New research reported in Heritage Counts 2016 shows the importance of heritage for building pride and vision in a place and generating nearly £500million into the regional economy.
It comes as membership of national heritage organisations has increased significantly.
Northumberland Tourism’s Independent Spirit brand has been built around a desire to protect and promote the county’s cultural heritage and traditions.
Heritage Counts is prepared by Historic England on behalf of the North East Historic Environment Forum.
Chairman of the Forum, Tony Gates, said: “This report shows that heritage provides a positive focus for economic development by helping to boost investment and tourism with heritage tourism generating £484million in direct spending across the North East and Tees Valley.”