Situated on the fringe of the beautiful North Yorkshire moors, the area offers a host of indoor and outdoor activities and events for every taste. We have one of the longest coastlines with some of the highest cliffs in the UK. The areas landscape is dominated by the steel and chemical industries alongside sites of outstanding beauty and Sites of Special Scientific Interest. We have a long heritage of innovation and development; the first passenger trains ran from Stockton, Middlesbrough as the birthplace of the explorer and map-maker Captain James Cook the birth place. Redcar hosts the worlds oldest surviving lifeboat and Hartlepool’s historic quay is also home to Britain’s oldest warship afloat - HMS Trincomalee.
The area hosts Championship and League One football and the revamped Tees Barrage. Our town centres offer quality shopping by day and lively night-time economies. Middlesbrough houses the University of Teesside, which supports over 29,000 students, and a new modern and contemporary art gallery, Middlesbrough's Institute of Modern Art (MIMA) which opened in January 2007. Stockton includes Durham University Queen's Campus where nearly 2,000 students are based within the modern waterfront location.
The areas regeneration continues with the development of the North Shore of the River Tees and the erection of the 'iconic' Infinity footbridge at Stockton on Tees. Huge investment has recently been made in the region's further education provision with new facilities at Stockton Riverside, Hartlepool, Darlington and Middlesbrough Colleges. Middlesbrough College opened in September 2008 and is one of Tees Valley's largest single standing structures with five storeys and covering 32,000 square metres.
Two prisons are situated within the area, HMP Kirklevington Grange and HMP Holme House. The former prepares long-term detainees for release back into the community whilst the latter, acts as a local holding establishment for over 1,200 inmates. The Force prison liaison officers provide a valuable function in keeping records up to date on the imprisonment and release of offenders in our area.
The area is a major production centre for the chemical industry which results in the large scale transportation by road, rail and sea of hazardous substances. The chemical industry is a key economic factor and presents the Force, other emergency services and partners with a significant major incident risk. The industrial heart of the area has a strong infrastructure that is well served by the transport network, including an international airport and the UKs 4th largest seaport (by volume). The Force's rural areas border the North Yorkshire Moors, offering great beauty and scope for leisure and sporting activities. The area also hosts the new RSPB reserve at Saltholme, which opened in January 2009.