Situated to the south of the county, the AAP of Bishop Auckland and Shildon, stretches from Shildon in the east, to St Helens Auckland in the west.  The AAP is bordered by Darlington Borough to the south and by the other AAPs of 3 Towns Partnership, 4 Together Partnership, Great Aycliffe & Middridge, Spennymoor and Teesdale.

The Bishop Auckland and Shildon AAP is predominantly ‘urban’ in nature with a population of over 43,000.  Covering an area of over 5,200 hectares (20.2 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 8.1 (people/hectare), which is over three times that of the county (2.3).

The early history of the market town of Bishop Auckland surrounds the Bishops of Durham and the establishment of a hunting lodge, which later became the main residence of the Bishop of Durham.

Shildon, the ‘Cradle of the Railways’, is home to the “Locomotion” museum (which opened in 2004) and was the North East’s first, and remains, its only national collection.  The £11 million initiative combines the historic buildings and workshops of the Timothy Hackworth Victorian and Railway Museum with a new 557 sq. metre (6,000 sq. ft.) building.