In Northern England:
- January 1981; demolition of Redcar Pier completed
- 16th April 1981; closure of Blackhall Colliery pit.
- 2nd June 1981; launching of the HMS Ark Royal aircraft carrier (completed 1985) built by Swan Hunters, Wallsend
- 28th June 1981; 12,000 runners took part in the first Great North Run .
- 6th November 1981; official opening of the Queen Elizabeth II bridge over the Tyne, by the Queen.
- 1981; completion of Regent Centre in Gosforth.