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Metropolitan Borough of Bolton

Coordinates: 53°34′39″N 2°25′48″W / 53.57750°N 2.43000°W / 53.57750; -2.43000
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Borough of Bolton
Bolton Town Hall, the seat of Bolton Council
Coat of arms of Borough of Bolton
Latin: Supera Moras, lit.'overcome delays'
Bolton shown within Greater Manchester
Bolton shown within Greater Manchester
Coordinates: 53°34′39″N 2°25′48″W / 53.57750°N 2.43000°W / 53.57750; -2.43000
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
RegionNorth West
Ceremonial county and city regionGreater Manchester
Borough status1253
Incorporated1 April 1974
Named forBolton
Administrative HQBolton Town Hall
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • BodyBolton Council
 • ExecutiveLeader and cabinet
 • ControlNo overall control
 • LeaderNick Peel (L)
 • Mayor of BoltonMohammed Ayub
 • MPs
 • Total50 sq mi (140 km2)
 • Rank170th
 • Total298,903
 • Rank48th
 • Density5,540/sq mi (2,138/km2)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC+0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
Postcode area
Dialling code
  • 01204
  • 0161
  • 01942
ISO 3166 codeGB-BOL
GSS codeE08000001

The Metropolitan Borough of Bolton (/ˈbltən/ BOHL-tən) is a metropolitan borough in Greater Manchester, England, named after its largest town, Bolton, but covering a larger area which includes Blackrod, Farnworth, Horwich, Kearsley, Westhoughton, and part of the West Pennine Moors. It had a population of 298,903 in 2022, making it the third-most populous district in Greater Manchester.[3]

The borough is in the historic county of Lancashire, and was created in 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the area of seven former local government districts and part of an eighth; being seven urban districts from the administrative county of Lancashire, and the County Borough of Bolton. The metropolitan districts of Bury, Salford and Wigan lie to the east, south and west respectively; and the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen and the non-metropolitan district of Chorley in Lancashire to the north and north-west.



Bolton Metropolitan Borough was formed on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972, covering the combined areas of seven former local government districts and part of an eighth, which were all abolished at the same time:[5]

As a county borough, the old borough of Bolton had been administratively independent from any county council, but was deemed part of Lancashire for ceremonial purposes.[6] The other seven districts had all been part of the administrative county of Lancashire prior to 1974, with Lancashire County Council serving as their upper tier authority. When the metropolitan borough of Bolton was created in 1974 it was transferred to the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester, with Greater Manchester Council providing county-level services. The Greater Manchester Council was abolished in 1986, after which Bolton became a unitary authority, providing all local government services.

Bolton Council unsuccessfully petitioned Elizabeth II for the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton to be granted city status in 1992 (the Queen's 40th year as monarch), in 2000 (for the Millennium celebrations), in 2002 (Queen's Golden Jubilee), and 2012 (Queen's Diamond Jubilee).[7]



Horwich, Westhoughton and Blackrod are now constituted as civil parishes, each having a town council: Westhoughton Town Council, Horwich Town Council and Blackrod Town Council. The rest of the metropolitan borough, covering the town of Bolton itself, Farnworth, Kearsley, Little Lever, and South Turton, have remained unparished areas since 1974.



Population change


The table below details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton has only existed since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the borough.

Population growth in Bolton since 1801
1801 37,417—    
1811 48,996+30.9%
1821 60,319+23.1%
1831 75,787+25.6%
1841 89,507+18.1%
1851 105,957+18.4%
1861 132,437+25.0%
1871 158,917+20.0%
1881 185,397+16.7%
1891 216,792+16.9%
1901 240,014+10.7%
1911 265,733+10.7%
1921 263,413−0.9%
1931 261,119−0.9%
1941 256,207−1.9%
1951 251,388−1.9%
1961 255,627+1.7%
1971 259,993+1.7%
1981 260,229+0.1%
1991 262,880+1.0%
2001 261,035−0.7%
Pre-1974 statistics were gathered from local government areas that now comprise the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton
Source: Vision of Britain[8]



According to the 2021 census, of the 295,963 people living in Bolton Metropolitan Borough, the following list shows the population of Bolton by ethnicity:[4]



The following table shows the religious identity of people residing in Bolton at the 2021 census.

Religion 2021[4]
Number %
Christian 139,144 47.0
Muslim 58,997 19.9
Jewish 159 0.1
Hindu 5,887 2.0
Sikh 219 0.1
Buddhism 576 0.2
Other religion 979 0.3
No religion 76,244 25.8
Religion not stated 13,758 4.6
Total 295,963 100.0



The Bolton metropolitan area is served by the following railway stations:





In terms of television, the area is served by BBC North West and ITV Granada with television signals received from the Winter Hill TV transmitter near Belmont.[9]



Radio stations for the area are: [10]



The area is served by these local newspapers:



In 2007, Bolton was ranked 69th out of the 149 Local Education Authorities – and sixth out of ten in Greater Manchester – for its National Curriculum assessment performance.[12] Measured on the percentage of pupils attaining at least 5 A*–C grades at GCSE including maths and English, the Bolton LEA was 111th out of 149: 40.1% of pupils achieved this objective, against a national average of 46.7%.[13] Unauthorised absence from Bolton's secondary schools in the 2006/2007 academic year was 1.4%, in line with the national average, and authorised absence was 6.0% against the national average of 6.4%.[14] At GCSE level, Bolton School (Girls' Division) was the most successful of Bolton's 21 secondary schools, with 99% of pupils achieving at least 5 A*–C grades at including maths and English.[15]

The University of Bolton is one of Greater Manchester's four universities. In 2008, The Times Good University Guide ranked it 111th of 113 institutions in Britain.[16] There are 4,440 students (83% undergraduate, 17% postgraduate); 2.6% come from outside Britain. In 2007 there were 8.8 applications for every place, and student satisfaction was recorded as 74.4%. It is one of Britain's newest universities, having been given this status in 2005.[17]

GCSE Examination Performance 2009

Metropolitan Borough of Bolton GCSE performances
School A*-C Pass Rate Point Score
Bolton Muslim Girls' School 100% 533.1
Bolton School (Girls' Division) 98% 546.7
Canon Slade C of E School 93% 508.5
Lord's Independent School 93% 401.5
St Joseph's RC High School 85% 426.6
Madrasatul Imam Muhammed Zakariya 79% 347.3
Al Jamiah Al Islamiyyah at Mount St Joseph's Convent 79% 327.9
Ladybridge High School 78% 437.6
Turton School 76% 396.1
Sharples School 74% 414.1
Westhoughton High School 67% 424.0
Rivington and Blackrod High School 69% 456.7
Essa Academy 67% 383.7
Smithills School 66% 400.8
Little Lever School 61% 442.7
Mount St Joseph School 61% 422.7
Harper Green School 59% 384.7
George Tomlinson School 55% 307.4
Bolton School (Boys' Division) 52% 240.4
Average for Metropolitan Borough of Bolton 71.4% 422.5
Average for England 70.0% 413.5
  • Schools highlighted in yellow are above the LEA average; those highlighted in orange are below the average.
  • Another secondary school, Bolton Muslim Girls' School, has opened since January 2007; no results are available.
  • Source: Department for Children, Schools and Families[permanent dead link]



The local authority is Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council, which styles itself "Bolton Council". Since 2011 it has been a constituent member of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, providing strategic co-ordination of local government across the ten metropolitan boroughs of Greater Manchester. Since 2017 the combined authority has been led by the directly-elected Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Twin towns


The Metropolitan Borough of Bolton has two twin towns, one in France and another in Germany.[18]

Place Country County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
Le Mans France Pays de la Loire County Borough of Bolton 1973
Paderborn Germany Nordrhein-Westfalen Metropolitan Borough of Bolton 1975

Neighbouring districts

The local government districts which surround the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton
Borough of Chorley
Borough of Blackburn with Darwen
North-East and East:
Metropolitan Borough of Bury

Metropolitan Borough of Bolton

Metropolitan Borough of Wigan
City of Salford

Freedom of the Borough


The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough.



Military units



See also



  1. ^ "About your council". Bolton Council. Retrieved 7 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  3. ^ a b "Mid-Year Population Estimates, UK, June 2022". Office for National Statistics. 26 March 2024. Retrieved 3 May 2024.
  4. ^ a b c d UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Bolton Local Authority (E08000001)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  5. ^ "Local Government Act 1972", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 31 August 2022
  6. ^ "Local Government Act 1888", legislation.gov.uk, The National Archives, 1888 c. 41, retrieved 31 August 2022
  7. ^ "It's still worth trying again for city status". theboltonnews.co.uk. 17 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  8. ^ "Bolton District: total population". Vision of Britain. Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  9. ^ "Full Freeview on the Winter Hill (Bolton, England) transmitter". UK Free TV. May 2004. Retrieved 14 June 2024.
  10. ^ "North West Radio Stations". Retrieved 14 June 2024.
  11. ^ "Horwich Advertiser". Retrieved 14 June 2024.
  12. ^ "LEA SATs performance". London: BBC. 6 December 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  13. ^ "How different LEAs performed". London: BBC. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 23 January 2008.
  14. ^ "Secondary schools in Bolton". London: BBC. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Secondary schools in Bolton: GCSE-level". London: BBC. 10 January 2008. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  16. ^ "The University of Bolton". Times Online: Good University Guide website. London: Times Online (Times Newspapers Ltd). 15 August 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  17. ^ "University of Bolton". The Sunday Times University Guide website. London: The Sunday Times (Times Newspapers Ltd). 23 September 2007. Retrieved 25 March 2008.
  18. ^ Bolton Council : Town Twinning. Retrieved 8 January 2010
  19. ^ Harrigan, Joe (8 March 2022). "Sir Jason Kenny hailed for 'outstanding career' with Freedom of Bolton honour". The Bolton News. Retrieved 23 March 2022.
  20. ^ "The Freedom of Bolton". www.boltonsmayors.org.uk.