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Regional Universities

World class universities

The North East is well served by five higher education institutions including two Russell Group universities – Durham University and Newcastle University – which attract students from all over the world.


The region is also home to the newer universities of Northumbria University in Newcastle, the University of Sunderland and Teesside University in Middlesbrough.


higher education institutions


Russell Group universities


STEM students

Durham University

Durham is the third oldest university in England and one of the best research universities in the world, attracting more than 20,000 students.

Durham has ten research institutes and several research centres that focus on specialist areas including the history of medicine and disease, molecular and nanoscale electronics, materials physics, innovation and technology management, and digital theology.

Newcastle University

Newcastle University is a frontrunner in research excellence and a founding member of the prestigious Russell Group. With more than 29,000 students, the university offers in excess of 200 undergraduate and 300 postgraduate degrees.

The university’s main research strengths lie in the following areas: ageing and health, cities and place, culture and creative arts, one planet and data. The organisation also has nine world-class research institutes spanning subjects from biosciences to sustainability.

Northumbria University

With around 26,000 students from more than 140 countries, Northumbria University is one of the UK’s largest universities and offers courses in most major subject areas, including engineering, computing, sciences, business, law and the built and natural environment. Northumbria is also the only business school in Europe with double recognition for accounting and business from AACSB.

With more than 95% of its graduates in work or education, Northumbria is among the most successful universities in the country for graduate employment.

Teesside University

Teesside University has more than 20,000 students enrolled on its undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, and recently invested in excess of £275 million in its town centre campus. This has enabled the organisation to build on its strong research capabilities in areas such as digital innovation, sport and health sciences. It plans to invest an additional £300 million in its facilities by 2026.

University of Sunderland

The University of Sunderland has 20,000 students at four campuses: two in Sunderland, one in London – which is used for teaching business, tourism and nursing degrees – and a new development in Hong Kong. The university has strong research capabilities in health, sciences, education, advanced manufacturing, software and the creative industries.

Meet the team

If you have any questions for our expert team, get in touch with us today and we’ll be happy to help.

Sarah Johnson

Sarah Johnson

Inward Investment Officer

Some of  the businesses we've helped

Marmax Products

We have been delighted with the support that Business Durham and their partners have provided our company and with additional funding, we hope to further develop our working practices to safeguard our existing business and expand our capabilities to meet new customer demands and expectations.

Dave Johnson
Managing Director
Redditch Medical

NETPark is a fantastic place to do business in terms of facilities, potential for growth and for collaboration.

Steve Brown
Managing Director

The facilities and ancillary business services here are second to none and the campus feel of the science park suits the culture within the company.

Ian Gemski

The ecosystem in NETPark is just right for us; SEEDS first came here because of its partnership work with the CPI and now our vision is to have a busy lab facility developing various applications and licensing them out to companies.

Peter Chalder-Wood
Head of Strategic Partnerships
Magnitude Biosciences

We expect to more than double the team in Sedgefield to 45 over the next two to three years, with a larger commercial team allowing us to expand our global footprint.

Dr Fozia Saleem

At a time when the fruit packing labour market is very challenging across Europe and North America, compounded by Brexit, Covid, and the movement of people, Wootzano’s robots are providing a niche solution using game-changing, world-class technology that has been developed here on NETPark.

Jesse Opoku
Chief Operating Officer
Teescraft Engineering

Teescraft Engineering has been a major employer in County Durham for a number of years and I’m delighted that, with grant support through the County Durham Growth Fund, the company is embarking on ambitious plans to significantly expand.

Hazel Sykes
Business Durham
ATT Fabrications

We knew we had the space to add new machines which would not only improve productivity and efficiency but also allow us to add new products and processes, the County Durham Growth Fund helped this happen.

Andrew Devlin
ATT Fabrications
AAA Caring Caretaker

The Caring Caretaker is a company that’s grown from one to a team of 41 and is now, with grant support from the County Durham Growth Fund, in the process of taking its business journey to the next stage, moving to much larger premises and creating a further 10 jobs, cementing its long-term future here in County Durham.

Sarah Slaven
Managing Director, Business Durham
Renovo Solutions

We’ve been incredibly lucky to have secured financial investment from Business Durham which really has been crucial to the growth of the business and fast-tracked our plans in such a short space of time.

Antony Gray
Ashgarth Engineering

The grant we’ve received from the County Durham Growth Fund has been invaluable to us as without it we probably would have only been able to purchase one machine.

Niall Ash
TO Mounter

We were looking at investing in new machinery which would enable us to expand our client base, and our accountant mentioned the County Durham Growth Fund to us.

Lisa Mounter
General Manager

Investing in this additional space means we now own our future – we’re not in anyone else’s hands and that’s a fantastic position to be in.

Ryan Carter
E Catering

We took on more space than we needed to, allowing for our planned growth over the next five years, however with the grant support we’ve had from the County Durham Growth Fund, we are now looking at achieving our projections in the next three years.

Reece Ingham
Head of Finance

It has been a testing couple of years due to the pandemic and this support has been invaluable. Going forwards, we intend to invest further in technology and skills to strengthen our position in this competitive marketplace.

Ben Kennard
Manufacturing and Supply Chain Manager
Newton Press

We’ve got a great team now and looking ahead this year, for us it’s about building on what we have, and then expanding with new orders and further investment at the right times to propel this business forward in this new space.

Stuart Howarth
Sales Director
Dyman Advanced Materials

The machinery we’ve been able to purchase with the support of the County Durham Growth Fund is far more advanced than anything we were using previously and means we’re able to work in a far more exact and precise way.

Dr Gary Gibson

Get In Touch

Business Durham is the business support service for Durham County Council, helping to deliver more and better jobs and a strong competitive economy.

Contact our friendly team for help with your business.