Situated to the south of the county, the AAP of Great Aycliffe & Middridge stretches from Junction 59 of the A1(M) in the south, to Woodham in the north. The AAP is bordered by Darlington Borough to the south and by the other AAPs of Bishop Auckland and Shildon, East Durham Rural and the 4 Together Partnership.
The Great Aycliffe & Middridge Partnership is ‘urban’ in nature with a population of nearly 27,000. Covering an area of over 2,400 hectares (9.5 sq. miles), the AAP has a population density of 11.2 (people/hectare), which is nearly five times that of the county (2.3).
Newton Aycliffe was the first new town in the North of England designed to house many of the people affected by the closure of the mines and provide employment opportunities within the area. It hosts the second largest industrial park in the region at Aycliffe Business Park, a major source of manufacturing-related employment for the surrounding areas and the new Hitachi Rail factory.
There are many housing estates within Newton Aycliffe including Woodham Village, the new Cobblers Hall establishment, and more recently the Lanes development.
The Great Aycliffe & Middridge Partnership area includes the outlying areas of Middridge, Aycliffe Village and part of School Aycliffe. Middridge Parish is situated north west of Newton Aycliffe. The village is situated not far from a quarry that was mined many generations ago. Aycliffe Village is situated immediately to the South of Newton Aycliffe. The village is a mixture of cottages, old houses and new builds. Its architecture is varied with some houses dating back several hundred years alongside a small amount of relatively new-build properties.