Professor Mike Coombes
Prof. of Geographic Information

  • Email:
  • Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 8014
  • Fax: +44 (0) 191 232 9259
  • Address: Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies (CURDS)
    Claremont Bridge [447]
    Newcastle University
    Newcastle upon Tyne NE1 7RU


Mike Coombes has been a researcher in CURDS since the 1970s, becoming a Principal Research Associate in 1989 and Professor of Geographic Information (while still a contract researcher). He was the Executive Director of CURDS for several years in the 2000s, and is now partially retired.

Research Interests

to summarise in keyword form: geographic variation in British people's life chances; local and regional analysis; definition of market and policy areas.

Mike's research interests include the definition of local labour market areas and functional regionalisation. His work aims to improve ways of analysing social and economic statistics so as to maximise the ‘intelligence’ they can provide to policy-makers and others. More specifically, Mike has led a series of projects for the UK government to define Travel to Work Areas (the only official boundaries which are defined by academics).