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County Durham is a ceremonial county and unitary district in North East England. The county town is Durham. The largest settlement in the ceremonial county is the town of Darlington. The county has an industrial heritage and its economy was historically based on coal and iron mining. It is an area of regeneration and promoted primarily as a tourist destination.
The ceremonial county borders Tyne and Wear, North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Northumberland and forms part of the North East England region. Durham is the only English county name to be prefixed with "County" in common usage - a practice more common in Ireland.
As part of the 2009 structural changes to local government in England, the seven original district councils within the County Council area were abolished. The County Council assumed their functions and became a unitary authority. The seven abolished district councils were:
· Chester-le-Street, including Sacriston
· City of Durham, including Durham city and the surrounding areas
· Teesdale, including Barnard Castle and the villages of Teesdale
The economic history of the county centred on the growth of the mining industry, which at its height employed almost the whole of the non-agricultural population. Richard II granted to the inhabitants of Durham licence to export the produce of the mines, the majority being transported from the Port of Sunderland. The port was the largest in Durham and the fourth biggest in Britain.
Among other early industries lead-mining was carried on in the western part of the county, and mustard was extensively cultivated. Gateshead had a considerable tanning trade and shipbuilding was undertaken at Sunderland, which became the largest shipbuilding town in the world - constructing a third of Britain's tonnage. Today no deep-coal mines exist in the county any more.
The county town, also called Durham is situated 13 miles to the south west of Sunderland. It is well known for its Norman Cathedral and 11th-century castle, and is home to Durham University, claimed to be England's third oldest after Oxford and Cambridge. The whole of the centre of Durham is designated a conservation area; and in addition to the Cathedral and Castle, Durham contains over 630 listed buildings.
By road, the A1(M) passes just to the east of the city, while the A167, passes just to the west.) Newcastle Airport lies to the north and Durham Tees Valley Airport to the south, both being about 25 miles (40 km) away.
The idyllic county of Durham has a range of office letting opportunities, including serviced office space, flexible office space, offices for rent and commercial office space. If you're looking for office space to rent in Durham at a competitive price please contact your local Durham commercial property expert via http://freeofficesearch.co.uk or call us free on 0800 0710 710.