THE most and least deprived neighbourhoods in County Durham have been revealed as part of a study.

The Department for Communities and Local Government published the Index of Multiple Deprivation for England, showing the relative deprivation of neighbourhoods for selected areas according to their indices of deprivation 2019 study.

Around 527,000 people call County Durham home, with a vibrant mixture of towns and countryside villages, and with that comes a mixed bad of deprivation levels.

The county ranked 65 out of 317 local authority areas for deprivation in England, a jump from 80 in 2015 with a higher proportion of deprived areas than four years ago.

The research looks into factors such as income deprivation, employment deprivation, education, skills and training deprivation, healthcare, crime, access to housing and services and living environment deprivation.

An interactive map allows you to search by a place name or postcode and includes a dashboard which provides a brief summary of how relatively deprived the area selected is in each iteration.

The Northern Echo: County Durham on the colour coordinated mapCounty Durham on the colour coordinated map

The map separates locations known as LSOAs (Lower-layer Super Output Areas) which are small areas designed to be of a similar population size, with an average of approximately 1,500 residents or 650 households. There are 32,844 Lower-layer Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in England.

County Durham is made up of 324 different LSOAs. 

The darker colour on the map indicates more deprived areas. 

A broad look at County Durham shows varying levels of deprivation across the region with some worse off than others.

The Northern Echo: Percentage of LSOAs Percentage of LSOAs

Here are how some locations in the region fare according to the map.

Elvet and Gilesgate (Durham City)

The Northern Echo: Elvet and GilesgateElvet and Gilesgate

Neighbourhoods in the Elvet and Gilesgate ward range from being in the top 10 per cent least deprived areas, such as around the College of St Hild and St Bede, to the 50 per cent most deprived, in areas near Whinney Hill and Green Lane.

The ward includes Durham Castle, as well as other arts, culture and education institutions.


The Northern Echo: BelmontBelmont

Neighbouring Elvet and Gilesgate is Belmont, where areas like Old Durham, Broom Hill, Sherburn Road Estable and The Woodlands are amongst the 10 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in the country.

The LSOA with these areas rank 1,695 out of 32,844 in England, where 1 is the most deprived.

Nearby, but within the same ward, are streets to the south of Belmont Community School which are amongst the 10 per cent least deprived neighbourhoods, with the LSOA ranking 31,184 out of 32,844.


The Northern Echo: Spennymoor deprivation mapSpennymoor deprivation map

Spennymoor is also a mixed bag, with Buyers Green, Stanners Lane and Middlestone Moor all seeing different levels of deprivation.

Buyers Green is not really well or worse off but a small section of Spennymoor, near Middleton Moor, is within the 10 per cent most deprived areas. 

Much of the area, including Whitworth Park School and Sixth Form, North Park Lodge Farm and Burton Beck Farm are within the 30 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in England.

Areas of Tudhoe Village, next to Spennymoor, also echos this mixed bag.


The Northern Echo: Ferryhill Ferryhill

Apart from the Kirk Merrington and North Close neighbourhoods of Ferryhill, much of the area is amongst the 20 per cent most deprived areas in England. 

This includes Chilton Lane, Ferryhill station, Conforth and West Cornforth.

The LSOA which included the Cornforth areas is ranked 4,702 out of 32,844 for deprivation across England.

Bishop Auckland

The Northern Echo: Bishop Auckland townBishop Auckland town

Just one neighbourhood in Bishop Auckland town is thought of as less deprived, which borders on the West Auckland ward. This area, shown on the map in the lighter colour, is amongst the 20 per cent least deprived neighbourhoods. 

Next door, around Bishop Auckland West (Weardale Railway) and the hospital, is amongst the 40 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in the country. 

Worse off still is to the North West of Bishop Auckland Town, where the LSOA is amongst the 20 per cent most deprived areas and is ranked 5,895 of 32,844 areas for deprivation in England.

Shildon and Dene Valley

The Northern Echo: Shildon and Dene ValleyShildon and Dene Valley

No areas in Shildon and Dene Valley ward are particularly well off, according to the map. Most areas, like those surrounding the A6072 and Eldon, are within the 20 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods in England though areas fluctuate 10 per cent either way. 

For example, areas around Byerley Road are amongst 30 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods while those around St John's Church of England Aided Primary School are most the 10 per cent most deprived.

Newton Aycliffe

The Northern Echo: Newton AycliffeNewton Aycliffe

Newton Aycliffe is split up between a few different wards, including Aycliffe East, Aycliffe North Aycliffe and Middridge and Aycliffe West. 

Aycliffe West has the highest levels of deprivation, with one LSOA being within the 20 per cent most deprived areas and two others being within 10 per cent. 

Aycliffe North and Middridge also has one LSOA within 10 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods but others in the ward are slightly better off with Woodham being amongst 30 per cent least deprived.

Aycliffe East, which includes Aycliffe Industrial Estate and parts of Aycliffe Village, is made up of neighbourhoods largely in the 40 per cent most deprived category.


The Northern Echo:

Bordering Newton Aycliffe is Sedgefield.

Fishburn is the only area within the ward to be classed as a deprived area, with one LSOA deemed amongst the 30 per cent most deprived neighbourhoods and another within the 40 per cent. 

Much of Sedgefield is amongst the 30 per cent least deprived areas in the county with a small, central pocket being within the least 10 per cent deprived areas. 

Barnard Castle 

The Northern Echo: Barnard CastleBarnard Castle

Split into two wards, Barnard Castle East and West, areas in the town are generally not deprived.

One neighbourhood, near Barnard Castle school and around Crook Lane, is amongst the 40 per cent most deprived but this is a lower level of deprivation compared to other County Durham areas. 

Bordering that area, to the west, is Startforth. The LSOA Startforth is in ranks 23,119 out of 32,844 in deprivation and is amongst 30 per cent least deprived areas.