A great destination for work and play

It is not surprising that the natural assets, rich heritage and great visitor attractions of South Tyneside attract over 7 million visitors each year.

South Tyneside’s visitor assets include its coastline and sandy beaches, the Ocean Beach Pleasure Park, Jarrow Hall, Customs House, Arbeia Roman Fort and most recently The Word (the National Centre for the Written Word)… not to mention the 57,000 runners who cross the finish line of the Great North Run, the world’s biggest and best half marathon, here every year. These have helped South Tyneside to establish itself as a quality visitor destination.

In 2022, Sandhaven beach in South Shields seafront scooped the coveted Sunday Times Beach of the Year title, beating off stiff competition from hundreds of beaches across the country.

Some facts and figures

  • 6.446 million people visited South Tyneside in 2023.
  • In 2023, South Tyneside saw 6,045,000 day visitors and 401,000 overnight visitors. In total, for all visitors, there were 7,055,000 visitor days.
  • The total economic impact of visitors in 2023 was £417.58 million, and £311.44 million was direct expenditure.
  • Food and drink is the biggest contributor to direct economic impact (39.9%).
  • Food and drink is the biggest employment sector in South Tyneside correlating to direct employment (42.5%).

Source: STEAM, 2024

Be part of the Transformation

South Tyneside Council continues to invest in the evolution of the borough to attract visitors and investment. We plan to capitalise on the borough’s existing strengths as a unique riverside and coastal location with a blend of cultural, heritage and leisure assets.

South Shields Town Centre Regeneration

Like all town centres, South Shields has always adapted through the ages to remain relevant. In the face of changing lifestyles – we now have an opportunity to transform our town once again to ensure it remains vibrant, creating opportunities and greater possibilities for people and businesses across South Tyneside.

We’ve already made some progress;

The first phase of development saw the construction of The Word, the National Centre for the Written Word, a new cultural attraction celebrating the written word in all its forms from poetry, screen plays and books, stage plays and songs. The Word is home to the new central library and provides a rolling programme of exhibitions of regional and national significance. This phase of development has also completed much needed improvements to the adjoining Market Place and a new 40-space car park on vacant land at Harton Quays.

The second phase in the regeneration of the town, the construction of a new Transport Interchange in the heart of the town, is also complete. Opened in August 2019, the £21m Interchange created a striking point of arrival into the town centre and brings greater connectivity to the town, linking the Riverside and the Foreshore areas. The Interchange includes a new bus station to bring all the town’s services into the same area making changing buses more straightforward, and links with the relocated Metro station.

There are exciting things to come, such as the relocation of South Tyneside College into the town centre – and we’re on the lookout for more.

South Shields Foreshore Regeneration

A programme of improvements to South Shields Foreshore is ongoing, investment in this area has already had a dramatic change in the appearance and perceptions of the location. Our aim is to extend the holiday season beyond the summer months and in the longer term, an all year round Foreshore offer is our goal.

Some of the work completed so far includes:

  • Transformation of South Shields Promenade, including improvements to Sandhaven and Littlehaven promenades,
  • Improvements to Ocean Road, the vital link between South Shields Town Centre and Foreshore areas,
  • Development of the new Haven Point swimming pool and leisure complex, and
  • Restoration of North Marine Park to its original Victorian splendour.

We know that linking the activities at the Foreshore with Ocean Road and the Town Centre is essential in securing a longer visitor stay and greater spend.

Making Waves 2022-2027

We have ambitions to maximise South Tyneside’s cultural tourism offer to enhance and connect local communities and support the economy.

‘Making Waves’, South Tyneside’s Cultural Strategy was launched in March 2022 and aims to drive forward culture by building on the area’s unique and vibrant cultural offer – helping to promote South Tyneside as an attractive place to live, invest and enjoy.

You can view the Making Waves 2022-2027 strategy here.

South Tyneside Council wants to work with businesses to build an exciting future. We want to work in partnership with leisure, tourism and hospitality businesses and investors to further shape plans to create a thriving borough for all to enjoy.

Please get in touch today to start the conversation – email us at

For more on the South Tyneside Tourism offer, check out Visit South Tyneside

Support for your business

Our dedicated team will provide practical support for tourism organisations setting up a facility in South Tyneside.

Get in touch with your requirements, whether you are thinking about relocating, looking to expand your business, or if you are just setting up in North East England. 

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