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Teesside is the name given to the conurbation in the North East of Englandmarker made up of the towns of Middlesbroughmarker, Stockton-on-Teesmarker, Redcarmarker, Billinghammarker and surrounding settlements. It was also the name of a local government district between 1968 and 1974—the County Borough of Teesside. Teesside remains an important centre for heavy industry, although the number of people employed has declined.

Its inhabitants are increasingly referred to as "smoggies". Initially a derogatory term used by people from other parts of the North East region for Teessiders (due to the supposed smog in the air from the area's petrochemical industry), the moniker has in recent years been accepted by the people of Teesside as their own.

Local government

In 1974 the County Borough of Teesside was absorbed into the larger non-metropolitan county of Clevelandmarker along with the towns of Hartlepoolmarker and Guisboroughmarker. The Teesside area was partitioned between the boroughs of Stockton-on-Teesmarker, Middlesbroughmarker and Langbaurghmarker, with the wards of Billingham East & West, Grangefield, Hartburn, Mile House, North End, Nortonmarker, Stockton South, Thornaby East & West going to Stockton; the wards of Coatham, Eston Grange, Kirkleatham, Ormesby, Redcar and South Bank going to Langbaurgh; and the rest going to Middlesbrough.

Local government reorganisation in 1996, recommended by the Banham Review, saw the county of Cleveland broken up into the four independent unitary authority boroughs of Hartlepoolmarker, Stockton, Middlesbrough and Redcar and Clevelandmarker (a renamed Langbaurgh). At this time they were returned to the counties of North Yorkshire and County Durham for ceremonial purposes, with Stockton-on-Tees becoming the only district in England split between two ceremonial counties.In 1998 the neighbouring borough of Darlington also became an independent unitary authority and this along with the four former Cleveland boroughs form the sub-region of the Tees Valleymarker which is used for statistical purposes and governmental organisation. The name Tees Valley is increasingly promoted for economic and cultural connections, but is seen by many residents as little more than another example of unwanted rebranding. Teesside, Cleveland and the former historic county names of Yorkshire and Durham remain popular in everyday usage, e.g. Cleveland Police and Cleveland Fire Brigade still carry the county name even though the county was abolished in 1996. On items of post, it is very common to see Cleveland as the county [rather in the same way Middlesex lingers]- although Royal Mail will not commit to any county name, citing that post towns and postcodes are adequate for all UK areas. To quote a local resident recently interviewed by the BBC, "Say Teesside, write Cleveland".

Urban area

The Teesside Urban Area identified by the ONS for statistical purposes had a population of around 365,323 according to the 2001 census, and had the following urban sub-areas

Eaglescliffemarker and Yarmmarker are counted as a separate Eaglescliffe urban area, separated by a narrow gap, which has a population of 18,335. Infilling development may join the two urban areas together. In many peoples definition of Teesside, Hartlepool is also commonly included which has an urban population of 86,085. This is more commonly referred to as the Teesside & Hartlepool Urban Area. If this definition is taken into consideration, with the addition of the Eaglescliffe area, Teesside would have a population of approximately 469,743 people.

The name

Teesside continues to be used locally to refer 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 euphemism for the former county of Cleveland. The area has become, partially through Middlesbrough Football Club, affectionately named by locals as The People's Republic of Teesside.

It is common to see Teesside wrongly spelt as Teeside, especially by those from outside the area.


The town of Hartlepoolmarker is often included by some people in their definition of Teesside due to its proximity and historical and cultural links. However Hartlepool was not included in the county borough of Teesside between 1968 and 1974 but was in the county of Cleveland between 1974 and 1996. Hartlepool, as part of Cleveland, was covered by the regeneration work of the Teesside Development Corporation and is included in the TS postcode area. The town does have its own telephone area code, 01429, as opposed to 01642 which covers Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Middlesbrough and surrounding settlements. Hartlepool is not covered by Teesside on British road signs.


  1. ONS map
  2. ONS KS01 table
  3. Royal Mail, Address Management Guide, (2004)

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