With the creation of the new counties Tyne and Wear and Cleveland, the county of Durham was reduced in size in 1974. In the north, an area south of the Tyne including Gateshead, Jarrow and the coastal town of South Shields and Sunderland became part of Tyne and Wear, while the south-east corner, including West Hartlepool, was transferred to Cleveland. In the south-west an area formerly in the North Riding of Yorkshire was added to the county of Durham. Thus the ratio of rural to industrial areas within the county was increased and in particular its largest ship-building towns became part of the new metropolitan counties.
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