North West England
|North West England|
North West England region in England
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|• Leaders' board||North West Regional Leaders Board|
|• EP constituency||North West England|
|• Total||5,469 sq mi (14,165 km2)|
|• Density||1,300/sq mi (500/km2)|
|• Total||£141 billion|
|• Per capita||£18,438 (5th)|
|This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of
North West England, one of nine official regions of England, consists of the five counties of Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Merseyside. The North West had a population of 7,052,000 in 2011. It is the third most populated region in the United Kingdom after the South East and Greater London.
- 1 Geography
- 2 Local government
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Cities and towns
- 5 Elected regional assembly
- 6 European Parliament
- 7 History
- 8 Transport
- 9 Economy
- 10 Education
- 11 Local media
- 12 Town and city twinnings
- 13 Football
- 14 Rugby League
- 15 Weather
- 16 See also
- 17 References
- 18 External links
North West England is bounded to the east by the Peak District and the Pennines and to the west by the Irish Sea. The region extends from the Scottish Borders in the north to the West Midlands region in the south. To its southwest is North Wales. Amongst the better known of the North West's physiographical features are the Lake District and the Cheshire Plain. The highest point in North West England (and the highest peak in England) is Scafell Pike, Cumbria, at a height of 3,209 feet (978 m).
A mix of rural and urban landscape, two large conurbations, centred on Liverpool and Manchester, occupy much of the south of the region. The north of the region, comprising Cumbria and northern Lancashire, is largely rural, as is the far south which encompasses parts of the Cheshire Plain and Peak District.
The region includes parts of three National parks (all of the Lake District, and small parts of the Peak District and the Yorkshire Dales) and three areas of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (all of Arnside and Silverdale and the Solway Coast, and almost all of the Forest of Bowland).
The official region consists of the following subdivisions:
|Map||Ceremonial county||County/Unitary||Metropolitan/non-metropolitan districts|
|Cheshire||1. Cheshire East U.A.|
|2. Cheshire West and Chester U.A.|
|3. Halton U.A.|
|4. Warrington U.A.|
|5. Cumbria||a) Barrow-in-Furness, b) South Lakeland, c) Copeland, d) Allerdale, e) Eden, f) Carlisle|
|6. Greater Manchester *||a) Bolton, b) Bury, c) Manchester, d) Oldham, e) Rochdale, f) Salford, g) Stockport, h) Tameside, i) Trafford, j) Wigan|
|Lancashire||7. Lancashire †||a) West Lancashire, b) Chorley, c) South Ribble, d) Fylde, e) Preston, f) Wyre, g) Lancaster, h) Ribble Valley, i) Pendle, j) Burnley, k) Rossendale, l) Hyndburn|
|8. Blackpool U.A.|
|9. Blackburn with Darwen U.A.|
|10. Merseyside *||a) Knowsley, b) Liverpool, c) St. Helens, d) Sefton, e) Wirral|
After abolition of the Greater Manchester and Merseyside County Councils in 1986, power was transferred to the Metropolitan Boroughs, effectively making them Unitary Authorities. In April 2011, Greater Manchester gained a top-tier administrative body in the form of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which means the 10 Greater Manchester Boroughs are once again second-tier authorities.
Population, density and settlements
Source: Office for National Statistics Mid Year Population Estimates
|Region/County||Population||Population Density||Largest town/city||Largest urban area|
|Greater Manchester||2,629,400||2,016/km²||Manchester (510,700) (2012 est.)||Greater Manchester Urban Area (2,240,230)|
|Lancashire||1,449,600||468/km²||Blackpool (142,100)||Preston/Chorley/Leyland Urban Area (335,000)|
|Merseyside||1,353,600||2,118/km²||Liverpool (466,415)||Liverpool Urban Area (816,000)|
|Cheshire||1,003,600||424/km²||Warrington (202,228)||Warrington (202,228)|
|Cumbria||496,200||73/km²||Carlisle (71,773)||Carlisle (71,773)|
North West England's population accounts for just over 13% of England's overall population. 37.86% of the North West's population resides in Greater Manchester, 21.39% in Lancashire, 20.30% in Merseyside, 14.76% in Cheshire and 7.41% live in the largest county by area, Cumbria.
According to 2009 Office for National Statistics estimates, 91.6% (6,323,300) of people in the region describe themselves as 'White': 88.4% (6,101,100) White British, 1.0% (67,200) White Irish and 2.2% (155,000) White Other.
The Mixed Race population makes up 1.3% (93,800) of the region's population. There are 323,800 South Asians, making up 4.7% of the population, and 1.1% Black Britons (80,600). 0.6% of the population (39,900) are Chinese and 0.5% (36,500) of people belong to another ethnic group.
North West England is a very diverse region, with Manchester and Liverpool amongst the most diverse cities in Europe. 19.4% of Blackburn with Darwen's population are Muslim, the third highest among all local authorities in the United Kingdom and the highest outside London. Areas such as Moss Side in Greater Manchester are home to a 30%+ Black British population. In contrast, the town of St. Helens in Merseyside, unusually for a city area, has a very low percentage of ethnic minorities with 98% identifying as White British. The City of Liverpool, over 800 years old, is one of the few places in Britain where ethnic minority populations can be traced back over dozens of generations: being the closest major English city to Ireland, it is home to a significant Irish population, and links to the British Slave Trade resulted in the city being home to one of the first ever Afro-Caribbean communities in the UK.
- There are around 400,000 people living in the North West of any Asian ethnicity
- Around 125,000 people from the North West are of full or partial Sub-African and/or Caribbean descent
- The single largest non-white ethnic group in the North West are Pakistanis, numbering at least 144,400
Place of birth
The list below is not how many people belong to each ethnic group (e.g. there are over 25,000 ethnic Italians in Manchester alone, whilst only 6,000 Italian-born people live in the North West). The fifteen most common countries of birth in 2001 for North West citizens were as follows (2008 estimates, where available, in brackets)
- England – 6,169,753
- Scotland – 109,163
- Wales – 73,850
- Ireland – 56,887 (51,000 in 2008)
- Pakistan – 46,529 (58,000 in 2008)
- Northern Ireland – 34,879
- India – 34,600 (48,000 in 2008)
- Germany – 19,931 (25,000 in 2008)
- China and Hong Kong – 15,491
- Bangladesh – 13,746
- South Africa – 7,740
- United States – 7,037
- Jamaica – 6,661
- Italy – 6,325
- Australia – 5,880
- Poland – (37,000 in 2008)
The table below is based on the 2011 UK Census.
|Region||Christian||Muslim||Hindu||Sikh||Jewish||Buddhist||Other||No Religion/ Not Stated|
|North West England||67.3%||5.1%||0.5%||0.1%||0.4%||0.3%||0.3%||26.0%|
One in five of the population in the North West is Catholic, a result of large-scale Irish emigration in the nineteenth century as well as the high number of English recusants in Lancashire.
For top-tier authorities, Manchester has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the region. For council districts, Burnley has the highest rate, closely followed by Hyndburn, both in Lancashire. For top-tier authorities, Cheshire has the lowest teenage pregnancy rate. For council districts, Eden has the lowest rate closely followed by South Lakeland, both in Cumbria.
Of the nine regions of the England, the North West has the fourth highest GVA per capita - the highest outside southern England. Despite this the region has above average multiple deprivation with wealth heavily concentrated on very affluent areas the like rural Cheshire, rural Lancashire and south Cumbria. As measured by the Indices of deprivation 2007, the region has many more Lower Layer Super Output Areas in the 20% most deprived districts than the 20% least deprived council districts. Only North East England shows more indicators of deprivation than the North West, but the number of affluent areas in the North West is very similar to Yorkshire and the Humber.
The most deprived council districts in the region are, in descending order – Liverpool (1st in England), Manchester (4th), Knowsley (5th), Blackpool (12th), Salford (15th), Blackburn with Darwen (17th), Burnley (21st), Rochdale (25th), Barrow-in-Furness (29th), Halton (30th), Hyndburn (40th), Oldham (42nd), Pendle (44th), St Helens (47th), Preston (48th), Bolton (51st), Tameside (56th), Wirral (60th), Wigan (67th), Copeland (78th), Sefton (83rd) and Rossendale (92nd). These areas mostly have Labour MPs except for Conservative MPs in the west part of Wirral and Rossendale, and Lib Dem MPs in Sefton (Southport), Manchester (Withington) and Burnley. Rossendale and Burnley are the only two of these not to have a Labour council.
In 2007 when Cheshire still had district councils, the least deprived council districts in the region by council district, in descending order, were – Congleton, Ribble Valley, Macclesfield, and South Lakeland. These areas have Conservative MPs, except South Lakeland has a Lib Dem and Labour MPs. At county level, before it was split into two, Cheshire was the least deprived, followed by Trafford, and by Warrington and Stockport.
In March 2011, the overall unemployment claimant count was 4.2% for the region. Inside the region the highest was Liverpool with 6.8%, followed by Knowsley on 6.3%, Halton with 5.5% and Rochdale with 5.1%. The lowest claimant count is in Eden (Cumbria) and Ribble Valley (Lancashire) each with 1.3%, followed by South Lakeland with 1.4%.
In the 2015 general election, the area was dominated by the Labour Party. 45% of the region's electorate voted Labour, 31% Conservative, 14% UKIP, 6% Liberal Democrat and 3% Greens; however, by number of parliamentary seats, Labour have 51, the Conservatives have 22, and the Liberal Democrats have 2. The Lib Dems' North West seats are in Southport and south Cumbria; Labour dominates Greater Manchester, and the Conservatives' vote is concentrated in affluent suburban areas such as Cheadle, Hazel Grove and Altrincham and Sale West. Labour seats also predominate in Merseyside. Cheshire is mostly Conservative, and Lancashire is competitive between Labour and Conservative (8 seats each); the Labour seats in Lancashire are concentrated in the south of the county along the M65. For the region, the Conservatives gained 3 seats, ; there was a 2.8% swing from Conservative to Labour.
In the 2009 European Election, 26% voted Conservative, 20% Labour, 16% UKIP and 14.3% Liberal Democrat.
Language and dialect
The earliest known language spoken in the North West was a dialect of the Brythonic language spoken across much of Britain from at least the Iron Age up to the arrival of English in the first millennium AD. Fragments of this early language are seen in the inscriptions and place names of the Roman era. In some parts of the region, the Brythonic dialect developed into the medieval language known today as Cumbric, which continued to be spoken perhaps as late as the 12th century in the north of Cumbria. This early Celtic heritage remains today in place names such as Carlisle, Penrith and Eccles, and many river names such as Cocker, Kent and Eden.
English may have been spoken in the North West from around the 7th century AD, when the Anglo-Saxon kingdom of Northumbria first appears to have made inroads west of the Pennines. The language at this time would have been the Northumbrian dialect of Old English. The high percentage of English place names in the region as a whole suggests English became almost ubiquitous over the coming centuries, particularly in the area south of the Lake District. Manchester, Liverpool, Lancaster, Blackburn and Preston are among the region's many English place names. In the 9th-11th centuries, Danes from the east and Norsemen from Ireland and Scotland began settling in the area. The North West is really the only area of England where Norse settlement was significant and their influence remains in the place names and dialect of the region. Elements like fell, thwaite and tarn, which are particularly common in Cumbria, are all Norse. The numerous Kirkbys and place names with 'holm' and 'dale' show the Scandinvian influence throughout the North West.
Through the Middle Ages the dialects of the North West would have been considerably different from those spoken in the Midlands and south. It was only with the spread of literacy (particularly with the publication of the King James Bible) that Standard English spread to the region. Even so, local dialects continued to be used and were relatively widespread until the 19th and 20th centuries.
In modern times, English is the most spoken language in the North West, with a large percentage of the population fluent in it, and close to 100% conversational in it. To the north-east of the region, within the historic boundaries of Cumberland, the Cumbrian dialect is dominant. The historical county of Lancashire covered a vast amount of land, and the Lancashire dialect and accent is still predominant throughout the county, and stretches as far north as Furness in South Cumbria to parts of north Greater Manchester and Merseyside in the south of the region. The region boasts some of the most distinctive accents in the form of the Scouse accent, which originates from Liverpool and its surrounding areas, and the Manc accent, deriving from the central Manchester district. The region's accents are among those referred to as 'Northern English'.
Large immigrant populations in the North West result in the presence of significant immigrant languages. South Asian languages such as Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi are widespread, with the largest amount of speakers residing in Preston, Blackburn and Manchester. The Chinese once made up the largest minority in the region (as Liverpool has one of the oldest Chinese settlements in Europe), and still do to the far north where Chinese is spoken by small but significant communities. Since the enlargement of the EU, over 1 million Poles have immigrated to the UK, a large number of them settling in the North West. Places such as Crewe as well as larger cities make Polish written information available for the public, to much controversy. Other immigrant languages with a presence in the North West are Spanish, mainly amongst the Latin American communities in Liverpool and Manchester, as well as various other Eastern European and Asian languages.
The most taught languages in schools across the North West are English, French and German. Spanish and Italian are available at more senior levels and, in cities such as Manchester and Liverpool, even Urdu and Mandarin are being taught to help maintain links between the local minority populations.
|NUTS 1||Code||NUTS 2||Code||NUTS 3||Code|
|North West England||UKD||Cumbria||UKD1||West Cumbria (Allerdale, Barrow-in-Furness, Copeland)||UKD11|
|East Cumbria (Carlisle, Eden, South Lakeland)||UKD12|
|Cheshire West and Chester||UKD63|
|Greater Manchester||UKD3||Greater Manchester South (Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford)||UKD31|
|Greater Manchester North (Bolton, Bury, Oldham, Rochdale, Wigan)||UKD32|
|Lancashire||UKD4||Blackburn with Darwen||UKD41|
|Merseyside||UKD7||East Merseyside (Knowsley, St Helens and Halton)||UKD71|
Cities and towns
Population > 400,000
Population > 100,000
- Warrington, CH
- Blackpool, LA
- Bolton, GM
- Stockport, GM
- Preston, LA
- Blackburn, LA
- Oldham, GM
- St Helens, ME
- Chester, CH
Population > 70,000
Population > 50,000
- Barrow-in-Furness, CU
- Crewe, CH
- Wythenshawe, GM
- Ellesmere Port, CH
- Runcorn, CH
- Bury, GM
- Bootle, ME
- Wallasey, ME
- Huyton, ME
- Widnes, CH
- Sale, GM
- Crosby, ME
- Macclesfield, CH
Population > 30,000
- Lancaster, LA
- Middleton, GM
- Morecambe, LA
- Stretford, GM
- Ashton-under-Lyne, GM
- Leigh, GM
- Swinton, GM
- Lytham St Annes, LA
- Urmston, GM
- Kirkby, ME
- Walkden, GM
- Altrincham, GM
- Romiley, GM
- Leyland, LA
- Skelmersdale, LA
- Eccles, GM
- Accrington, LA
- Darwen, LA
- Denton, GM
- Radcliffe, GM
- Tyldesley, GM
- Chorley, LA
- Chadderton, GM
- Prestwich, GM
- Hyde, GM
- Thornton-Cleveleys, LA
- Wilmslow, CH
- Winsford, CH
- Reddish, GM
Population > 20,000
- Northwich, CH
- Nelson, LA
- Cheadle Hulme, GM
- Maghull, ME
- Ashton-in-Makerfield, GM
- Heywood, GM
- Fleetwood, LA
- Kendal, CU
- Whitehaven, CU
- Farnworth, GM
- South Turton, GM
- Workington, CU
- Formby, ME
- Saddleworth, GM
- Bramhall, GM
- Marple, GM
- Hindley, GM
- Ormskirk, LA
- Whitefield, GM
- Droylsden, GM
- Golborne, GM
- Westhoughton, GM
- Congleton, CH
- Stalybridge, GM
- Litherland, ME
- Clitheroe, LA
- Rawtenstall, LA
- Shaw and Crompton, GM
- Penwortham, LA
- Newton-le-Willows, ME
- Atherton, GM
- Royton, GM
- Woodley, GM
- Gatley, GM
- Failsworth, GM
- Halewood, ME
- Horwich, GM
- Hazel Grove, GM
- Dukinfield, GM
- Colne, LA
- Poulton-le-Fylde, LA
- Irlam, GM
- Sandbach, CH
- Moreton, ME
- Ramsbottom, GM
- Nantwich, CH
- Upton, ME
- Haslingden, LA
- Pendlebury, GM
The five largest metropolitan areas in the North West are as follows:
- Greater Manchester metropolitan area – 2,556,000
- Liverpool/Birkenhead metropolitan area – 2,241,000
- Blackburn/Burnley – 391,000
- Preston – 354,000
- Blackpool −304,000
Liverpool and Manchester are sometimes considered parts of a single large polynuclear metropolitan area, or megalopolis but are usually treated as separate metropolitan areas. In some studies, part of Wigan in Greater Manchester is considered part of the Liverpool metropolitan area.
Elected regional assembly
It is one of the two regions (along with Yorkshire and the Humber) that were expected to hold a referendum on the establishment of an elected regional assembly. However, when the North East region of England rejected having an elected regional assembly in a referendum, further referendums were cancelled and the proposals for elected regional assemblies in England put on hold. The regional leaders' forum, 4NW, an unelected quango, is based on Waterside Drive in Wigan.
The North West England European Parliament constituency has the same boundaries as the Region.
Ten English regions were established by the government in 1994. At that time, Merseyside, which already had its own Government Office, formerly the Merseyside Task Force, was regarded as a separate region. In 1998, Merseyside was merged into the North West region. This action was controversial in some quarters. Regional Government Offices were abolished in April 2011 by the Coalition Government.
Sir Ernest Marsden (of Blackburn) and Hans Geiger conducted the Geiger–Marsden experiment at the University of Manchester in 1909, where the Geiger counter was invented, which demonstrated the existence of the atomic nucleus. Sir J. J. Thomson of Cheetham Hill discovered the electron (given its name in 1891 by George Johnstone Stoney) in April 1897 and received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1906; his son George Paget Thomson would win the Nobel Prize for Physics 1937 for discovering electron diffraction (at the University of Aberdeen). John Dalton, from Cumbria and moved to Manchester, developed atomic theory. William Sturgeon of Lancashire invented the electromagnet in 1825.
Sydney Chapman, a mathematician from Eccles, in 1930 explained the ozone-oxygen cycle in the stratosphere, being the first to propose that atmospheric oxygen or ozone molecules absorb (harmful UVB and UVC) ultraviolet wavelengths of light in photolysis, to produce reactive single atoms which accumulate to form the ozone layer.
At the Calico Printers' Association in Manchester in 1941, John Rex Whinfield and James Tennant Dickson discovered polyethylene terephthalate, known as PET, a common polyester compound found in plastic bottles and food, and also known as Terylene or Dacron. Cheslene and Crepes of Macclesfield discovered crimplene (the fabric that is now referred to as polyester). ICI Dyestuffs at Hexagon House, in Blackley in north Manchester, discovered Procion dyes.
Halothane, the main general anaesthetic gas, was discovered in 1951 at ICI's Widnes Laboratory by Wallasey's Charles Suckling, and first tested on a patient in Manchester in 1956; it works by binding to the GABA receptor. Sir John Charnley of Bury invented the hip replacement in 1962 at Wrightington, Lancashire, north-west of Wigan. Clatterbridge Hospital in Bebington has a cyclotron (linear accelerator), and is the only hospital in the UK to offer proton therapy.
Alderley Park opened in October 1957, and ICI Pharmaceuticals was formed in the same year. In 1962 Dora Richardson of ICI discovered tamoxifen. ICI Alderley Park later discovered Anastrozole, Fulvestrant, Goserelin and Bicalutamide, later made by Zeneca. Sir James Black discovered beta blockers - propranolol (Inderal) at Alderley Park in 1962.
Clifford Cocks and James H. Ellis from Cheshire, with Malcolm J. Williamson, invented the RSA (algorithm) in 1973 at GCHQ, used for public-key cryptography. Sir Richard Owen from Lancaster coined the word dinosaur in 1842.
The Liverpool and Manchester Railway was the world's first passenger inter-city railway in 1830. Manchester Liverpool Road railway station is the world's oldest surviving railway station, having opened in September 1830. Chat Moss was a problem to constructing the railway, with Edge Hill Tunnel and Sankey Viaduct; the line was bitterly opposed by William Molyneux, 2nd Earl of Sefton. The Bridgewater Canal was the first recognised canal of the modern era. Francis Egerton, 3rd Duke of Bridgewater had visited France and noted their canals. John Gilbert had the innovative idea to use water pumped out of his coal mines to fill a canal from the Duke's Worsley mines to Manchester. It was designed by James Brindley and built in 1761.
The Bridgewater Foundry in Patricroft (Salford), can claim to be the world's first factory with an assembly line type arrangement in 1836. Joseph Huddart of Cumbria was the first to mechanise the production of rope in 1793. The Spinning jenny was invented in 1764 in Lancashire by James Hargreaves, a mechanical advance on the spinning wheel.
The University of Manchester built the world's first programmable computer, the Manchester Small-Scale Experimental Machine, on 21 June 1948. The first commercially available computer, the Ferranti Mark 1, was made in Manchester and sold in February 1951 to the University of Manchester. The world's first transitorised computer was the Manchester Transistor Computer in November 1953. Atlas was another important computer developed at the University of Manchester, largely developed by Tom Kilburn; at the time in 1962 it was most powerful computer in the world. The government had dropped its financial support of this computer, and was only funded by Ferranti - the total development cost was around £1m. Britain was leading the world at this time in computing, with the only main competitor being IBM; after the mid-1950s America took over the industry. The spreadsheet was invented in 1974, known as the Works Record System, and used an ADABAS database on a IBM 3270 at ICI in Northwich; it was developed by Dr Robert Mais and it was around four years before (the more well-known) VisiCalc in 1978.
Parsonage Colliery at Leigh had the UK's deepest mine - 1,260 metres in 1949. Macclesfield was the base of UK's silk weaving industry. John Benjamin Dancer of Manchester invented microphotography in 1839, which would lead to microform in the 1920s. Frank Hornby from Liverpool invented Meccano in 1901, where Meccano Ltd would be based for over 60 years. Bryant and May's site in Garston was the last wooden match factory in the UK, closing in 1994 to become The Matchworks business centre off the A561 west of the former Speke airport. Cottonopolis was the industrial name for Manchester and the local area.
Kirkby was planned in the 1950s as the largest trading estate in Britain - 1,800 acres. Trafford Park is the world's first planned industrial estate. Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers opened their first co-operative outlet on 21 December 1844.
Alastair Pilkington invented the float glass method of manufacture in 1957 at St Helens, announcing it in January 1959. Pears soap, made at Port Sunlight, is the world's first registered brand, and world's oldest brand in existence. Elihu Thomson, born in Manchester who subsequently moved to America, formed Thomson-CSF which became Thales Group in 2000. The British part (British Thomson-Houston) would later become part of GEC; he invented the arc lamp. Henry Brunner from Liverpool would join with Ludwig Mond in the 1860s to form a chemical company which became ICI in 1926.
The Chain Home radar transmitters were built by Metrovick at its Trafford Park Works, which became part of AEI in 1929, GEC in 1968, and as Alstom it was closed in June 2000. 2ZY, the first broadcasts in the north of England, were made from the Metrovick factory in November 1922, which became part of the BBC National Programme in 1927. GEC opened its first factory in Manchester in 1888, moving to Salford in 1895 at the Peel Works, and had built the Osram electric light company in 1893. The Metropolitan-Vickers F.2 of Trafford Park Works, Manchester was the first axial-flow jet engine, with a nine-stage compressor, first running in 1941. It would end up as the Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire and the American-built Wright J65. The F.2 gas turbine would power MGB.2009 the first gas-turbine-powered vessel in 1947.
Calder Hall was the world's first nuclear power station in 1956. There are approximately 430 nuclear power stations around the world, and the UK is the third most experienced operator of nuclear reactors after the USA and France, and is the world's ninth largest producer of nuclear-generated electricity, with nine stations operating in the UK producing around 10GW. New-build nuclear power stations will either be the AP1000 or EPR design. Operation Hurricane on 3 October 1952, Britain's first nuclear bomb, detonated on HMS Plym on the Montebello Islands in the state of Western Australia, was made of plutonium-239 mostly made at Windscale (which began production in 1950), with some possibly from Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario, Canada.
W. T. Glover & Co. of Salford were important electricity cable manufacturers throughout the early 20th century. BAE Systems Wind Tunnel Department at Warton - one its four wind tunnels - the High Speed Wind Tunnel - can test speeds intermittently up to Mach 3.8 (trisonic) - the second fastest in the UK, to the University of Manchester's Aero-Physics Laboratory which has a hypersonic wind tunnel up to Mach 6. Prof Osborne Reynolds of Owens College (which became the Victoria University of Manchester in 1904), known worldwide for his Reynolds number (introduced elsewhere by the mathematician George Gabriel Stokes), showed in the early 1880s that wind tunnels (invented by Francis Herbert Wenham in 1871) could model large-scale objects accurately. BAE Systems Regional Aircraft assembled Britain's last airliner, the British Aerospace 146 (Avro RJX), at Woodford in November 2001. The Merlin-powered Avro Tudor G-AGPF, which took off from what is now Manchester Airport on 14 June 1945, was Britain's first pressurised civilian aircraft; only 38 were built and it was designed for the North Atlantic route.
Robert Whitehead of Bolton invented the modern-day torpedo in 1866. Sir William Pickles Hartley of Lancashire founded Hartley's Jam in 1871, building a purpose-built village at Aintree. Sir Henry Tate also came from Lancashire, joining Abram Lyle in 1921, of whose Golden Syrup tins are claimed to be Britain's oldest brand; he established the Tate Gallery in 1897. Robert Hope-Jones of the Wirral invented the Wurlitzer organ. The Christys' & Co factory in Stockport was the largest hat-making factory in the world in the nineteenth century; it is now in Oxfordshire. The company owner's son founded Christy in 1850 in Droylsden (now in Tameside), which invented the industrially-produced towel.
Britain's most popular car, the Ford Escort, was made throughout its life (until 21 July 2000) at Halewood by Ford; 5 million were made there from 1967. In 1998, production of its replacement the Focus was transferred to Saarlouis and Valencia, which signalled the end of the site's ownership by Ford. The Jaguar X-Type was first made there in May 2001, until late 2009.
Starchaser Industries of Hyde is hoping to send a British citizen into space, on a British rocket; only Richard Branson will be able to compete for that honour; BAC at Preston had proposed its MUSTARD re-usable spacecraft in 1964, which although not built had given NASA a concept.
As part of the national transport planning system, the North West Regional Assembly was (before its abolition in 2008) required to produce a Regional Transport Strategy (RTS) to provide long term planning for transport in the region. This involved region wide transport schemes such as those carried out by the Highways Agency and Network Rail. Within the region the local transport authorities plan for the future by producing Local Transport Plans (LTP) which outline their strategies, policies and implementation programmes. The most recent LTP is that for the period 2006–11. In the North West region the following transport authorities have published their LTP online: Blackburn with Darwen U.A, Blackpool U.A., Cheshire, Cumbria, Greater Manchester, Halton U.A., Lancashire, Merseyside and Warrington U.A. Since 1 April 2009, when the county of Cheshire was split into two unitary councils the Cheshire transport authority ceased to exist, however it is the most recent LTP for the area.
Regionwide the principal road link is the M6, this enters the region (from Scotland) near Carlisle in the north and leaves it (for the English Midlands) near Crewe in the south. It connects such towns and cities as Penrith, Kendal, Lancaster, Preston, Warrington, Liverpool and Manchester. The M6 intersects many of the North West's motorways and A-roads, and carries almost 120,000 vehicles per day (41,975,000 per year).
Greater Manchester and Merseyside
The Greater Manchester and Merseyside areas are home to almost 4 million people, and over half the region's population. The road networks intertwining these metropolitan areas are extremely important to the economy and are largely motorway, including the M62 which crosses the entire country (east to west – Hull to Liverpool), this motorway directly connects the cities of Manchester and Liverpool. The M62 sees 78,000 vehicles using the motorway in the North West per day. The Merseyside-Manchester region has many motorways, that serve many millions on a daily basis, other include the M61 which connects Manchester to Preston, the M56 which runs south of Manchester to Cheshire and Wales, The M57 and M58 motorways run north of Liverpool, and connect towns such as St Helens and Wigan. The M60 is Manchester's ring road, the M67 and M66 motorways run east and north respectively, both of these motorways are under 10 miles (16 km) and link Manchester to smaller outlying settlements. On top of this there are countless numbers of A-roads, B-roads and minor roads which circle, entwine and serve these two major metropolises. For more information, see: Transport in Manchester.
In Cumbria the M6 runs all the way down the east of the county connecting the very north of England to the Lancashire border. The A590 links Barrow-in-Furness to Kendal with around 14,000 vehicles per day. The A595 runs all the way along the West Cumbrian coast beginning near Barrow and ending in Carlisle, linking towns such as Whitehaven and Workington. The A591 road runs from Kendal to the centre of the county connecting Lake District settlements like Windermere, Ambleside and Keswick. Other important A-roads include the A5092, A66, A596 and formerly the A74, until this was upgraded to motorway standard as an extension of the M6 between 2006 and 2008 to meet the A74(M) at the Scottish border.
The Lancashire economy relies strongly on the M6 which also runs from north to south (Lancaster to Chorley). Other motorways in the region include the fairly short M55 which connects the city of Preston and the town of Blackpool at 11.5 miles (18.5 km) in length. The M65 motorway runs from east to west starting in the town of Colne, running past Burnley, Accrington, Blackburn and terminating in Preston. The Lancaster-Morecambe area is served by the A683, A6 and A589 roads, the Blackpool-Fylde-Fleetwood area is home to the A587, A584, A583 and A585 roads. The city of Preston and its surroundings are served by the A6, A59, A585, A584, A583, A582 and to the very south-east, the M61 motorway. To the east of the county are the A59, A6119, A677, A679, A666, A680, A56, A646 and A682. The M66 begins 500 metres (0.3 mi) inside the county border near Edenfield, providing an important link between east Lancashire and Manchester.
In Cheshire there are four motorways the M6, the M56 (linking Chester to the east), the M53 (linking Chester to Birkenhead) and the M62, which runs just along the county's northern border with Merseyside and Greater Manchester. The Cheshire road system is made up of 3,417 miles (5,499 km) of highway, and the principal one (M6) carries 140,000 vehicles in the county daily, linking the North West to the West Midlands.
The county town of Chester is served by the A55, A483 and A494 roads amongst others. To the west of the M6, Crewe, Northwich and Sandbach are served by the A54, A51, A49, A533 and A530 roads, these all eventually link up connecting the towns to the larger cities, including Stoke-on-Trent to the south. To the east of the M6 in Cheshire lies the Peak District, and towns such as Macclesfield and Congleton which are served by the A6, A537, A536, A34, A523 and A566 roads.
The primary international airport in the region is Manchester Airport, which served 22.1 million passengers in 2007 (18.7 million of which were international), more than some of the world's major aviation hubs. The airport is home to three terminals (plus the World Freight Terminal), which serve destinations worldwide. The largest airlines at the airport in terms of flights in 2007 were Flybe, BMI, British Airways, Jet2.com and Lufthansa, although several long-haul carriers such as American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Virgin Atlantic, Singapore Airlines and Emirates also operate from the airport.
In 2007 Manchester had a recorded 222,703 aircraft movements, the airport is also a hub for major holiday airlines such as Thomas Cook Airlines, Monarch Airlines, First Choice Airways and Thomson Airways.
The region's second largest, but fastest growing airport is Liverpool John Lennon Airport, where passenger numbers have increased from around 690,000 in 1997 to nearly 5.5 million in 2007. The airport serves destinations primarily in the UK and Europe and is a major hub for EasyJet and Ryanair.
The only other significant passenger airport in the region is Blackpool Airport, which was refurbished in 2006 and handles around half a million passengers annually. Destinations range from the Canary Islands in Spain to the Republic of Ireland.
- Barrow/Walney Island Airfield – Operated by BAE Systems Marine Ltd – Submarines, private use
- Carlisle Lake District Airport – Operated by Stobart Air Ltd, public use
- City Airport Manchester – Operated by City Airport Manchester Ltd, public use
- Manchester Airport – Major international airport operated by Manchester Airport Group, destinations worldwide
- Woodford Aerodrome – Operated by BAE Systems Regional Aircraft, private use
- Blackpool International Airport – Operated by Balfour Beatty, public use to UK and European destinations
- Warton Aerodrome – Operated by BAE Systems, private use
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport – International airport operated by Liverpool Airport plc, destinations worldwide
- RAF Woodvale – Operated by the Royal Air Force, military use
- Southport Birkdale Sands airstrip – Sand runway located on Southport beach (infrequent use, subject to prior permission)
The main connection by train is the West Coast Main Line (Virgin Trains), connecting most of the North West. Other important lines are the Liverpool to Manchester Lines and the North TransPennine which connects Liverpool to Manchester through Warrington. East-west connections in Lancashire are carried via the Caldervale Line to Blackpool. Liverpool and Manchester both have extensive local passenger rail networks operating high-frequency commuter trains.
Sea ferries depart from Liverpool (Gladstone Dock) to Dublin (P&O Irish Sea) and to Douglas on the Isle of Man (Isle of Man Steam Packet); Birkenhead (Twelve Quays Terminal) to Belfast and Dublin (Norfolkline Irish Sea Ferries – former Norse Merchant Ferries); Fleetwood to Larne (Stena Line) in Northern Ireland; and Heysham to Douglas (Isle of Man Steam Packet).
The North West is historically linked with the textiles industry, mainly before the mid 20th century. The Greater Manchester region produces the most economic output according to GVA in 2007 with £46,189m. Followed by Lancashire with £22,470m, Cheshire £21,317m and Merseyside £19,112m and Cumbria with £7,379m.
According to research by Cushman and Wakefield in 2008, Manchester is the second best city to locate a business in the UK whilst Liverpool is the eleventh best city. The Financial Times stated that the North West economy, led by the redevelopment of Manchester and Liverpool, is a genuine rival to 'overheated London'.
The area's electricity, formerly looked after by MANWEB and NORWEB, is now looked after by ScottishPower Energy Networks and United Utilities respectively. The Morecambe Bay gas field provides 6% of the UK's natural gas.
Cheshire is linked with the salt industry. AstraZeneca is in Macclesfield. Vauxhall, home of the Astra, on a former airfield next to the M53, and Essar Energy (former Shell) are in Ellesmere Port. QUINN group make glass bottles to the east of the refinery at Elton. Lex Vehicle Leasing, the UK's largest vehicle leasing company is in Chester. Ball Packaging Europe is based on the A483 at Chester Business Park, near the A55 junction in Eccleston, which has a main office of M&S. To the north at Dunkirk at the end of the M56 on the A5117, is Max Spielmann. Sandbach used to be home of ERF and Fodens trucks. Brunner Mond has a large works in Winnington, just west of Northwich. British Salt and OK Diner are in Middlewich; Bisto used to be made there, but production moved to Worksop (Nottinghamshire) in 2008. Henkel UK (maker of Pritt and Sellotape) is in Winsford, home of the UK's largest salt mine at Meadowbank run by Salt Union, who are owned by Compass Minerals. Mornflake is in Crewe on the B5071, Focus closed in July 2011, and Orion Optics make telescopes. Bentley Motors (owned by Volkswagen since 1998) have their main plant in the west of the town between the A530 and A532, next to the railway to Chester. Crewe Works built the HST (Class 43) power cars, and now carries out maintenance for Bombardier. Unipart Rail is on the B5071 next to Crewe railway station. Bargain Booze is at the A532/A5020 roundabout in the east of the town, and further along the A532 Whitby Morrison are the world's leading manufacturer of ice cream vans. BAE Systems Global Combat Systems at Radway Green, Barthomley north of M6 junction 16, south of Alsager makes small arms ammunition, and Freshpack make pies next to the A5011. Oliver Valves based off the B5085 in Shaw Heath, Knutsford, makes needle, check, gate, relief and ball valves for the oil and gas industry. Pets at Home is next to the railway at Handforth near Wilmslow and the Stockport boundary near Handforth Dean (A34). Boalloy Industries in Congleton make trailers, and pioneered the Tautliner curtain-sided trailer design in the 1970s.
Ineos (the site was previously owned by ICI Chemicals) has a large plant in Runcorn which produces chlorine and caustic soda from Cheshire salt piped from Lostock Gralam, south of Northwich; most of the chlorine in the UK comes from this plant. BNFL and its subsidiary Sellafield Ltd (former British Nuclear Group), and ABB UK are based in Daresbury near Runcorn, although most of BNG's operations take place at Sellafield in Cumbria. Daresbury is also home of the EMMA and ALICE FFAG accelerators. Diageo bottles Guinness at Preston Brook, next to the M56. Kawneer UK (part of Alcoa) make architectural aluminium systems (curtain walls) off the A533 at Astmoor in north Runcorn.
Betfred and United Utilities are based in Warrington, and Unilever makes Persil and Surf next to the Bank Quay railway station. New Balance UK are at Centre Park, off the A5060 in south-west Warrington, with factory at Flimby, on the Cumbria coast. Bensons for Beds is based nearby to the north in Burtonwood and Westbrook next to the M62 and Burtonwood services. Konftel UK is at Thelwall. Eagle Ottawa makes leather upholstery for cars off A50 at Westy Park in east Warrington next to the Manchester Ship Canal.
The ONS 2010 Annual Business Survey states that 30.3% of jobs in the British aerospace industry are based in Lancashire. The main private employer in the county is BAE Systems Military Air & Information who have two sites east and west of Preston for the manufacture of military aircraft. Samlesbury (4000 employees) makes air-frames. Warton, BAE Systems' main site (former English Electric, then BAC), in Bryning-with-Warton (6500 employees). Rolls-Royce make turbofan blades in Barnoldswick (950 employees). Nearby Weston EU manufacture components in Foulridge (250) and engine maintenance contractor Euravia are in Kelbrook (100). Safran Aircelle make engine nacelles and thrust reversers in Burnley (800). GE subsidiary Unison Engine Components (320), are the largest of several others in the area.
(Westinghouse) (BNFL) make nuclear fuel at the Springfields site at Salwick, off the A583 in Newton with Clifton. The boiler firm BAXI also originates from Preston, and InBev have a brewery nearby in Samlesbury (former Whitbread). To the north-east Bodycare Group make toiletries at the Red Scar Business Park on the B6243. Bosal is the UK's leading manufacturer of car exhausts on Walton Summit, between the M6 and M61. The Pilkington European Technical Centre is at Lathom. Silentnight (600) is in Barnoldswick, where Hope Technology make mountain bike components. At Horrocksford near Clitheroe, Hanson Cement have their large Ribblesdale cement works, which supplied the construction of the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral; nearby Johnson Matthey make automotive catalysts. Oaktec are small motorsport company on the A588 at Cockerham, south of Lancaster.
Brands originating in Lancashire include: TVR, Reebok, Jaguar Cars and Warburtons. Leyland Trucks manufactures several truck ranges from Leyland, home of Enterprise Plc, and where Albion Automotive (part of American Axle) make crankshafts at Farington. CCA Occasions makes greeting cards on the B5253 on the Moss Side Ind Estate and nearby Dr Oetker makes Chicago Town and Pizza Ristorante pizzas (330); 40% of the UK's frozen pizzas are made here, and the Pizza Ristorante brand, solely made in Lancashire, is Italy's best-selling frozen pizza with 20% of the Italian market. Nearby, Nitecrest is the UK's leading manufacturer of gift, payment, loyalty and phone cards, and exports most of its products. Nationwide fashion retailer Matalan has its head office and main distribution centre in Skelmersdale, which is where Walker's make Monster Munch at West Pimbo. Victrex make PEEK (a thermoplastic) just north of Blackpool at Cleveleys. HTI Group in Fleetwood makes toys and owns Barbie. Ennis Prismo make traffic white line products at Chorley and Walmsleys is a paper manufacturer off the A675 in Withnell. Along the M65, Fort Vale based in Simonstone (near Burnley) (300) are a world leader in valves and fittings for road tankers. Close by, office furniture manufacturer Senator International (800) and household plastic container manufacturer What More UK (170) are the largest in the UK in their respective fields. Telecoms provider Daisy Group (400), based in Nelson is one of the UK's fastest growing companies;
Crown Paints is in Darwen (500). DS Smith have the Hollins paper mill just south of junction 4 of the M65, off the A666 in Darwen, which is set to close. Across the M65 to the north Apeks make diving equipment at Blackamoor.
Kelloggs is in Trafford Park (Manchester), and nearby the Brooke Bond division of Unilever make PG Tips, and TDG is on the industrial estate. Tyco UK is based on the A62 in Newton Heath. Joseph Holt's Brewery is off the A665 next to Strangeways prison; Boddingtons' Strangeways Brewery closed in 2006. Avecia (biotechnology) is off the A664 in the Hexagon Tower in Blackley near the North Manchester General Hospital. North of the hospital at Crumpsall is B3 Cable Solutions, the UK's only manufacturer of telecommunications cables, based next to the River Irk. Scottish & Newcastle have their large Royal Brewery in Manchester. HomeForm Group, owner of Möben Kitchens, Sharps Bedrooms and Dolphin Bathrooms is on the A56 in Old Trafford. Regatta and Craghoppers are on Barton Dock Road (B5211), near the Trafford Centre (the base of The Peel Group), on the other side of the A5081. Holt Lloyd, known as Holts, the largest car care company in the world in the 1980s, now owned by Honeywell Consumer Products Group, is based on Barton Dock Road (B5211), at Merlin Park on the south of Trafford Park, off junction 9 of the M60. Admiral Sportswear are in Northenden. Timpson is in Wythenshawe; Sharwood's used to make their sauces there until Premier Foods moved production to Bury St Edmunds in 2008. Duerr's make honey and jam at the Roundthorn Ind Estate in Wythenshawe, off the A560. Nearby in Moss Nook is Franke UK, the world's largest manufacturer of domestic sinks, and Renold plc is an international chain company based on the B5166 off the M56 junction 5 (Manchester Airport spur). PZ Cussons (formerly in Cheadle Heath) is towards the airport.
Heinz, although based in Hayes in Middlesex, has the largest food processing complex in Europe at a 55-acre (220,000 m2) site at Kitt Green in Wigan, which produces 1.4 billion cans of food each year. Nearby, JJB Sports is at Marsh Green near the River Douglas. Also in Wigan are The Tote, Shearings Holidays and Girobank, and R&R Ice Cream (former Richmond Foods) make De Roma ice cream. Contitech UK (part of Continental AG) makes industrial belts off the A587 in Bickershaw, between Wigan and Leigh.
Sock Shop is in Bolton, and MBDA (former BAe Dynamics) makes missiles in Lostock near junction 6 of the M61. Cash Generator is off the A575 in Farnworth. dabs.com, an e-commerce site owned by BT, is in Wingates, west of Bolton off the A6.
BAE Systems build aircraft in Chadderton and Woodford in Stockport (former Avro) off the A5102 (the eastern half of the airfield is in Cheshire East). The BAe 146 (Avro RJ) was manufactured at Woodford until 2001. The Institute of Advanced Motorists, National Tyre Service (at the A5145/A6 junction) and the internet bank Smile is nearby in Stockport. Wienerberger UK, the Austrian brick company who own Baggeridge, are based at the Cheadle Royal Business Park at the B5358/A34 junction, as is Umbro, and Agilent Technologies UK (biomedical equipment). Adidas UK is in Bramhall Moor, Hazel Grove off the A5143, on the opposite side of the railway from MAN Diesel & Turbo, which is next to Stepping Hill Hospital. BASF UK is in Handforth next to the A34/A555 junction on the Cheshire boundary. Thales Underwater Systems is in Cheadle Heath. McVitie's make their Jaffa Cakes, Penguins and chocolate digestives at a factory in South Manchester on the A6.
Russell Hobbs is in Failsworth. Next to junction 22 of the M60 and Hollinwood railway station in Oldham, Trinity Mirror (former Mirror Colour Print before 2006) prints the Mirror and Independent for the north of England, as well as the Manchester Evening News and Liverpool Echo. Diodes Semiconductors (former Zetex) based off the A669 in Alder Root, Chadderton, is a leader in LED lighting.
Inventive Leisure, who own the Revolution pub chain, are in Ashton-under-Lyne. Kerry Foods at Godley Hill (Hyde) on the A57 make Richmond and Wall's sausages. Robertson's (now owned by Premier Foods since it was bought from Rank Hovis McDougall) moved their marmalade (Golden Shred) and jam processing from Droylsden to Histon and Impington (Cambridgeshire) in October 2008.
JD Sports is off junction 3 of the M66 in Hollins, Bury and Birthdays is west of junction 2. Tetrosyl Group Ltd, UK maker of car care products are at Walmersley, off the A56 and also at junction 2 (A58) of the M66. Ryalux makes carpets off the B6222 near the M66 in east Bury.
PTG (Holroyd Machine Tools) are based at Milnrow, off M62 junction 21. Premier Foods make Sarson's on the A669 near Mills Hill railway station in Middleton. The Co-op is based in Manchester and Rochdale as is Zen Internet.
Pilkington is in St Helens. Kalzip, a division of Tata Steel Europe, make aluminium roofs in Haydock. Vimto is owned by Nichols plc of Newton-le-Willows, although actually made by Cott Beverages in north Leicestershire.
Littlewoods are in Garston, who are owned by the Shop Direct Group in Speke. Princes, Johnsons Cleaners UK, Maersk Line UK, the Beetham Organization, Bibby Line, Home Bargains, the Royal Liver Assurance and T J Hughes have their headquarters in Liverpool. Towards Aintree, Jacob's and their crackers are historically based, and also make Twiglets at their site at Hartley's Village in Fazakerley, and nearby is Sportech PLC, owner of the football pools.
Dairy Crest makes Vitalite and Utterly Butterly on the A5207 in Kirkby, off junction 4 of the M57. Ethel Austin is in Knowsley, near junction 4 of the M57. Jaguar Land Rover has a main production site (formerly owned by Ford) in Halewood, making the Freelander and Range Rover Evoque. Halewood International, who make Lambrini, Red Square, Lamb's Navy Rum and some alcopops, are in Whitefield Lane End, in the south of Huyton at the M62/M57 junction. Belling Ltd (owned by Glen Dimplex) is in Whiston, next to the large Whiston Hospital. Manesty manufactures medicine tablets off the B5194 on the Knowsley Business Park.
At Speke on the A561, west of the JLR plant, Novartis make vaccines such as Fluvirin, and MedImmune (owned by AstraZeneca) makes components of influenza vaccine (FluMist). At Hunts Cross, the Eli Lilly manufacturing plant produces antibiotics such as Capreomycin, and in 1981 produced the world's first biosynthetic product, by manufacturing biologic insulin, and has also produced biosynthetic human growth hormone since 1985. Near the A561/A562 junction, the NWDA-funded National Biomanufacturing Centre was built in 2006.
Typhoo tea is made in Moreton off the A551 next to Moreton railway station, and on the same site there is Manor Bakeries (Premier Foods) who make mini rolls, and a factory (to close in December 2011) of Burton's Biscuit Company who make Cadbury's biscuits (Cadbury Fingers). Cereal Partners (Nestlé) make Cheerios and Golden Nuggets on the A41 opposite Port Sunlight at Bromborough, also the base of CSM UK, the baking ingredients company based at a former Unilever Stork margarine site. CML Group (part of Teledyne) makes composites and aircraft components off the A41 at Bromborough near Eastham Country Park. At Port Sunlight, Unilever make and research detergents and shampoo, such as Timotei and Sunsilk. Cammell Laird at Birkenhead build ships, and RFD Beaufort make G-suits for fighter aircraft and liferafts.
Royal Navy submarines and ships are made by BAE Systems Submarine Solutions in Barrow-in-Furness. The coast of Cumbria is known as Britain's Energy Coast due to the large amounts of energy being produced along the coast of the county; Sellafield is a power station which is located in West Cumbria and is a major contributor to the "Energy Coast" also, Barrow-in-Furness is major town in contributing to the "Energy Coast" with a power station (Roosecote Power Station), Gas Terminals (Rampside Gas Terminal) and an offshore wind farm (Walney Wind Farm) which is approximately 14 km (8.6 miles) west of the town's coastline with some of the largest wind turbines on Earth. The Lake District is popular with holiday makers. The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority is near Whitehaven. Lakeland, who make kitchenware, are in Windermere. Stobart Group is in Carlisle. M-Sport, the rally team at Dovenby Hall, and Jennings Brewery are in Cockermouth. James Cropper, Europe's leading manufacturer of coloured paper, is in Burneside, north of Kendal, on the River Kent near the A591. Pirelli have their main UK tyre plant (for prestige cars) on the B5299 in south Carlisle. Sealy UK make beds and mattresses on the B5031 next to Aspatria railway station in north Cumbria, west of Carlisle.
Secondary schools are mostly comprehensive, but Trafford retains a wholly selective school system, and there are some other grammar schools in Lancashire, Wirral, Liverpool and Cumbria.
There are around 345,000 at secondary school in the region, the third highest in England, after South East England and Greater London. This is around three times as much as there are in North East England. For school truancy the most number of persistent truants are in Manchester with a rate of 7.3%, followed by Knowsley with 6.9%, and Blackpool with 6.6%. The lowest truancy rate is in South Ribble with 2.4% followed by Ribble Valley with 2.9% (both in Lancashire).
At GCSE, the lowest performing area is Knowsley, consistently the worst performing LEA in England. No schools in this LEA usually get above average GCSE results. Blackpool and Manchester get the region's next lowest results. Sefton has performed much better than its neighbour, Liverpool. Wirral is the best performing area in Greater Merseyside, closely followed by Sefton. In Greater Manchester, Manchester performs the worst, closely followed by Salford. The best performing area in Greater Manchester is Trafford (one of the best in England), followed by Bury, then Stockport. Trafford has the best results in the North-West followed by Cheshire East, Bury, Stockport then Warrington; in order of results, Wirral, Lancashire, Sefton, Cheshire West and Chester also perform higher than the England average.
Liverpool produces the most school children who pass no GCSEs, followed closely by Knowsley. Trafford has the lowest proportion.
At A level in 2010, Trafford performed the best and, again like its results at GCSE, is one of the best areas in England. The lowest performing area is, again, Knowsley but followed by Rochdale. Knowsley has some dreadful results at A-level. For traditional counties, Lancashire gets excellent results at A-level, being one of the best in England. Areas also performing above the England average, in order of results, are Blackpool, Warrington, Wigan, Cheshire West and Chester, Bury, Cumbria, Wirral, and Stockport. Blackpool performs not particularly well at GCSE, yet produces much better results at A level – even better than Cheshire West and Chester, and the third best in the region.
Top forty state schools in the North West (2011 A level results)
- 1. Altrincham Grammar School for Girls (1283)
- 2. Lancaster Girls' Grammar School
- 3. Bacup and Rawtenstall Grammar School
- 4. The Blue Coat School, Liverpool
- 5. Cardinal Newman College, Preston
- 6. The Bluecoat CofE School, Oldham
- 7. Altrincham Grammar School for Boys
- 8. Lancaster Royal Grammar School
- 9. St. Mary's Catholic College (Blackpool)
- 10. Clitheroe Royal Grammar School
- 11. Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith
- 12. Winstanley College
- 13. West Kirby Grammar School
- 14. Wirral Grammar School for Girls
- 15. Wirral Grammar School for Boys
- 16. Sale Grammar School
- 17. The Nelson Thomlinson School, Wigton
- 18. Upton Hall School FCJ, Upton
- 19. Urmston Grammar School
- 20. Stretford Grammar School
- 21. Audenshaw School
- 22. Calday Grange Grammar School, West Kirby
- 23. Holy Cross College, Bury
- 24. Sir John Deane's College, Northwich
- 25. Carmel College (St Helens)
- 26. St. Ambrose College, Hale Barns, Altrincham
- 27. Crompton House Church of England School, Shaw, Oldham
- 28. Canon Slade CofE School, Bradshaw, Bolton
- 29. The Fallibroome Academy, Macclesfield
- 30. Loreto Grammar School, Altrincham
- 31. William Hulme's Grammar School, Whalley Range
- 32. Ripley St Thomas Church of England Academy
- 33. Bridgewater High School (Warrington)
- 34. Hutton Grammar School
- 35. The Queen Katherine School, Kendal
- 36. All Hallows Catholic College, Macclesfield
- 37. Sandbach School
- 38. Rainford High Technology College
- 39. King David High School, Childwall, Liverpool
- 40. The Belvedere Academy, Princes Park, Liverpool (902)
The areas that have school children most likely to attend university are Trafford and Cheshire, followed by Wirral, Sefton, Stockport and Bury. Four of these areas are or were part of Cheshire – the most traditionally middle-class part of the North West.
- Aquinas College, Stockport
- Ashton Sixth Form College, Ashton-under-Lyne
- Barrow-in-Furness Sixth Form College, Barrow-in-Furness
- Blackburn College, Blackburn
- Blackpool and The Fylde College, Blackpool
- Blackpool Sixth Form College, Blackpool
- Bolton College, Bolton
- Bolton Sixth Form College, Bolton
- Burnley College, Burnley
- Bury College, Bury
- Carmel College, St Helens
- Cheadle and Marple Sixth Form College, Cheadle
- Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness
- Holy Cross College (UK), Bury
- Hopwood Hall College, Rochdale
- Hugh Baird College, Bootle
- Kendal College, Kendal
- King George V College, Southport
- Lancaster and Morecambe College, Lancaster
- Liverpool Community College, Liverpool
- Loreto College, Manchester
- Macclesfield College, Macclesfield
- The Manchester College, Manchester
- Mid Cheshire College, Northwich
- The Oldham College, Oldham
- Oldham Sixth Form College, Oldham
- Preston College, Preston
- Priestley College, Warrington
- Rainford College, St Helens
- Runshaw College, Leyland
- Salford City College, Salford
- South Cheshire College, Crewe
- Southport College, Southport
- Sir John Deane's College, Northwich
- Stockport College, Stockport
- St Helens College, St Helens
- St John Rigby College, Wigan
- St. Mary's 6th form College, Blackburn
- St. Wilfrids C of E Sixth Form College, Blackburn
- Thomas Whitham Sixth Form, Burnley
- Trafford College, Trafford
- West Cheshire College Ellesmere Port
- Wigan and Leigh College, Wigan
- Winstanley College, Wigan
- Xaverian College, Manchester
The two main higher education colleges in the region are Blackburn College and Blackpool and The Fylde College. There are forty three FE colleges. The regional LSC was in central Manchester; this is now the SFA and the YPLA.
The universities in the North West are listed below:
- University of Manchester, Manchester – The largest single-site University in the UK with 36,907 students
- Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester – Also one of the country's largest universities with 40,420 students – second largest university in the region
- UCLAN, Preston – The University of Central Lancashire in Preston, 28,850 students – third largest university in the region
- Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool – 24,085 students
- University of Liverpool, Liverpool – 20,765 students
- University of Salford, Salford – 20,185 students
- Lancaster University, Lancaster – 17,415 students
- The University of Law, Chester, Manchester
- Edge Hill University, Ormskirk – 15,645 students
- University of Chester, Chester and Warrington – 15,095 students
- University of Bolton, Bolton – 8,540 students
- Liverpool Hope University, Liverpool – 8,205 students
- University of Cumbria – The region's newest university located across Cumbria, parts of Lancashire and London, and formerly known as the Cumbria Institute of the Arts
Over 60% of university students in the region are native to the region. The region with the next-highest number of students in the North-West is Yorkshire and the Humber, so approximately 80% of university students in the area are from the north of England. The region's students have the highest proportion of students from so-called low-participation neighbourhoods.
Once graduated, over 65% of graduates find work in the region, with plenty of graduate vacancies, especially in Manchester.
- Regional news programmes for the Isle of Man, North West England and south of Cumbria – North West Tonight (BBC North West) and Granada Reports (ITV Granada), both based in Salford Quays since Autumn 2011 and Spring 2013 respectively.
- Regional news programmes for the north of Cumbria – Look North (BBC North East and Cumbria) based in Newcastle and Lookaround (ITV Tyne Tees & Border) based in Gateshead.
- Regional news programmes for the West Craven area of Lancashire, historically in the West Riding of Yorkshire - Look North and ITV News Calendar both based in Leeds. Both are broadcast from the Skipton transmitter which is part of the Emley Moor transmitter group.
- BBC Radios Manchester, Merseyside, Lancashire and Cumbria. National radio comes from Holme Moss (for Merseyside, Greater Manchester, and Cheshire) and Sandale for Cumbria. There is a main MW transmitter for the region (and England), over the border in Kirklees, at Moorside Edge.
- Several commercial radio stations including: Real (former 105.4 Century FM – Salford), Rock FM (Preston), Radio City (Liverpool), Capital (former Galaxy Manchester), Key 103 (Castlefield), Juice FM (Liverpool), The Bay (Lancaster, Barrow-in-Furness, Morecambe and other surrounding areas), CFM (Carlisle), Lakeland Radio (Kendal), XFM (Salford), Wire FM in Warrington, The Revolution (Oldham), Imagine FM (Stockport), Central Radio (former Proud FM – Preston), Heart, Tower FM (Bolton), RadioWave 96.5 (Blackpool), Dune FM (Southport), Wish FM (Wigan and St Helens), 2BR (Burnley and Pendle), The Bee (Blackburn) and Dee 106.3 (Chester).
- Blackpool Gazette, Blackpool
- Bolton News, Bolton
- Bury Times, Bury
- Chester Evening Leader, Chester
- Lancashire Evening Post, Preston
- Lancashire Telegraph, Blackburn
- Liverpool Daily Post, Liverpool
- Liverpool Echo, Liverpool
- Manchester Evening News, Manchester
- News and Star, Carlisle
- North-West Evening Mail, Barrow-in-Furness
- Oldham Evening Chronicle, Oldham
- Southport Visiter, Southport
- The Reporter, St Helens
- The Star, St Helens
- Westmorland Gazette, Kendal
- Wigan Evening Post, Wigan
- See also: List of newspapers in the United Kingdom
Town and city twinnings
|Blackburn|| Altena, Germany
|Bolton|| Le Mans, France
|Burnley||Vitry Sur Seine, France|
|Bury|| Angoulême, France
Woodbury, New Jersey, US
|Carlisle|| Flensburg, Germany
|Dalton-in-Furness||Dalton, Pennsylvania, US|
|Ellesmere Port||Reutlingen, Germany|
|Failsworth||Landsberg am Lech, Germany|
|Fleetwood||Fleetwood, Pennsylvania, US|
|Halton|| Leiria, Portugal
Ústí nad Labem, Czech Republic
|Kendal|| Killarney, Ireland
|Lancaster|| Aalborg, Denmark
|Liverpool|| Cologne, Germany
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
|Manchester|| Amsterdam, Netherlands
Los Angeles, California, US
Puerto Cabezas, Nicaragua
Saint Petersburg Russia
|Preston|| Almelo, Netherlands
|Rochdale|| Bielefeld, Germany
|Salford|| Clermont-Ferrand, France
|Sefton|| Gdańsk, Poland
Fort Lauderdale, US
|Stockport|| Béziers, France
|St Helens|| Stuttgart, Germany
|Tameside|| Bengbu, China
|Warrington|| Hilden, Germany
Lake County, Illinois, US
Náchod, Czech Republic
|Workington|| Selm, Germany
|Wrea Green||St Bris le Vineux, France|
Here is a list of the Premier League and Football League teams in the North West ranked on their 2011–12 final league position. Teams from the north-west have won more than half of all Football League (before 1992) and Premier League seasons with Manchester United having won more than any other team.
Premier League teams
- Manchester City F.C. (Bradford with Beswick, Manchester, Greater Manchester)
- Liverpool F.C. (Liverpool, Merseyside)
- Everton F.C. (Liverpool, Merseyside)
- Manchester United F.C. (Old Trafford, Stretford, Greater Manchester)
- Burnley F.C. (Burnley, Lancashire)
- Blackburn Rovers F.C. (Blackburn, Lancashire)
- Blackpool F.C. (Blackpool, Lancashire)
- Bolton Wanderers (Horwich, Bolton, Greater Manchester)
- Wigan Athletic F.C. (Newtown, Wigan, Greater Manchester)
League One teams
- Crewe Alexandra F.C. (Crewe, Cheshire)
- Fleetwood Town F.C. (Fleetwood, Lancashire)
- Oldham Athletic A.F.C. (Oldham, Greater Manchester)
- Preston North End F.C. (Preston, Lancashire)
League Two teams
- Accrington Stanley F.C. (Accrington, Lancashire)
- Carlisle United F.C. (Carlisle, Cumbria)
- Morecambe F.C. (Morecambe, Lancashire)
- Rochdale A.F.C. (Rochdale, Greater Manchester)
- Tranmere Rovers F.C. (Birkenhead, Merseyside)
- Bury F.C. (Bury, Greater Manchester)
There are 19 Premier League and Football League teams in the North West as of the 2010–11 season with:
7 from Greater Manchester (36%)
7 from Lancashire (36%)
3 from Merseyside (18%)
1 from Cheshire (5%)
1 from Cumbria (5%)
Of all the teams in the Premier League and Football League 20% come from the North West. The next nearest region is Greater London with 13 teams (14%). The North West also has 5 teams in the Premier League, more than any other region. Greater London is the next nearest with 5 despite having a slightly larger population.
Teams in the North West have won 53 out of 109 English football League titles (49%), more than any other region.
Here is a list of the Super League and National League teams in the North West ranked on their 2012 league position:
- 1) Wigan Warriors- Super League (1st)
- 2) Warrington Wolves- Super League (2nd)
- 3) St. Helens- Super League (3rd)
- 4) Salford City Reds- Super League (11th)
- 5) Widnes Vikings- Super League (14th)
- 6) Leigh Centurions- Co-operative Championship (2nd)
- 7) Swinton Lions- Co-operative Championship (8th)
- 8) Barrow Raiders- Co-operative Championship 1 (2nd)
- 9) Workington Town- Co-operative Championship 1 (3rd)
- 10) Whitehaven- Co-operative Championship 1 (4th)
- 11) Rochdale Hornets- Co-operative Championship 1 (5th)
- 12) Oldham Roughyeds- Co-operative Championship 1 (6th)
The North West is generally regarded as having the most average weather in the UK. Temperatures are generally close to the national average. Cumbria usually experiences the most severe weather, with high precipitation in the mountainous regions of the Lake District and Pennines. In winter, the most severe weather occurs in the more exposed and elevated areas of the North West, once again this is mainly the Lake District and Pennine areas. Parts of the North West experienced a White Christmas in 2009, and again in 2010, where sleet and snow fell on 25 December.
- Outline of England
- Cumbric language
- Envirolink Northwest
- List of schools in the North West of England
- Northwest Development Agency
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