Report: Durham University contributes to the North East economy


Durham University has released a two-part, ten-point report on how it contributes to the North East Economy.

The report focuses on the local economy, culture, and wellbeing. For example, according to BiGGAR Economics 2022, every £1 of the University’s income generates £4.80 for the UK economy. This contribution has increased since 2016, even when considering inflation. 

On top of its contribution to the economy, Durham University is a significant employer in the local region; it employs one in 20 people in County Durham. Durham employs over 4,300 full-time equivalent staff, nearly 2,000 more than Teesside University (as of July 2023), another University in the North East. A similar report, released in February 2023, stated that Universities of Duham, Teesside, Sunderland, Newcastle and Northumbria collectively support over 34,000 jobs. 

The list also focuses on Durham University’s cultural impact. It is the joint custodian of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Durham Castle and Cathedral; these sites create cultural attractions for both visitors and residents. Other visitor attractions include the Palace Green Library, the Oriental Museum, and the Botanic Garden. 

The report includes the impact of volunteering in the local community, highlighting the community sports programme. The programme means the University provides more than 16,000 hours of practical volunteer support each year, which often helps with health and wellbeing by bringing ‘people and communities together’. Other volunteering programmes include litter picking and collecting products for food banks. Overall, the University has over 200 initiatives, many student or staff led. 

Whilst Durham University’s private school intake is the second highest in the UK, the University spends ‘£14 million a year on supporting less advantaged students access and thrive at the University’. They are also working with schools in the local region, opening a Durham Mathematics School in partnership with Durham Sixth Form Centre. 

The rest of the report covers Durham University’s contribution to events and festivals and its impacts on other schools and initiatives in the region; this can be read here and here.


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