations The Tees Valley boroughs have multiple railway stations within their borders. Each borough head town has a station in and named after them, Redcar has two. The stations, by borough, are as follows:


Commuter rail services linked with lInes from Tees Valley to Durham and Tyne and Wear
  • Darlington is connected to the East Coast Main Line (ECML) and provides fast connections to London and Edinburgh. From May 2018, the UK Government announced that the line was to be re-nationalised for the second time since privatisation in 1997.[11]
previously proposed Tees Valley Metro route showing most current stations in the region along with proposed stations not built at the present time


York-based LNER serves the full length of the ECML and operates most of the stations on the route. Grand Central has linked Teesside with London since December 2007 with a non-stop from York onwards. It does not have electric trains, and uses the Northallerton–Eaglescliffe Line and Durham Coast Line.

Local-service routes in the Tees Valley are provided by Northern, based in Manchester. TransPennine Express, also based in Manchester, has long-distance services from Middlesbrough to Manchester, via West Yorkshire.


Teesside International Airport serves the area and has a regular service from Amsterdam, Schiphol airport.[12]


Association FootballEdit

For the 2020–2021 season, there are seven Association Football Clubs in the region, Middlesbrough FC (Commonly referred to as Boro) is in the highest division compared to the other clubs:

Division Club Ground Location
EFL Championship Middlesbrough FC Riverside Stadium Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
National League Hartlepool FC Victoria Park Hartlepool, County Durham
National League North Darlington FC Blackwell Meadows Darlington, County Durham
Northern League Division One Billingham Town FC Bedford Terrace Billingham, County Durham
Guisborough Town FC King George V Ground Guisborough, North Yorkshire
Thornaby FC Teesdale Park Thornaby, North Yorkshire
Stockton Town F.C. Bishopton Road West Stockton, County Durham
NL Division Two Billingham Synthonia FC Norton Sports Complex Norton, County Durham (formally Billingham, County Durham)
Redcar Athletic F.C. Green Lane Redcar, North Yorkshire

Under the Northern League they is the North Riding Football League, founded in 2017 by a merger of the Teesside Football League and Eskvale & Cleveland League

Wearside League also host North Tees Teams mainly in Division One:

Wearside League Division two:

  • Wynyard Village, Wynyard (Stockton), County Durham

Rugby Union FootballEdit

As of the 2020–2021 season, there are nine Rugby Union Football Clubs in the region, Darlington Mowden Park is in the highest division compared to the rest of the clubs:

Division Club Stadium Location
National League 1 Darlington Mowden Park R.F.C. Northern Echo Arena Darlington, County Durham
North Premier Billingham RUFC Greenwood Road Billingham, County Durham
North 1 East West Hartlepool R.F.C. Brinkburn Hartlepool, County Durham
Durham/ Northumberland 1 Acklam R.U.F.C. Talbot Park Acklam, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
Hartlepool Rovers The New Friarage Hartlepool, County Durham
Middlesbrough RUFC Acklam Park Acklam, Middlesbrough, North Yorkshire
Stockton RFC Grangefield Ground Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham
D/N 2 Darlington RFC Blackwell Meadows Darlington, County Durham
Redcar RUFC Mackinlay Park Redcar, North Yorkshire
D/ N 3 West Hartlepool T.D.S.O.B. John Howard Park Hartlepool, County Durham
Yarm Wass Way Eaglescliffe, County Durham


ECB PL’s North Yorkshire and South Durham Cricket League:

County Durham

  • Darlington:
    • Darlington Cricket Club
    • Darlington Railway Athletic Cricket Club
    • Middleton St George
    • Haughton, Haughton-le-Skerne
  • Hartlepool:
    • Hartlepool
    • Seaton Carew
    • Hartlepool Power Station
  • Stockton North
    • Cowpen
    • Norton
    • Billingham Synthonia
    • Stockton

North Yorkshire

  • Stockton South:
    • Durham Palatinates
    • Thornaby
    • Maltby
    • Yarm
  • Middlesbrough:
    • Middlesbrough, Acklam Park
    • Smiths Dock
    • Normanby Hall
    • Marton
    • Guisborough
  • Redcar & Cleveland
    • Redcar
    • Marske
    • Saltburn


Uses in local cultureEdit


Former political names are frequently still used. Rural areas, the valley’s lower south, tend to have kept older names for longer than the rest of the valley which is evident with Teesdale (dale is an old name for a valley) and Redcar and Cleveland in addition to its predecessor, Langbaurgh council. This has led the words’ meanings to narrow to refer to these areas.

For centuries, north Tees was under the Bishop of Durham's Palatine and south Tees was under a wapentake (division) of the North Riding of Yorkshire, which originally met at Langbaurgh in the centre of the wapentake.

From 1885 to 1974, Cleveland, a parliament constituency, was established in an area as a successor to the two previous entities. The constituency covered land north of the River Tees down to and including Whitby. This was counted as one of four divisions of a larger North Riding of Yorkshire, which had expanded into Durham’s historic county.

Political regions were introduced to England causing south Humber to be put with Yorkshire and Cleveland to split with its southern parts and put inside of the North East of England region with some of its other segmented land.[clarification needed] This was due to its shared industrial heritage. The centre was no longer in the Yorkshire Moors, Cleveland being a description of the said land, but the Tees. This led to the name Teesside.

In 1974, the County Borough of Teesside was disbanded and Cleveland was reintroduced with land including Hartlepool and Guisborough. The area was partitioned between the boroughs.[13]

Local government reorganisation in 1996 saw the county of Cleveland broken up for a second time with the boroughs becoming independent unitary authorities; Langbaurgh was shrunk into Redcar and Cleveland and Stockton borough enlarged. At this time they were returned to the counties of North Yorkshire and County Durham for ceremonial purposes. The general area name defaulted back to Teesside.

In 1998 the neighbouring Borough of Darlington also became an independent unitary authority. Darlington, along with the four Teesside boroughs, formed the region of the Tees Valley which is used for now used statistical purposes and governmental organisation.


  1. ^ "Tees Valley". Centre for Cities. Retrieved 16 February 2020.
  2. ^ William Page, ed. (1923). Parishes: Great Ayton. A History of the County of York North Riding: Volume 2. Victoria County History. pp. 225–231. Retrieved 8 September 2015.
  3. ^ "Elected mayors for north-east of England as devolution deal announced". BBC News. 23 October 2015.
  4. ^ "Tees Valley joins the unstoppable momentum of Northern Powerhouse". gov.uk. 23 October 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2015.
  5. ^ "New Statutory Combined Authority Proposed for Tees Valley, with Backing from Business". Teesvalleyunlimited.gov.uk. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
  6. ^ "Cities and Local Government Devolution Act: Section 2", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 28 January 2016, 2016 c. 1 (s. 2), retrieved 23 November 2019
  7. ^ "Stockton-on-Tees has a new Mayor..." Stockton Borough Council. Retrieved 17 October 2020.
  8. ^ "The Tees Valley Combined Authority Order 2016". Legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 10 August 2016.
  9. ^ "Teesside celebrates as enterprise zone approved". The Journal. 17 August 2011. Retrieved 15 March 2015.
  10. ^ Price, Kelley (18 March 2015). "Potential for 'many hundreds' of jobs at new Teesside enterprise zone". The Gazette. Retrieved 23 March 2015.
  11. ^ "State takeover for failed rail franchise". BBC News. 16 May 2018. Archived from the original on 21 May 2018. Retrieved 2 June 2018.
  12. ^ "Whitby and North York Moors National Park Maps & Travel | Visit Whitby". 2011. Archived from the original on 4 August 2011. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
  13. ^ "Cleveland County Council (Abolition) (Hansard, 17 June 1993)". api.parliament.uk. Retrieved 15 May 2019.

External linksEdit