63 Facts About Greater Manchester


Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.

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Greater Manchester is formed of parts of the historic counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire.

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Greater Manchester is an amalgamation of 70 former local government districts from the former administrative counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, the West Riding of Yorkshire and eight independent county boroughs.

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Since deindustrialisation in the mid-20th century, Greater Manchester has emerged as a major centre for services, media and digital industries, and is renowned for guitar and dance music and its association football teams.

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The development of what became Greater Manchester is attributed to a shared tradition of domestic flannel and fustian cloth production, which encouraged a system of cross-regional trade.

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Townships in and around Greater Manchester began expanding "at an astonishing rate" around the turn of the 19th century as part of a process of unplanned urbanisation brought on by a boom in industrial textile production and processing.

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However, it was Greater Manchester that was the most populous settlement, a major city, the world's largest marketplace for cotton goods, and the natural centre of its region.

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The report suggested that a county should be set up to recognise the "Greater Manchester known in commerce", and referred to the areas that formed "a substantial part of South Lancashire and part of Cheshire, comprising all municipal boroughs and minor authorities within a radius of eight or nine miles of Greater Manchester".

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The area had roughly the same northern boundary as today's Greater Manchester, but covered much more territory from Cheshire, and Derbyshire .

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The Association of Greater Manchester Authorities was established to continue much of the county-wide services of the county council.

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In 1998, the people of Greater Manchester London voted in a referendum in favour of establishing a new Greater Manchester London Authority, with mayor and an elected chamber for the county.

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On 14 July 2008 the ten local authorities in Greater Manchester agreed to a strategic and integrated cross-county Multi-Area Agreement; a voluntary initiative aimed at making district councils "work together to challenge the artificial limits of boundaries" in return for greater autonomy from the central government of the UK.

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The Local Democracy, Economic Development and Construction Act 2009 enabled the creation of a Combined Authority for Greater Manchester with devolved powers on public transport, skills, housing, regeneration, waste management, carbon neutrality and planning permission, pending approval from the ten councils.

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The ten district councils of Greater Manchester approved the creation of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority on 29 March 2010, and submitted final recommendations for a constitution to the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport.

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Since the formation of Greater Manchester, residents have debated their identities in the metropolitan and historic counties through heritage, culture and governance.

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Greater Manchester is a landlocked county spanning 493 square miles .

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Greater Manchester is characterised by its dense urban and industrial developments, which include centres of commerce, finance, retail and administration, as well as commuter suburbs and housing, interspersed with transport infrastructure such as light rail, roads and motorway, and canals.

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The Built-up Area includes most of Greater Manchester, omitting areas of countryside and small villages, as well as noncontiguous urban towns such as Wigan and Marple.

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Outside the boundary of Greater Manchester it includes several adjacent areas of settlement and a few outliers connected to the urban sprawl by ribbon development, such as Wilmslow and Alderley Edge in Cheshire, Glossop and Hadfield in Derbyshire, and Whitworth in Lancashire.

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Greater Manchester has a relatively high humidity level, which lent itself to the optimised and breakage-free textile manufacturing process that took place around the county.

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At the most southern point of Greater Manchester, Woodford's Met Office weather station recorded a temperature of -17.

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Contrary to its reputation for urban sprawl, Greater Manchester has green belt constraining urban drift, and a "wide and varied range" of wildlife and natural habitats.

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Greater Manchester Combined Authority is the top-tier administrative body for the local governance of Greater Manchester.

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Functional executive bodies, such as Transport for Greater Manchester, are responsible for delivery of services in these areas.

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On 3 November 2014, the Devolution to the Greater Manchester Combined Authority agreement was signed to pass further powers and responsibilities, as well as the establishment of an elected Mayor of Greater Manchester.

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From April 2016, Greater Manchester became the first area of England to "get full control of its health spending" with a devolution deal which unites the region's health and social care systems under one budget under the control of local leaders, including Greater Manchester's new directly elected mayor.

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The lowest formal tier of local government in Greater Manchester are the parish councils, which cover the various civil parishes in Greater Manchester, and have limited powers over upkeep, maintenance and small grants.

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The major towns in Greater Manchester retain a "fierce independence", meaning Greater Manchester is administered using "inter-municipal coordination" on a broadly voluntary basis.

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Greater Manchester Police was formerly overseen by a joint police authority, but was briefly overseen by the Greater Manchester Police and Crime Commissioner from 2012 until the functions of that office were subsumed into the new regional mayoralty upon its creation in 2017.

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Greater Manchester is a ceremonial county with its own Lord-Lieutenant who is the personal representative of the monarch.

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The first Lord Lieutenant of Greater Manchester was Sir William Downward who held the title from 1974 to 1988.

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Greater Manchester is home to a diverse population and is a multicultural agglomeration with an ethnic minority population comprising 8.

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Greater Manchester is covered by the Roman Catholic Dioceses of Salford and Shrewsbury, and the Archdiocese of Liverpool.

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Much of Greater Manchester is part of the Anglican Diocese of Manchester, apart from Wigan which lies within the Diocese of Liverpool and parts of Stockport, Tameside and Trafford, which are in the Diocese of Chester.

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Greater Manchester has five universities: the Manchester Metropolitan University, the University of Bolton, the University of Law, the University of Manchester and the University of Salford.

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Primary and secondary education within Greater Manchester are the responsibility of the constituent boroughs which form local education authorities and administer schools.

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Much of Greater Manchester's wealth was generated during the Industrial Revolution, particularly textile manufacture.

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Much of the county was at the forefront of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution and into the early-20th century; Peter Smith, Baron Smith of Leigh, chair of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority said "clearly, all of the Greater Manchester area was once at the heart of a very vibrant [textiles] industry", represented by former textile mills found throughout the county.

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The territory that makes up Greater Manchester experienced a rapid decline of these traditional sectors, partly during the Lancashire Cotton famine brought on by the American Civil War, but mainly as part of the post-war economic depression and deindustrialization of Britain that occurred during the 20th century.

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Rochdale and Greater Manchester are connected to the history of the cooperative movement; the Rochdale Society of Equitable Pioneers was founded in Rochdale in 1844, and The Co-operative Group, the UK's largest mutual business and North West England's biggest company, is headquartered at One Angel Square in central Greater Manchester.

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Today, Greater Manchester is the economic centre of the North West region of England and is the largest sub-regional economy in the UK outside London and South East England.

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Manchester city centre, the central business district of Greater Manchester, is a major centre of trade and commerce and provides Greater Manchester with a global identity, specialist activities and employment opportunities; similarly, the economy of the city centre is dependent upon the rest of the county for its population as an employment pool, skilled workforce and for its collective purchasing power.

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Greater Manchester today is a centre of the arts, the media, higher education and commerce.

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Public transport services in Greater Manchester are co-ordinated by Transport for Greater Manchester, a public body with powers between those of a passenger transport executive and Transport for London, established as SELNEC PTE in 1969 in accordance with the Transport Act 1968.

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Greater Manchester has a higher percentage of the motorway network than any other county in the country, and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, it has the most traffic lanes side by side, spread across several parallel carriageways .

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Greater Manchester hosted the 2002 Commonwealth Games which was, at a cost of £200M for the sporting facilities and a further £470M for local infrastructure, by far the biggest and most expensive sporting event held in the UK at the time and the first to be an integral part of urban regeneration.

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The Greater Manchester Velodrome was built as part of the Greater Manchester bid for the 2000 Summer Olympics.

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The Greater Manchester Marathon is a long-distance running event along a 26-mile and 385-yard course throughout the borough of Trafford.

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Greater Manchester Community Basketball Club is an association which represents Greater Manchester in basketball.

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In 2014, Will Straw remarked that "Greater Manchester is a creative powerhouse", recognised for its cultural output in areas such as association football, media and digital content, and guitar and dance music.

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Since the industrial revolution, Greater Manchester has shared a rivalry with the nearby Liverpool, based on economic and industrial competition.

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Boddingtons is a bitter developed in Greater Manchester and promoted as the "Cream of Greater Manchester" in a popular 1990s advertising campaign credited with raising the city's profile.

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Greater Manchester Campaign for Real Ale is a branch of the national Campaign for Real Ale, an advocacy group that supports, promotes and preserves the beer and drinks industry, and recognising outstanding venues with awards; The Nursery in Heaton Norris was its National Pub of the Year in 2001, and The Baum in Rochdale was its National Pub of the Year in 2012.

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Greater Manchester Museums Group is a partnership of eight of the ten Museum Services in Greater Manchester.

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The Museum of Transport in Greater Manchester, which opened in 1979, has one of the largest collections of vehicles in the country.

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MediaCityUK, a host venue of the Greater Manchester Film Festival, is a 200-acre mixed-use property development site at Salford Quays; its principal tenants are mass media organisations such as ITV Granada and the BBC.

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One of Greater Manchester's most lucrative and acclaimed television exports is Coronation Street, which is a televised soap opera set in Weatherfield, a fictional borough of Greater Manchester, inspired by life in Salford.

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MEN Media "dominates Greater Manchester", reaching 7 out of 10 adults each week within the region through its portfolio of products which includes the Oldham Advertiser, the Rochdale Observer, and the Salford Advertiser.

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Greater Manchester has the highest number of theatre seats per head of population outside London.

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The Lowry — Greater Manchester's most visited tourist attraction — houses two theatres, used by travelling groups in all the performing arts.

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Greater Manchester has four professional orchestras, all based in Manchester.

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Greater Manchester is a centre for musical education, via the Royal Northern College of Music and Chetham's School of Music.

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Greater Manchester continues to be associated with guitar and dance music.

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