Second main city in Cantabria. It's located close to Santander but Torrelavega still maintains its personality as head city of a metropolitan area of 130.000 people. Capital city of the Saja and Besaya valleys, in spite of its leadership of the most industrialised area of Cantabria, Torrelavega is an important trade centre and a lot of companies have chosen the city as head office.
Torrelavega was just a small village until nineteen century, when its particulary good geographical situation as centre of the Cantabrian Coast and its location near the cross of Santander-Palencia and Irún-A Coruña roads join to the development of essential communication ways as the Santander-Alar del Rey and the Oviedo Bilbao railways were facts that began to atract inversors to Torrelavega and the beginnings of its nowadays urban area.
Companies as Firestone, Solvay et Cie, Aspla/Armando Álvarez or SNIACE have played a key role in the city's industrial development, however nowadays service sector provides Torrelavega the highest percentage of the employment. Cattle national trade market (second in Europe), Cantabrian trade fair or Torrelavega's trade house are good examples of nowadays service sector economical influence.