Ellesmere Port shown within Cheshire
|Population||61,090 (2011 Census)|
|OS grid reference|
|Unitary authority||Cheshire West and Chester|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Post town||ELLESMERE PORT|
|Postcode district||CH65, CH66|
|EU Parliament||North West England|
|UK Parliament||Ellesmere Port and Neston|
Ellesmere Port // is a large town and port in Cheshire, England. It is situated south of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, and to the north of the city of Chester. The town had a population of 61,090 at the 2011 census.
The town has a primarily service sector economy however it has retained a large industrial sector including the oil refinery at Stanlow and a former ICI chemical works. The town is also home to the Vauxhall Motors car factory, where the Astra range of cars is produced. There are a number of tourist attractions: the National Waterways Museum, the Blue Planet Aquarium and the Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet.
The town of Ellesmere Port was founded at the outlet of the never completed Ellesmere Canal. The canal now renamed was designed and engineered by William Jessop and Thomas Telford as part of a project to connect the rivers Severn, Mersey and Dee. The canal was intended to be completed in sections, in 1795 the section between the River Mersey at Netherpool and the River Dee at Chester was opened, however the canal never reached the River Severn due to financial problems.
The village of Netherpool gradually changed its name to the Port of Ellesmere, and by the early 19th century, to Ellesmere Port. Settlements had existed in the area since the writing of the Domesday Book in the 11th century, which mentions Great Sutton, Little Sutton, Pool (now Overpool) and Hooton. The first houses in Ellesmere Port itself, however, grew up around the docks and the first main street was Dock Street, which now houses the National Waterways Museum. Station Road, which connected the docks with the village of Whitby, also gradually developed and as more shops were needed, some of the houses became retail premises. As the expanding industrial areas growing up around the canal and its docks attracted more workers to the area, the town itself continued to expand.
By the mid-20th century, thanks to the opening of the Manchester Ship Canal in 1894 and the Stanlow Oil Refinery in the 1920s, the town had expanded so that it now incorporated the villages of Great and Little Sutton, Hooton, Whitby, Overpool and Rivacre as suburbs. The town centre itself had moved from the Station Road/Dock Street area, to an area that had once been home to a stud farm (indeed, the former Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council officially referred to the town centre as Stud Farm for housing allocation purposes) around the crossroads of Sutton Way/Stanney Lane and Whitby Road.
In the 20th century, a number of new housing estates were developed, many of them on the sites of former farms such as Hope Farm and Grange Farm. Many estates consisted of both council housing and privately owned houses and flats.
Ellesmere Port, in recent times has had an influx of Liverpool immigrants. Thus demand for housing increased with the opening of the Vauxhall Motors car plant in 1962. Opened as a components supplier to the Luton plant, passenger car production began in 1964 with the Vauxhall Viva. Today the plant is now Vauxhall's only car factory in Britain, since the end of passenger car production at the Luton plant in 2004 (where commercial vehicles are still made). Ellesmere Port currently produces the Vauxhall Astra model on two shifts, employing 2,500 people.
In the mid-1980s, the Port Arcades, a covered shopping mall was built in the town centre. By the 1990s, it was the retail sector rather than the industrial that was attracting workers and their families to the town. This was boosted with the building of the Cheshire Oaks outlet village and the Coliseum shopping park, which also included a multiplex cinema; prior to this since the closure of the cinema in Station Road, Little Sutton (Queen's cinema) and the King's cinema adjacent to Ellesmere Port railway station in the 1960s the town's only cinema had been a single screen in the EPIC Leisure Centre.
The town continues to grow and expand, and more housing estates and shops are being built. The industrial sector is still a major employer in the town although in recent years, a number of factories have been closed and jobs lost. Marks & Spencer have built (September 2012) what is being claimed to be their largest store apart from Marble Arch on a site opposite to the Coliseum shopping park.
Ellesmere Port was nearly included into the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside, when that was formed on 1 April 1974. It was removed from the proposals before the Local Government Act 1972 had its first reading, and instead remained in Cheshire as part of the borough of Ellesmere Port and Neston.
Plans were announced which proposed combining the borough of Ellesmere Port and Neston with the Chester and Vale Royal districts to form a new "West Cheshire" unitary authority. The new unitary authority came into being on 1 April 2009 as Cheshire West and Chester. The Conservatives won control of this council in shadow elections in May 2008, winning a majority of seats in the Ellesmere Port area for the first time.
The following are the 4 most recent mayors of Ellesmere Port:
|Gareth Anderson||May 2010||May 2011||29||Ledsham and Manor||Little Sutton|
|Angela Claydon||May 2011||May 2012||47||St Pauls||Excelsior Springs|
|Patricia Merrick||May 2012||May 2013||56||Rossmore||Hapsford|
|Bob Crompton||May 2013||Present||57||Whitby||Chester|
The main religion of Ellesmere Port is Christianity with 70% of the population. 10.2% have no religion. 6.9% are unspecified. 0.8% are Muslim and 0.1% are Buddhist.
- Blue Planet Aquarium, largest aquarium in the UK 1998-1999.
- Cheshire Oaks Designer Outlet, largest outlet village in the UK 1995–present, largest outlet village in Europe 1995-1998. It is the location of the UK's largest artificial Christmas tree, 90 feet (27 m) tall and 32 feet (9.8 m) wide.
- The Coliseum Retail Park, retail outlet located next to Cheshire Oaks Outlet.
- Sports and Leisure Village, £15 million sports village due to open in late 2015.
- Marks & Spencer, 2nd largest store in the UK.
- National Waterways Museum, largest canal boat collection in the world.
- Stanlow Oil Refinery, 2nd largest industrial space in the UK.
Localities of Ellesmere Port include:
- Backford Cross
- Canal Village
- Childer Thornton
- Chandlers Edge
- The Coliseum
- Great Sutton
- Hope Farm
- Little Stanney
- Little Sutton
- Pioneer Park
- Stanney Grange
- Strawberry Fields
Ellesmere Port is located near the interchange of the M56 and the M53 motorways. The A41 road between Birkenhead and Chester, also passes through the area. Ellesmere Port railway station is on the Wirral Line of the Merseyrail network and has a half-hourly electric train service to Chester and Liverpool. There is also an infrequent service to Helsby, with the route passing through Stanlow and Ince & Elton.
The Manchester Ship Canal joins the Mersey estuary north-west of Ellesmere Port at Eastham, but the town is also the northern terminus of the Shropshire Union Canal (which used to exchange goods with seagoing boats at what is now the National Waterways Museum).
There is a bus station in the town centre with frequent services to Chester, Liverpool, Runcorn, Elton, Ince and Neston. There are some services to Mold, North Wales. Occasional National Express coaches serve the bus station. Most services are operated by Arriva North West & Wales, First Chester & The Wirral, GHA Coaches and Helms of Eastham.
Speedway racing operated at the stadium in Thornton Road in the mid to late 1970s and in the 1980s; since March 2013, the stadium has been back in use for greyhound racing. Ellesmere Port Gunners raced in the lower tier Leagues. Ellesmere Port Town F.C. was once of town's main football team before the founding of Vauxhall Motors F.C. in 1963. Ellesmere Port Town F.C. was founded in 1948 and folded in 1973. The club's main achievements were playing in the Northern Premier League (The 7th tier in the English Football Pyramid) and reaching the F.A. Cup First Round in the 1971-1972 season, losing 3-0 to Boston United. Vauxhall Motors F.C. are the local football team.
In 2012 Ellesmere Port played host to the Paralympic Flame as part of the Paralympic Torch Relay celebrations. West Cheshire Colleges campus in Ellesmere Port was one of the drop off points for the flame as well as the EPIC leisure centre and the David Lloyd Leisure Centre. Events included sporting demonstrations and the parade of the Paralympic flame.
Construction began in January 2014 for the new multi-million pound Sports Village in Stanney Grange which will incorporate an olympic sized swimming venue, tennis courts, football pitches and other sport halls. The village will be situated on site of the old Stanney High School by Cheshire Oaks, the Coliseum and M&S.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (June 2009)|
The following people are natives of Ellesmere Port, or have lived there for a period of time.
- Comedian Russ Abbot grew up in the town's Wolverham district.
- Lillian Beckwith, author, grew up in Ellesmere Port the daughter of a grocer as chronicled in her book About My Father's Business.
- Sam Chedgzoy, footballer who played for Everton between 1910-1926.
- Rita Cullis, operatic soprano, was born in Ellesmere Port.
- Stan Cullis, former Wolverhampton Wanderers player and manager was born in Ellesmere Port on 25 October 1916. Like his friend Joe Mercer he played football for Cambridge Road School and Ellesmere Port Boys.
- Anastasia Dobromyslova, former Women's World Professional Darts Champion lives in the town.
- Dave Hickson, footballer who played for Everton, Liverpool and Tranmere Rovers. Born in Ellesmere Port in 1929. He worked for Ellesmere Port and Neston Borough Council before returning to Everton, where he works as an ambassador for the club.
- Beverley Hughes, Labour MP and former government minister, born and educated in the town and still has family connections
- Stove King, bass player with Chester band Mansun, born and grew up here
- Hardeep Singh Kohli, TV presenter and personality lived briefly in the Little Sutton area.
- Lee Latchford Evans from pop group Steps grew up here.
- Joe Mercer, England football international and manager was born in Ellesmere Port on 9 August 1914. He played football for Cambridge Road School and was selected to play for Ellesmere Port Boys against Chester Boys in January 1929. Mercer led Manchester City to the 1968 First Division championship, and went on to win the FA Cup (1969), League Cup (1970) and European Cup Winners' Cup (1970).
- John Prescott, The ex-Deputy Prime Minister attended the Grange Secondary Modern School in 1948.
- Ian Prowse, singer/songwriter formerly of Pele and Amsterdam
- Joshua Shaw, an Anglo-American artist and inventor
- Rob Jones, former footballer for Liverpool and England, grew up in the town.
- Graham Turner, current Shrewsbury Town and former Wolverhampton Wanderers, Aston Villa and Hereford United manager
- Johannah Leedham, Team GB women's basketball captain for London 2012 is from Ellesmere Port.
- Harrison, Henry (1898). The place-names of the Liverpool district; or, the history and meaning of the local and river names of south-west Lancashire and of Wirral. Elliot Stock. Retrieved 2012-12-23.
- "Ellesmere Port car factory- Vauxhall, Opel". Factorytour.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-05-20.
- Future of local government in Cheshire, Ellesmere Port & Neston Borough Council, retrieved 27 July 2007
- Andrew, James (2012-11-11). "Britain's largest Christmas tree goes up in Cheshire". Mail Online (Associated Newspapers Ltd). Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- "Cheshire Oaks bosses plan huge Christmas event". The Chester Standard (NWN Media Ltd). 2012-10-24. Retrieved 2012-11-24.
- "Our Place neighbourhood map". Cheshire West and Chester Council. 2010. Retrieved 2012-11-22.
- "Topic Paper – Ellesmere Port – 2 National, regional and local context". Cheshire West and Chester Council. 2009. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
- "Ellesmere Port welcomes Paralympic flame". Chesterfirst (NWN Media). 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-11-23.
- Rita Cullis: Biography (accessed 31 March 2010)
- Local Newspaper
- National Waterways Museum (formerly the Boat Museum)
- The Blue Planet Aquarium
- Ellesmere Port & Neston Community Transport (Local Charity)