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The East of England is one of the nine official regions of England. It was created in 1994 and was adopted for statistics from 1999. It includes the ceremonial counties of Essex, Hertfordshiremarker, Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

Its population as of the 2001 census was 5,388,140. The area is mostly low-lying, and the highest place is an unnamed point near the hill of Ivinghoe Beaconmarker, Buckinghamshire in the South East region, reaching 249 m (817 ft). Peterboroughmarker, Lutonmarker and Southend-on-Seamarker are the region's most populous urban areas. The southern part of the region lies in the London commuter belt.

Historical use

Before the creation of the East of England region there had been a smaller standard statistical region of East Angliamarker which did not include Essex, Hertfordshiremarker or Bedfordshire. They had previously been included in the South East region. The East of England civil defence region shared the boundaries of the current region.

Common use

In common usage the easterly parts of this area have long been, and continue to be known as East Angliamarker. The areas closer to London are more commonly called part of the South East with Hertfordshire and Essex included in the "Home Counties".


For regions in England, the East of England has the lowest overall teenage pregnancy rate. Inside the East of England, the top-tier authority with the highest rate is Peterborough. The council district with the highest rate is Norwich closely followed by Great Yarmouth. For top-tier authorities, Hertfordshire has the lowest rate of teenage pregnancy. For council districts, Uttlesfordmarker in north-west Essex has the lowest rate.


Regional government

An East of England Regional Assembly exists to co-ordinate the work of the local councils in the area and provides other functions; it is not an elected body. It is based in Flemptonmarker on the A1101 north-west of Bury St Edmundsmarker. The powers held by the regional assembly will pass to the East of England Development Agency in 2010. The Government maintains the Government office for the East of England. The East of England also elects MEPs for the East of England .

East of England Plan

The current version of the East of England Plan, a Revision of the Regional Spatial Strategy for the East of England, was published on 12th May 2008.

Local government

The official region consists of the following subdivisions:

Map Ceremonial county Shire county / unitary Districts
Essex 1. Thurrockmarker U.A.
2. Southend-on-Seamarker U.A.
3. Essex a.) Harlowmarker, b.) Epping Forest, c.) Brentwoodmarker, d.) Basildonmarker, e.) Castle Point, f.) Rochfordmarker, g.) Maldon, h.) Chelmsfordmarker, i.) Uttlesfordmarker, j.) Braintreemarker, k.) Colchestermarker, l.) Tendring
4. Hertfordshiremarker a.) Three Rivers, b.) Watfordmarker, c.) Hertsmeremarker, d.) Welwyn Hatfieldmarker, e.) Broxbourne, f.) East Hertfordshiremarker, g.) Stevenagemarker, h.) North Hertfordshiremarker, i.) St Albansmarker, j.) Dacorummarker
Bedfordshire 5. Lutonmarker U.A.
6. Bedfordmarker U.A.
6. Central Bedfordshire U.A.
Cambridgeshire 7. Cambridgeshire a.) Cambridgemarker, b.) South Cambridgeshiremarker, c.) Huntingdonshiremarker, d.) Fenlandmarker, e.) East Cambridgeshiremarker
8. Peterboroughmarker U.A.
9. Norfolk a.) Norwichmarker, b.) South Norfolkmarker, c.) Great Yarmouthmarker, d.) Broadland, e.) North Norfolk, f.) King's Lynn and West Norfolk, g.) Brecklandmarker
10. Suffolk a.) Ipswichmarker, b.) Suffolk Coastalmarker, c.) Waveneymarker, d.) Mid Suffolkmarker, e.) Baberghmarker, f.) St. Edmundsburymarker, g.) Forest Heathmarker


The former electricity company for the area, Eastern Electricity, has the area's distribution now looked after by EDF Energy.


The Greater Watfordmarker area is home to Camelot Group (owners of the National Lottery), British Waterways, Taylor Woodrow Construction, the UK headquarters of international firms Total Oil and Skanska construction, retailers TK Maxx, Majestic Wine, Mothercare, and Costco, Leavesden Film Studiosmarker, Sanyo UK, Europcar UK, Olympus UK Kenwood and Beko electronic goods manufacturers, Wetherspoons pub chains, the European HQ of the Hilton hotel group and Nestlé Waters. Comet Group plc is in Rickmansworthmarker. Ferrero UK (maker of Nutella and Kinder Chocolate) is in Croxley Greenmarker. Renault UK is in Maple Crossmarker. In Elstreemarker and Borehamwoodmarker (close to the A1 motorwaymarker) are the Elstree Studiosmarker, where the Star Wars films were made and more recently Big Brother, and Hasselblad UK is based in Elstree. Borehamwood is also home to BBC Elstree and Pizza Hut UK. The Boy's Brigade, DSG International (owners of Currys), Sir Robert McAlpine and PC World), Bourne Leisure are based, and 3Com, Epson UK, Steria (formerly Bull and Honeywell), and Kodak have their UK bases in Hemel Hempsteadmarker. In Welwyn Garden Citymarker are PayPoint, the headquarters of the First Quench Retailing (formerly the Thresher Group), and the UK headquarters of Xerox and Hoffmann–La Roche. Shredded Wheat and Shreddies were manufactured in the town by Nestlé (Cereal Partners) until April 2008. DuPont UK is in Stevenagemarker. Tescomarker is based in Cheshuntmarker. Computacenter, Denso UK, and T-Mobile UK are in Hatfieldmarker. Polaroid UK, Premier Foods and Viglen are in St Albans. Johnson Matthey (materials for catalytic converters) has its main operations in Roystonmarker. Cash Converters UK is in Thundridge near Waremarker. Harlowmarker has Pearson Education, the main research division of GlaxoSmithKline, the European headquarters of Pitney Bowes, and the main manufacturing plant of Raytheon UK.


Moto Hospitality have their headquarters at Toddingtonmarker in Bedfordshire (at the service station). Luton is home to EasyJet, InBev, Vauxhallmarker, the Bay Restaurant Group (owner of Slug and Lettuce), Hain Celestial Group UK (who make Linda McCartney Foods) and the UK headquarters of Electrolux (owner of AEG and Zanussi), Chevrolet UK, and Saab Great Britain. Its neighbour in Dunstable is home to Whitbread. Bedford is home to Fujifilm UK and Charles Wellsmarker. Autoglass is in nearby Cardingtonmarker. Kier Group and the RSPB are in Sandymarker. Connells is in Leighton Buzzardmarker. Jordans is in Biggleswademarker. Trafficmaster Europe is at Cranfield Universitymarker.

East Anglia

The economy in Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Suffolk is traditionally mostly agricultural. Nationally known companies include Bernard Matthews, the RAC, Virgin Money and Aviva (formerley Norwich Union) in Norwich, Greene King and Branston Pickle in Bury St Edmunds, and British Sugar make all their icing sugar and caster sugar there. Campbell Soup is made in Kings Lynnmarker. Lotus Cars are at Hethelmarker. In Newmarketmarker is the base of the UK horse racing industry. The main water company for the area, AWG plc and International Audio Group are based in Huntingdonmarker. Around Cambridge on numerous science parks, are high technology (electronics and biochemistry) companies, such as ARM Holdings, NEC Philips UK and, which form the so-called Silicon Fen. Cambridgeshire has a few RAF bases. Marshall Aerospace is at Cambridge Airportmarker. Syngenta UK is to the east of Cambridge, at Fulbournmarker. Premier Foods have a large plant in Histon and Impingtonmarker making Hartley's jam, Smash instant potato, and Rose's marmalade. Addenbrooke's Hospitalmarker is a pioneering hospital in the UK, based at Cambridge Bio-Medical Campusmarker.

Gate guard at RAF Lakenheath
The USAF still have bases in Suffolk. Subway UK (restaurants) is in Great Shelfordmarker. Unwins Seeds is in Alconbury Westonmarker next to the A1. British Sugar, Silver Spoon and the Billington Food Group are based in Peterborough, as is Perkins Engines. News International have a main office there and Indesit (owner of Hotpoint) have their UK headquarters in Woodstonmarker. Bauer Consumer Media and the N&P Building Society are in Orton Northgate. BGL Group (Compare The Market) is in Orton Southgate. CLAAS UK, is based on the side of the A14 just west of Bury St Edmunds at The Saxhamsmarker, and New Holland UK (and also the UK base of Fiatmarker-owned CNH Global) is in Basildonmarker where there is a large tractor factory. The Scout Association is headquartered in Gilwell Parkmarker in south Essex and Konica Minolta Business Solutions are in Basildon. Britvic is in Chelmsfordmarker, which is the historic home of the Marconi Company now run by BAE Systemsmarker at Great Baddowmarker. Radar was developed in this area in the late 1930s. Federal Express Europe Inc is at Stansted Airportmarker. Clinton Cards is in Loughtonmarker. Countrywide plc is in Withammarker, Essex. In Thurrock are Harveys Furniture and Carpetright in Purfleetmarker, and Unilever have a large margarine works there.


Transport policy

As part of the transport planning system the Regional Assembly is under statutory requirement to produce a Regional Transport Strategy to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involves region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by the Highways Agency and Network Rail.

Within the region the local transport authorities carry out transport planning through the use of a Local Transport Plan which outlines their strategies, policies and implementation programme. The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006-11. In the East of England region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online:Bedfordshire,Cambridgeshire,Essex,Hertfordshiremarker,Lutonmarker U.A.,Norfolk,Peterboroughmarker U.A.,Southend-on-Seamarker U.A.,Suffolk,Thurrockmarker U.A.. Since 1 April 2009, when the county of Bedfordshire was split into two unitary councils, the Bedfordshire transport authority has ceased to exist, however it is the most recent LTP for the area.


The East of England region is covered by the Highways Agency operational area 6 and part of area 8.Major roads servicing these areas include the M1 Luton to Milton Keynes, M11 London to Cambridge, M25marker through Essex, A1marker London to Peterborough, A5 St. Albans to Milton Keynes , A11 London to Norwich, A12marker London to Great Yarmouth, A14 Felixstowe to Rugby via Cambridge, A47 Great Yarmouth to Nuneaton and the A120 Harwich to Stansted. There are a number of proposed road developments throughout the region.


The region is serviced by Network Rail Route 5 West Anglia and Route 7 Great Eastern as well as parts ofRoute 6 North London Line and Thameside, Route 8 East Coast Main Lineand Route 18 West Coast Main Line. Major rail lines run London to Norwich, London to Cambridge and King's Lynn, and London to Southend with a number of rural branch lines servicing the wider region.A major freight route also runs between the Port of Felixstowemarker and London.


The East of England has one international ferry port, Harwich International Portmarker, which together with the Port of Felixstowemarker,the UK's largest container port, and the Port of Ipswich forms the Haven ports group.The East of England coast also holds a number of traditional fishing ports including the King's Lynn Docksmarker, the Port of Lowestoftmarker and Wells Harbourmarker.There are also a number of ports on the Essex side of the Thames Estuarymarker and river including Shell Havenmarker and the Port of Tilburymarker.

In 2007 construction started on the Great Yarmouth Outer Harbourmarker, a new container port for the east coast. There are also plans under consideration to run a ferry service to IJmuidenmarker, west of Amsterdammarker from the new port.


The region has three public international airports, London Stansted Airportmarker, London Luton Airportmarker and Norwich International Airportmarker.It also includes a number of smaller local airfields that are licensed for the public transport of passengers or for flying instruction these include Beccles Airportmarker, Clacton Airportmarker, Duxford Aerodromemarker and Peterborough/Sibson Airportmarker.

There is a current proposal to expand the capacity of Stansted Airport. In March 2008 BAA Limited submitted a planning application for the construction of a second runway and terminal at the site. This has faced opposition from the Stop Stansted Expansion pressure group whose members believe the development is unsustainable.


Essex and Southend-on-Sea LEA have selective schools. The others do not. Nine out of the top ten schools in the region (by A level results) are either in Essex or Southend-on-Sea. However, at GCSE, the best performing LEA is Hertfordshire, followed by Cambridgeshire and Southend-on-Sea. Suffolk also performs better than the England average of 45.8% attaining 5 grades A-C including Maths and English. In general, the region performs well at GCSE, with only Luton and Ipswich being low performing. Thurrock and Peterborough are next lowest, but are not underperforming areas. At A level, the best performing area is Southend-on-Sea, followed by Cambridgeshire and Essex. No other areas are above the England average. Thurrock is the least performing area, followed closely by Luton. At A level, Norfolk does not perform well for a rural county. Ipswich also underperforms at A Level.

Cambridge has an eponymous very well known universitymarker as well as a secondmarker, much less well-known one. There are also other towns and cities in the region which have universities including Norwich (University of East Angliamarker) and Hatfield (University of Hertfordshiremarker).

Top twenty state schools in the East of England (2008 A level results)


East Anglia is one of the driest parts of the United Kingdom with average rainfall ranging from 450mm to 750mm. This is usually because low pressure systems and weather fronts from the Atlanticmarker have lost a lot of their moisture over land (and therefore are usually a lot weaker) by the time they reach Eastern England. However The Fensmarker in Cambridgeshire is prone to flooding should a strong system affect the area.

Winter (mid November - mid March) is mostly cool but cold easterly winds can affect the area from the continent, these can bring occasionally heavy snowfall if the winds interact with a low pressure system from the Atlantic or the Mediterraneanmarker. Northerly winds can also be cold but are not usually as cold as easterly winds. Westerly winds usually bring milder but wetter weather. Southerly winds can also be mild (esp if they come from the Mediterranean or North Africa) but can also be chilly if coming from mainland Europe.

Spring (mid March - May) is a transitional season that can be chilly to start with but is usually warm by late-April/May. The weather at this time can be changeable and occasionally showery.

Summer (June - mid September) is usually warm & pleasant but continental air from mainland Europe or the Azores High can occasionally lead to hot and muggy weather. Westerly winds from the Atlantic can make the area cool and unsettled.

Autumn (mid September - mid November) is usually mild but can be changeable with some days being very unsettled and rainy and others being relatively warm & pleasant. An Indian summer can occasionally take place with September and early October having warm and settled weather.

Local media

See also


External links

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