The Derwent Valley Area Action Partnership is situated north west of Durham and stretches from Moorside in the south west, through Consett and Leadgate, to Burnopfield in the north.  The AAP is bordered by Northumberland and Gateshead Borough to the north and by the other AAPs of Mid Durham and Stanley.

The Derwent Valley AAP is predominantly ‘urban’ in nature with a population of nearly 46,000.  Covering an area of over 5,500 hectares (21 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 8.3 (people/hectare), which is over three times that of the county (2.3).

Many of the settlements benefit from the picturesque views of the Derwent Valley. The town of Consett is located on a hilltop above the Derwent valley on the edge of the Pennines and was a former steel working town where operations ceased in 1980. Adjoining Consett is Shotley Bridge, surrounded by picturesque woodland and once the heart of Britain’s sword making industry.  Leadgate now stands as a small village with a close knit community, but it originated as the home of the workers and staff of the Eden Colliery 1844-1980, and the Consett Iron Company.