Connectivity & Communication

Digital infrastructure

Digital infrastructure and connectivity are essential to modern businesses. The North East has the fastest broadband speed in England and the third fastest in the UK (18.96 MB/s as of June 2020) so businesses that locate here can be confident of superior connectivity.

We’re committed to making our digital infrastructure even better through ongoing investment and development projects, including:

  • £24 million for a Local Full Fibre Network in Northumberland
  • £50 million from City Fibre for a Fibre to the Premises programme in Newcastle
  • Stellium Data Centres in North Tyneside providing advanced largescale hosting infrastructure
  • North Atlantic Loop programme to provide a direct fibre connection between the North East and Europe
  • Sunderland City Council’s plan to be the first local authority in the country to become a ‘neutral host’ for 5G and fibre connectivity
  • A £38 million project between Digital Durham and BT Openreach to increase coverage of superfast broadband to local premises
  • Gateshead Council and Durham County Council’s partnership to use Building Digital UK (BDUK) funding to supply as many business premises as possible with high-speed broadband

Physical infrastructure

The North East has an excellent transport network and a unique landscape that make it the ideal place to live and work.

The region’s key development sites and industrial estates are close to major highways, connecting companies to their suppliers and end-users. The A1M and A19 strategic routes provide fast access to the national highway network to the north and south. This additionally offers supply chain companies and tier-one suppliers the opportunity to support and serve manufacturing OEMs across the UK. 

Our well-connected development sites also offer fantastic infrastructure and logistical capabilities, which have evolved to meet the needs of North East companies operating in the advanced manufacturing sector.

We are served by an international airport, three ports, and fantastic rail and road networks. You can be in London, Paris or Amsterdam in around an hour by air, or reach the capital in under three hours by train. The region also has a daily flight to Dubai, connecting us to the Middle and Far East.

Workers enjoy low commute times and some of the least congested roads in the UK. We are also home to the Tyne and Wear Metro, the largest rapid transport system outside of London, whose 60 stations provide speedy access to Newcastle, Gateshead and Sunderland and to our beautiful coastline.

There are few places in the world where you can go for a surf in the morning and still be in a bustling city centre for a 9am meeting. Our stunning coastline spans from Durham to Northumberland and boasts some of the most picturesque beaches in the country. We have woodlands, forests and open countryside as well as bustling city centres in Newcastle, Durham and Sunderland. Our quality of life is simply second to none.

Northern Spire, Sunderland
Northern Spire Bridge, Sunderland