YOUNG graduates are moving away from town according to new government data.

The Office for National Statistics has published data revealing many young graduates are having to move away from home to find work, especially those who originated from rural areas and small towns, compared to those who came from large towns or cities.

It was revealed that 105 graduates from Hexham moved out of the North East region and the majority moved to London, from 2018 to 2019.


There were 545 state-school pupils from Hexham who sat GCSEs between the 2007 to 2008 and the 2010 to 2011 school years.

Of these, 255 (47 per cent) pupils achieved degree-level qualifications from 2018 to 2019, while another 165 (30 per cent) gained other advanced post-16 qualifications. 

145 graduates and 150 qualified non-graduates lived in Hexham from 2018 to 2019, compared with the 255 graduates and 165 qualified non-graduates who lived there when they sat their GCSEs.

76 per cent of these graduates had lived in Hexham as GCSE pupils, while 24 per cent had moved from elsewhere.

Grant Cameron, 27, from Brampton is the new owner of The Garden Coffee House in Hexham on Hallgate, next to the Old Gaol.

He said: "It’s a tricky one as it really depends on the sector that young people go into. There are more opportunities in bigger cities for certain roles, however, we in Hexham are very fortunate that we have great public transport links so a commute is very easy.

"Spending a lot of time in Hexham was a major pull for me, it’s one of the market towns that still has a real bustle about it. I think people should look for opportunities here, they will most definitely find them as Hexham is a great place to live and work."

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Tom Pearson, Hexham Town Councillor for Priestpopple, said he thinks Hexham is an attractive town for young graduates.

Mr Pearson, who studied at university, said: "It's a great shame for Hexham to lose out on the potential of graduates. More affordable housing and better job opportunities would help Hexham keep its homegrown graduates. It's got great local facilities and amenities," he added. 

Joe Morris, Labour's candidate for the Hexham constituency, said: "Our constituency cannot continue to lose young people - we need an MP who is focused on bringing high-quality jobs to the area so we can make use of our homegrown talent, providing young people and young families with the homes they need and protecting Northumberland’s natural environment.

"Losing graduates damages our local economy and robs our communities of their future. With a Labour MP, we can get Hexham’s future back."

Town councillor for Hexham East Suzanne Fairless Aitken, who graduated from Newcastle University, said she was not surprised by the data.

"I hope my family would want to leave Hexham to pursue other things, and maybe come back once they've made their name. It's a great place to raise families but young people don't want to be in Hexham. We don't want to become a grey town, so we have to have incentives for young people - we need more two-bedroom flats. 

"We need to work on housing and prices and be a bit more gracious to young people. I'd like Hexham to get more of a reputation as a green town than a grey town," she added.