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Towards a new Millennium 1990 to 2000

The last ten years of the second millennium saw the closure of County Durham's last coal mine, ending an era of at least 800 years. A huge football stadium was built in its place, one of many modern developments in the 1990s. The developments were to rejuvenate the region and its economy and most of them were concentrated in the old riverside areas of the Tyne, Wear and Tees which had once been at the forefront of the old manufacturing economy. Today the major industries which dominated the North-East throughout the 19th and 20th Centuries have declined or disappeared, leaving the region to adjust to new technologies, new forms of employment and a new way of life.


The National Garden Festival is held at Gateshead. Its site stretches from the River Tyne towards Dunston and includes the Dunston Coal Staithes which are reputedly the world's largest wooden structure. The festival is designed to regen-erate derelict in dustrial land for future use.

April 1990 - UNIVERSITY JAPANESE LINK (Durham City )

The Teikyo University of Japan at Durham has been established. Students from Japan can now study for a year alongside students of Durham University.

1990 - TEESSIDE PARK (Thornaby)

Work on the development of a shopping and leisure complex at Teesside Park near Thornaby is under way.


Dawdon Colliery in eastern County Durham has closed.

November 1991 - MURTON COLLIERY CLOSES (Murton, County Durham )

Murton Colliery in East Durham has closed.

1991 - NEPTUNE RETURNS (Durham City)

The statue of King Neptune is placed once again in Durham Market Place after many years absence.

1992 - SUNDERLAND IS A CITY (Sunderland )

The town of Sunderland has become a city. The last town in the North-East to gain this status was Newcastle in 1882.

1992 - UNIVERSITY FOR TEESSIDE (Middlesbrough )

The Government has given permission for Teesside Polytechnic to become the University of Teesside.


Durham County Cricket Club has joined the first class county cricket league.


Actor Sir Peter Ustinov has succeeded Dame Margot Fonteyn as Chancellor
of Durham University.

1993 April - EASINGTON COLLIERY CLOSED (Easington, County Durham )

Easington Colliery has closed.

1993 - CATHEDRAL CELEBRATES 900 YEARS (Durham City )

Durham Cathedral is celebrating its 900th anniversary. The construction of the cathedral was commenced in the year 1093 by the Prince Bishop William St Carileph.

May 1993 - WESTOE COLLIERY CLOSES (South Shields )

Westoe Colliery has closed.

June 1993 - VANE TEMPEST CLOSES (Seaham, County Durham )

The Vane Tempest Colliery at Seaham has closed.

1994 June - DURHAM COALFIELD'S LAST COLLIERY CLOSES(Wearmouth, Sunderland)

Wearmouth Colliery at the mouth of the River Wear in Sunderland, the last colliery in the County Durham Coalfield, has closed, signalling the end of an era in the land between the Tyne and Tees.

1994 - NEW BISHOP (County Durham )

Michael Turnbull is the new Bishop of Durham.

July 1994 - HISTORIC QUAY (Hartlepool )

Hartlepool's historic quay opens. The reconstruction by Teesside Development Corporation shows an 18th Century seaport and it brings Britain's maritime heritage to life.

1995 February - FLOODING (River Tees )

Flooding on the Tees at Neasham, Croft and Hurworth causes hundreds of thousands of pounds of damage to houses.

April 22, 1995 - TEES BARRAGE OPENS (Stockton-on-Tees )

The 50m Tees barrage opens at Stockton. It has created a ten-mile stretch of clean water from Worsall near Yarm to Stockton and has enabled the creation of a
white water course for canoeists. An international competition marks the opening.

August 16, 1995 - RIVERSIDE STADIUM OPENS (Middlesbrough )

Middlesbrough plays their first game in the 16m, 32,000
all-seater Cellnet Riverside Stadium. The opening of the stadium is celebrated with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea.

1995 - DURHAM 1,000 YEARS OLD (Durham City )

Durham is 1,000 years old. It was in the late summer of 995AD that the monks carrying the coffin of St Cuthbert established a settlement at 'Dun Holm' as the final resting place of their saint.

1997 May - BLAIR IS PM (Britain )

Tony Blair, MP for Sedgefield, who grew up in the region, is elected Prime Minister of Great Britain. He will live in Downing Street and at his home in Trimdon, County Durham.

July 30, 1997 - STADIUM OF LIGHT OPENS (Sunderland )

The first match has been played at Sunderland Football Club's new stadium. Named the Stadium of Light, the ground is built on the site of the Wearmouth Colliery.

1998 February 15, - ANGEL OF THE NORTH (Gateshead)

The Gateshead Angel of the North sculpture is erected. It weighs 300 tonnes and was built by Hartlepool Steel Fabrications. It rapidly becomes one of the best-known landmarks in the country.

2000 January 1, - NEW MILLENNIUM (The North-East )

The third millennium is welcomed with a street theatre extravaganza in Newcastle and thousands of private parties elsewhere. As the clock strikes midnight, the North-East erupts in a frenzy of fireworks.

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