“In the digital age ‘community’ refers to more than just the physical – but here it’s something identifiable and binding and personal.”
Chief Innovation Officer, Atom bank
For me, the whole North-East is a ‘village’, let alone Durham. It’s a tight-knit, transparent environment with people willing and able to share the skills they have. This reaches wider than the county, as I think we’re richer for being near to Newcastle, Teesside and Wearside too.
However, from this central point in the region you can access all sorts of brain power and expertise. The skill set is here because these are places where people want to live. They’ve grown up here and care about the place, or they have come here to study or work and decided this is home.
The environment offers something for everyone. This morning, for example, I got up at 4.30am and went salmon fishing on the River Wear. I got home for 8am and saw my kids for breakfast, then came up to work which is 5 minutes from home. This evening I’ll be leaving at about 5.45pm to watch one of my lads play cricket in a village in East Durham. I think that sums up the quality of life you get in Durham.
There’s a very strong school gate community here too – the University brings a worldwide group together in Durham City for example, and sport is a big part of residents’ identity. I’ve got to know a lot of business people through my children’s football and cricket.
As well as these personal and family benefits, this is a region with a huge depth of opportunity for employers. People here are loyal to good employers, and they genuinely care about businesses that come and bring good jobs and good people with them.
Atom bank is all about people – we focus on our customers and build their bank around them. So it’s no surprise that we should be successful in a place where people come first.
Average house prices in the county are 44.8% of the national average
63% of school students achieve five or more A* - C grades (national average 59%)
Median income of full-time employees in the North East is £2,500 higher pa than South East employees (£4,000 for Londoners) when expressed in North East prices, wages go further
County Durham is one of the safest places to live, work and visit, with Durham Police Authority the only one in the UK rated ‘Outstanding’
UNESCO World Heritage Sites Durham Cathedral and Castle, and 1/3 of North East England designated as an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty
“Outside of work there’s plenty to do, with world class attractions and entertainment. It’s definitely a great way of life.”
Owner, Ramside Estates
I think most folk outside of the county aren’t aware of what goes on here these days. But those who do are drawn to the quality of life.
In Durham, it’s easy to get wherever you need to – there isn’t the congestion you have around the big cities. You’re surrounded by green fields, only a few miles from the sea, and can go up to Weardale or Teesdale or into Northumberland or The Lakes.
There’s plenty happening…the University’s a magnet for people and creates many spin-offs. And whilst a lot of culture is centred around the Cathedral and city, there’s so much going on across the county with events as diverse and crowd drawing as Lumiere and Hardwick live music festival, with bands like the Kaiser Chiefs and Happy Mondays headlining.
It’s great for tourism, and even better if you move here. Durham people are adaptable, well-educated and hard-working. And they still have that tough Northern grit, but now it’s called a ‘can-do’ attitude.