Monday, March 3, 2008

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county in North West England which has a population of 2.55 million.
Prior to the creation of the metropolitan county, the name SELNEC was used for the area from the initials 'South East Lancashire North East Cheshire'. Parts of the historic counties of Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire covered the area that is now Greater Manchester.

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City of Manchester
City of Salford
Trafford History
The modern county of Greater Manchester was created in 1974. However, the history and heritage of its constituent settlements and parts stem back for centuries. Manchester is home to a c.2000 year old Roman fort in Castlefield, and other towns (such as Oldham and Bolton) played a central role during the Industrial Revolution. Indeed, due to the economic and industrial success of the modern Greater Manchester towns and cities, the connurbation has been forming for the last few centuries and the need for local government and geo-administrative change to reflect this, was postulated in as early as the 1910s.
The first known recorded use of the term Greater Manchester was in 1914 as part of a report put forward as a response to what was considered a successful creation of the County of London in 1889. The report suggested that a county should be set up to recognise the "Manchester known in commerce" and referred to the areas that formed Cottonopolis, or that of South-Lancashire and part of Cheshire. and Greater Manchester is no exception.
Most of Greater Manchester lies within the ancient county boundaries of Lancashire; those areas south of the Mersey and Tame in Cheshire. The Saddleworth area and a small part of Mossley are historically part of Yorkshire and in the south-east a small part in Derbyshire. The areas which were incorporated into Greater Manchester in 1974 previously formed parts of the Administrative counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and of various independent county boroughs.
Greater Manchester is today made up of some seventy former local authorities from these former boundaries, and is the only urban area in the United Kingdom outside Greater London ever to officially bear the name "Greater".

Redcliffe-Maud Report
Greater Manchester was eventually established on 1 April 1974. It is the largest of all the Metropolitan counties of England in that it contained ten boroughs (whilst Greater London is clearly larger with 32 London boroughs and the City, it is not officially a metropolitan county).
Some noted historians of Manchester have claimed that "With the creation of the Greater Manchester county, came statutory recognition to what was already as a result of natural evolution, a distinct and recognised region, bound together by innumerable ties extending back over the centuries. Greater Manchester... is the logical outcome of centuries of shared tradition." And so the component areas of Greater Manchester held on to their pre-1974 postal counties until 1996, when they were abolished.
On 1 July 1997, the metropolitan county of Greater Manchester further became a ceremonial county by way of the Lieutenancies Act 1997. These ceremonial counties are increasingly being seen as the main geographic frames of reference within England.

Post 1974

Main article: Geography of Greater Manchester Geography
The climate of Greater Manchester is generally temperate, with few extremes of temperature or weather. The mean temperature is slightly above average for the United Kingdom These are average temperature and rainfall figures taken between 1971 and 2000 at the Met Office weather station at Manchester Airport:


Local government
Local governance in Greater Manchester is currently provided by the councils of ten districts, known as metropolitan boroughs, these are: Bolton, Bury, the City of Manchester, Oldham, Rochdale, the City of Salford, Stockport, Tameside, Trafford and Wigan.
Each Metropolitan Borough comprises a large town (usually having formed a county borough before 1974) together with the surrounding smaller towns, villages and countryside. Most of the names are self explanatory, for example the Metropolitan Borough of Stockport is centred on the town of Stockport, though includes other smaller towns, such as Cheadle, Gatley, and Bramhall.
For the first twelve years after the county was created in 1974, the county had a two-tier system of local government, and the metropolitan borough councils shared power with the Greater Manchester County Council. However in 1986, along with the five other metropolitan county councils and the Greater London Council, the Greater Manchester County Council was abolished, and most of its powers were devolved to the boroughs, which effectively became unitary authorities.
Various civil parishes exist in certain parts of Greater Manchester: see list of civil parishes in Greater Manchester.
Greater Manchester council's County Hall, was located in what is now Westminster House, in Piccadilly Gardens, central Manchester.

Metropolitan boroughs
Although the county council was abolished a number of local government functions take place at the county level.
The ten authorities of Greater Manchester co-operate through the Association of Greater Manchester Local Authorities (AGMLA), which meets to create a co-ordinated county-wide approach to many issues. The AGMLA funds some county-wide bodies such as the Greater Manchester County Records Office. Through the AGMLA, the ten authorities of Greater Manchester co-operate on many policy issues, including jointly producing a county-wide Local Transport Plan.
In addition to this, some local services are still provided county-wide, but are now administered by statutory joint boards of the ten districts. These are:
These joint-boards which are made up of councillors appointed from each of the ten boroughs.
The ten-boroughs jointly own the Manchester Airport Group which controls Manchester Airport and three other UK airports. Other services are directly funded and managed by the local councils.

The Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive, (GMPTE) which is responsible for planning and co-ordinating public transport across the county.
The Greater Manchester Police, who are overseen by a joint Police authority.
The Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, who are administered by a joint "Fire and Rescue Authority".
The Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority, which does not include the Metropolitan Borough of Wigan County level functions
Greater Manchester is a ceremonial county with its own Lord-Lieutenant. The Local Government Act 1972 provided that the whole of the area to be covered by the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchester would also be included in the Duchy of Lancaster - extending the duchy to include areas which were formerly in the counties of Cheshire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. Thus, the Lord-Lieutenant and High Sherriff of Greater Manchester are appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of The Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster rather than, as is more usual, the recommendation of The Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain.

Ceremonial county
Greater Manchester Urban Area, is used by the Office for National Statistics for the large conurbation surrounding Manchester which contains much, but not all of the area of the county of that name, and thus a level of confusion is instilled by its status and statistics.
Wigan, for example, is within the county of Greater Manchester, but outside the Urban Area, whilst towns outside the county such as Wilmslow, Alderley Edge and Whitworth are within the Urban Area.
Although neither the Greater Manchester county, nor the Greater Manchester Urban Area have been granted city status in the United Kingdom, European Union guidelines stipulate that the conurbation surrounding Manchester constitutes as a homogonous urban city region.

Greater Manchester Urban Area
Greater Manchester is a modern region with strong roots in the Industrial Past. Much of the county used to be at the forefront of textile manufacture, and this is represented by former textile mills found throughout the county. The region and its population were hit hard by the decline of these traditional sectors, though considerable industrial restructuring has helped the region to recover.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Greater Manchester South at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.
This is a chart of trend of regional gross value added of Greater Manchester North at current basic prices published (pp.240-253) by Office for National Statistics with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.

The towns and cities which now form Greater Manchester were, during in the 19th century, major centres of industrial activity and hence of wealth. Activities included mining and textile production (particularly cotton, but also silk and wool). Many surviving cotton mills from this time still mark the Greater Manchester skyline to this day. Historically, the docks in Salford Quays were an industrial port, though are now (following a period of disuse) a successfully redeveloped commercial and residential area which includes the Imperial War Museum North, The Lowry Theatre and exhibition centre and is also earmarked to become a major centre for the BBC.
As one of the largest cities in the United Kingdom, Manchester is also a significant centre of business, and economic might.
An announcement was made earlier in 2007 that the only UK supercasino would be in East Manchester (Beswick, next to the "B of the Bang" and Sport City) however parliament have recently rejected these proposals.

Industry and commerce

Main article: List of Parliamentary constituencies in Greater Manchester Parliamentary representation

Main article: Demographics of Greater Manchester Demographics

Main article: List of places in Greater Manchester Settlements
Greater Manchester has an extensive railway network, and two mainline stations. A network of bus routes and a modern tram system radiates from Manchester city centre. A canal network also remains from the Industrial Revolution.
Greater Manchester has a higher percentage of the motorway network than any other county in the country.


The 2002 Commonwealth Games were staged in Manchester and provided the area with world class sports facilities, including the Manchester Aquatics Centre, Bolton Arena, National Squash Centre, Eastlands Stadium and the supporting athletics stadium at Sports City. This built on the success of the Manchester Velodrome in regenerating the Eastern side of the connurbation.

Venues and facilities
Greater Manchester has a high concentration of football clubs. Four Greater Manchester teams, Bolton Wanderers F.C., Manchester City F.C., Manchester United F.C., and Wigan Athletic F.C., play in the 2006-07 Premier League. In addition to this, Oldham Athletic F.C. play in League One and Stockport County F.C., Bury F.C. and Rochdale F.C. play in League Two. There are numerous high-profile non-league football teams, including Altrincham F.C., Stalybridge Celtic F.C., Droylsden F.C., Salford City F.C., Atherton Collieries F.C., Hyde United F.C., Maine Road F.C. (1954) and the recently created F.C. United of Manchester. Manchester United F.C. is the most successful team in the history of the Premier League, having won the title nine times since it was introduced in 1991-92 Manchester Football League, dating from 1893, includes numerous amateur teams.

In rugby union, Sale Sharks compete in the Guinness Premiership, and won the league in 2006. Whitefield based Sedgley Park RUFC are competing in National League 1, Manchester RUFC in National League 2 and Wigan side Orrell RUFC in National League 3 (North).
In rugby league, Wigan Warriors and Salford City Reds compete in the Super League, while Leigh Centurions and Rochdale Hornets take part in National League 1, with Oldham Roughyeds being local rivals of Swinton Lions in National League 2. Prominent amateur sides are numerous and include Leigh Miners, Leigh East, Wigan St Patricks, Eccles and Salford Juniors and Oldham St Annes.

The Kirkmanshulme Lane stadium in Belle Vue is the home to top-flight speedway team the Belle Vue Aces and regular greyhound racing.
Professional ice hockey is set to return to the area in early 2007 with the scheduled opening of a purpose designed rink in Altrincham, the Altrincham Ice Dome to host the Manchester Phoenix, the predecessor Manchester Storm having gone out of business in 2002 due to the overheads of staging matches in the 17,500 capacity Manchester Arena.
Greater Manchester had a venue for horse racing for 87 years, initially at New Barnes and later at Castle Irwell which is now a student residence for the University of Salford. Racing began at New Barnes in 1876 but the site had to be vacated in 1901 to facilitate an expansion to Manchester Docks - the land is now home to Dock 9 of the re-branded Salford Quays. Racing then moved to Castle Irwell which later staged a Classic - the 1941 St Ledger, and was most famous as home of the Lancashire Oaks (nowadays run at Haydock Park) and the November Handicap, which was traditionally the last major race of the UK flat season. Through the late 50's and early 60's the track saw legendary jockeys Scobie Breasley and Lester Piggott annually battle out the closing acts of the jockey's title until racing ceased on November 7, 1963. The main stand at Castle Irwell was designed by local architect Ernst Atherton and was the first stand at any UK sports venue to include private boxes, the idea having later been copied by Manchester United and then made commonplace throughout the country. The structure still survives as a Students Union building. Although both sites carried the name of Manchester Racecourse, neither was strictly speaking within the boundaries of Manchester itself. A proposal to reincarnate Manchester Racecourse is presently being pursued by Peel Holdings at a site in Worsley - which like New Barnes and Castle Irwell is found in the neighbouring City of Salford.
Aside from Sports City, which has hosted numerous national trials, alternative athletics venues can be found at Robin Park in Wigan, Longford Park in Stretford (home to Stretford Harriers) and the Cleavleys Track in Winton (home of Salford Harriers).
Lancashire County Cricket Club began in the county as Manchester Cricket Club and in 2006, the club finished second.
A wide range of new sports facilities that include a 10,000 capacity stadium and athletics venue are presently being constructed at the Leigh Sports Village.

Other sports
See also: Category:Visitor attractions in Greater Manchester and Category:Culture in Greater Manchester
Greater Manchester boasts many places of interest, including multiple museums, galleries and centres of art and culture. Along the outskirts of the Greater Manchester conurbation feature many sites of natural beauty, including the West Pennine Moors, and parts of the Peak District.

Black Chew Head, Saddleworth Image:UKAL icon.png
Buckton Castle Castle
Bramall Hall, Bramhall Historic Home
Bridgewater Hall, an international concert venue
City of Manchester Stadium, home of Manchester City FC
Daisy Nook, Failsworth Country Park
Dovestones Reservoir Image:UKAL icon.png
Dunham Massey Hall and Park, Trafford Image:NTE icon.png
East Lancashire Railway Image:HR icon.png
Edgeley Park: Home of Stockport County and Sale Sharks
Gallery Oldham, Oldham Museum (free)
Heaton Park, Manchester Image:UKAL icon.png
Imperial War Museum North Museum (free)
Manchester Art Gallery Museum (free)
Manchester Cathedral
Manchester City Centre
Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester
Museum of Transport in Manchester
Old Trafford, home of Manchester United F.C.
County Ground, Old Trafford, home of Lancashire County Cricket Club
People's History Museum
Piccadilly Gardens, in central Manchester Image:UKAL icon.png
Saddleworth Moor Image:UKAL icon.png
Salford Quays, Salford Image:UKAL icon.png
Stockport Hat Museum, StockportMuseum
Stockport Air-Raid Shelters,Stockport Museum
Smithills Hall, Bolton Historic Home
Tandle Hill, Royton Country Park
The Lowry, Salford Museum (free)
Whitworth Art Gallery Museum (free)
Wigan Pier, Wigan
Wythenshawe Hall Historic Home
Urbis, an exhibition centre in Manchester See Also
Salford Quays, between the City of Salford and Trafford.
The Beetham Tower - The tallest building in Greater Manchester.
Manchester Town Hall, an example of the Victorian architecture found in Manchester
A Metrolink tram - part of Greater Manchester's light rail public transport system.
Bramall Hall - near Bramhall and Cheadle Hulme, is a historic Tudor hall
Salford skyline, as seen in 2005.
Maple Mill in Oldham, is an archetypal redbrick cotton mill built during the Industrial Revolution. Its structural style remains a common site throughout the Greater Manchester region.
One of the bus stop flags of the Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Executive
The Imperial War Museum North, at Salford Quays
Greater Manchester The B of the Bang - a public sculpture in Manchester
The Printworks an urban entertainment complex in Manchester City Centre
Saddleworth Moor - an area of the Pennines in the rural north-east of Greater Manchester.
Stockport Viaduct - one of several redbrick monuments of Greater Manchester's industrial past
Manchester City Centre - the central business district of Greater Manchester

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