Tyne and Wear consists of the five metropolitan boroughs of South Tyneside, North Tyneside, City of Newcastle upon Tyne, Gateshead and City of Sunderland. It is bounded on the east by the North Sea, and has borders with Northumberland to the north and County Durham to the south.
A number of towns and villages in Gateshead are popular with commuters and professionals employed in the service industry and well paid areas of secondary industry such as engineering, a major source of employment in the area. The borough is home to Tyne Yard, a major rail freight yard serving the North East. Gateshead Quayside, once dominated by industry, has benefited from significant investment and regeneration and is now home to the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art and the Sage Gateshead.
The area is also an important retail hub, with the largest shopping centre in the European Union, and second largest in Europe, the MetroCentre. A significant number of engineering companies are located in the Team Valley Trading Estate.
Newcastle is the commercial, educational and, in partnership with nearby Gateshead, the cultural focus for North East England. The Central Business District, location of the most prominent serviced offices in Tyne and Wear, is in the centre of the city, bounded by Haymarket, Central Station and the Quayside areas.