“You can move in and out of the county much easier than a metropolitan area such as London, Manchester and Birmingham.”

David Land
North East Local Enterprise Partnership

When I was setting up my own business I came here because I know the people, I know what you get, I’m happy here. There’s not much you can’t do in Durham.

It’s a big area, but well-connected. You’ve got the East Coast mainline; the A1 links and A19 links are all good; the ports and Newcastle Airport are just 30 to 40 minutes away. You can travel around a lot faster than you could any major city and commute up and down the county without many problems.

We’ve excellent digital and professional communities too. Our business networks help any business coming in – the County Durham Engineering & Manufacturing Network, for example, links over 200 companies across this area and beyond.

We’ve a lot to be proud of in County Durham. For families it’s a great place to live; but look at our industrial heritage. Strong in engineering and manufacturing (I’m an engineer by trade), with some really big businesses here: Gestamp, Husqvarna, 3M, GSK, Hitachi. 

More importantly, we’ve smaller and medium size businesses doing really good things too – including some very innovative stuff. People here have adapted to the changing environment well, with a strong work ethic and the right skills. 

In short, Durham’s a nice place to be and a great place to work. That’s why people are so passionate about it.


A1(M) connecting the North of England to the South and Scotland, and A19 running
through the county


Bulk cargo is served by 3 key ports in the region on the rivers Tyne, Wear and Tees  


Newcastle International Airport is 40 minutes by road
(55 by rail and light rail) from Durham City and connects to major hubs including Heathrow, Schiphol, Dubai and Paris


The East Coast Mainline runs through the county and its station at Durham City provides a quick connection to all major cities; London is less than 3 hours away 


“There are good mentors here – business people in Durham want to see other businesses doing well.”

Allison Raper
Owner, Teesdale Cheesemakers

Allison Raper    Owner, Teesdale Cheesemakers

Allison Raper
Owner, Teesdale Cheesemakers

We’ve won over 22 awards for our cheeses since we started in 2016 – not bad, for a family business run from our home. We’re looking at moving to a 20-acre smallholding, which will give us more capacity and scope to explore new avenues. We increased turnover by 34% last year, even though we thought we were at full capacity already. We’ve always had a lot of support from the county council. We really feel like we can talk openly with them to see how we can do what we need to do, and how they can help our business to grow.

You have to be passionate when you’re a small business, but we’ve had good mentors – Durham businesses are very generous with their time, and their
advice is invaluable.

Networking’s helped too – it led to winning the Teesdale Business Awards in our first year. Things like that make you realise we’re onto something here.

There’s a lot of exciting things going on right now. I really can’t see how a business coming here wouldn’t do well.