Calderdale is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England, which had a population of 211,439.[2] It takes its name from the River Calder, and dale, a word for valley. The name Calderdale usually refers to the borough through which the upper river flows, while the actual landform is known as the Calder Valley. Several small valleys contain tributaries of the River Calder. The main towns of the borough are Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Sowerby Bridge and Todmorden.

Borough of Calderdale
View over Mytholmroyd in the Upper Calder Valley
View over Mytholmroyd in the Upper Calder Valley
Industria Arte Prudentia
(Latin: Industry, skill and foresight)
Calderdale shown within West Yorkshire
Calderdale shown within West Yorkshire
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
RegionYorkshire and the Humber
Metropolitan countyWest Yorkshire
Admin. HQHalifax
Established1 April 1974
 • TypeMetropolitan Borough
 • BodyCalderdale Council
 • LeadershipLeader & Cabinet
 • MPsCraig Whittaker (C) (Calder Valley),
Holly Lynch (L)
 • Total363.9 km2 (140.5 sq mi)
 (2020 estimate)
 • Total211,439 (Ranked 96th)
 • Density581/km2 (1,500/sq mi)
Ethnicity (2021)
 • Ethnic groups
Religion (2021)
 • Religion
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode areasHD2–HD6, HX1–HX7, OL14, WF14, BD13–BD19
Dialling Codes01422 (central core)
01484 (Brighouse/Rastrick)
01706 (Todmorden area)
01274 (Shelf area)
ONS code00CY (ONS)
E08000033 (GSS)

Calderdale covers part of the South Pennines, and the Calder Valley is the southernmost of the Yorkshire Dales, though it is not part of the Yorkshire Dales National Park. The borough was formed in 1974 by the merger of nine local government districts.

Halifax is the commercial, cultural and administrative centre of the borough. Calderdale is served by Calderdale Council, which is headquartered in Halifax, with some functions based in Todmorden.



The Roman settlement of Cambodunum was probably located within Calderdale.[citation needed] A Roman fort has been excavated in Slack, which is in the neighbouring borough of Kirklees, but its identity is not yet certain.[citation needed]

The metropolitan district of Calderdale was created on 1 April 1974 under the Local Government Act 1972. It covered the area of eight former districts and part of a ninth, which were all abolished at the same time:[3][4][5]

In 2022, Yorkshire Water built an emergency water pipeline from Calderdale to Ponden Reservoir in Haworth as Yorkshire experienced its driest period on record.[6]


Halifax Town Hall
Northgate House in Halifax was the council's headquarters until sale in 2013
Welcome sign in Calderdale

The borough is divided into 17 wards and each is represented on Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council by three councillors. Each councillor is normally elected on a first past the post basis for a four-year period which is staggered with the other councillors of that ward so that only one councillor per ward is up for election at any one time. Exceptions to this include by-elections and ward boundary changes.



The largest ethnic group within Calderdale at the 2011 census was White British at 86.7%, down from 90.8% in 2001.[7] The next largest ethnic group are Pakistanis, comprising 6.8% of the population (4.9% in 2001).[7]

In 2011, Christians comprised 60.6% of the borough's population. This was followed by those of no religion (30.2%) and Muslims (7.8%).[8]

The 2021 census showed further changes in the borough, with the White British population declining slightly to 82.7% and the proportion of residents of Pakistani heritage increasing to 8.5%. Younger residents showed a higher level of ethnic diversity with 74.7% of Calderdale's population aged under 16 identifying as White British compared with 93.5% of the population over 65. Those holding no religion had risen to 42.0% of the population, now comprising a slightly higher proportion of residents than Christians (41.5%) and the Muslim population remaining relatively stable increasing to 9.5%.[9] The large majority of Calderdale residents were born in England - falling slightly from 90.6% to 89.7% between 2011 and 2021.[10]

Public services and facilities




Calderdale is part of the Calderdale Primary Care Trust, South West Yorkshire NHS Foundation Trust and Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust. The borough has two hospitals and one hospice. The main hospital (part of Calderdale & Huddersfield NHS Foundation Trust) is the Calderdale Royal Hospital, located on the main route to Huddersfield in Salterhebble. It has specialist departments: Calderdale's A&E department and the Calderdale Birth Centre.[11] The hospital was built and opened in 2001 on the site of the original Halifax General Hospital. After the new hospital opened, the Royal Halifax Infirmary closed and all services were transferred, as were services from Northowram Hospital. NHS Ambulance services are provided by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service from stations in Halifax, Brighouse and Todmorden. Overgate Hospice provides specialist palliative care for adults in Calderdale. Elland Hospital, Calderdale's only private hospital, is located by the Calderdale Way. Formerly BUPA Elland Independent Hospital, it is now owned and operated by Classic Hospitals.



Calderdale is served by West Yorkshire Police; whose Calderdale Division headquarters is at Halifax police station. Other police stations are located in Todmorden[12] and at Brighouse, which reopened in 2009.[13]

Fire and rescue


West Yorkshire Fire & Rescue covers Calderdale and it has five fire stations in the borough. These are located at Rastrick (Since 2015), King Cross (Halifax Fire Station), Mytholmroyd, Illingworth, and Todmorden.[14]



Calderdale Libraries provides services through 22 local library branches, including a central library in Halifax, and also offer a home library service and digital library service.[15] In 2014, construction began on a new central library and archive building in Halifax, adjacent to the Piece Hall and the Square Chapel.[16][17][18] The new Central Library and Archive officially opened in September 2017.[19]



Calderdale has seven operational railway stations: Brighouse, Halifax, Hebden Bridge, Mythomroyd, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden, Walsden. A new Elland railway station received planning permission in 2023 and construction is expected to begin in 2024 for a potential opening date of December 2025.[20]

The train operators in the borough are Northern and Grand Central. Destinations for services include Bradford Interchange, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Manchester Victoria, Blackpool North, Wigan North Western, Chester, Warrington Bank Quay, Hull, Preston, Burnley Manchester Road and London King's Cross.



Two selective schools in Calderdale jointly administer an 11+ admissions exam: The Crossley Heath School, in Savile Park and North Halifax Grammar School in Illingworth.

Both schools achieve excellent GCSE and A-level results, achieving a large proportion of A* to C grades at GCSE level. In 2005 the Crossley Heath School was the highest ranking co-educational school in the north of England.[citation needed]

Calderdale College is a local further education college on Francis Street, in Halifax. In December 2006 it was announced that Calderdale College, in partnership with Leeds Metropolitan University, would open a new higher education institution in January 2007 called University Centre Calderdale.[21]



In terms of television, Calderdale is served by BBC Yorkshire and ITV Yorkshire broadcasting from the Emley Moor transmitter.[22]

Radio stations for the area:[23]



There are three current swimming pools in Calderdale. These are located in Todmorden, Brighouse and Sowerby Bridge. Halifax is currently in the phase of getting a new swimming pool after the old pool shut in 2021.

Other sports facilities include North Bridge Leisure Centre (Halifax, Currently Closed), Sowerby Bridge Swimming Pool, Brighouse Leisure Centre and Pool, Todmorden Swimming Pool, The Shay Stadium (Halifax Towns Football Pitch) and Spring Hall (Halifax, Track and field).



There are eight civil parishes in Calderdale, covering the western part of the borough. The eastern part of the borough, covering Brighouse, Elland, Halifax, Shelf and Sowerby Bridge, is an unparished area. The two parish councils of Hebden Royd and Todmorden take the style "town council".[24]



The borough contains numerous settlements, including:

Coat of arms

Coat of arms of Calderdale
Granted on 1 November 1977.
On a Wreath Argent and Vert out of a Mural Crown a Rose Tree of nine branches proper each terminating in a Rose Argent barbed and seeded proper.
Vert a Paschal Lamb proper supporting over the shoulder a Cross Staff Or flying therefrom a forked Pennon of St. George between in chief a Bar wavy Argent charged with a Barruret wavy Azure and in base a Rose Argent barbed and seeded proper.
On either side a Lion Or gorged with a collar wavy Azure and holding aloft in the interior forepaw a Crescent Sable.
Industria, Arte, Prudentia (By industry, skill and foresight.)

Calderdale Metropolitan Borough Council was granted a coat of arms in 1977. The Paschal lamb is the emblem of John the Baptist, the patron saint of wool workers. It was shown on the former arms of Halifax. The green and blue wavy line of the shield symbolises the River Calder and Calder Valley. The white rose is for Yorkshire. The crest shows a rose bush with nine white flowers representing the nine former authorities that now comprise the Calderdale district. The bush is shown growing out of a mural crown, a common feature in municipal arms. The lion supporters are taken from the arms of Halifax and also for England. A lion also featured on the shield of the arms of Brighouse. The black crescents, also from the arms of Brighouse, are featured on the arms of the Brighouse family. The blue wave around each lion's collar is from the arms of Todmorden and represents the Calder again. The motto, Industria arte prundentia, is Latin for 'Industry, skill, and foresight'.[25][26]

Freedom of the Borough


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



Military units



  1. ^ a b UK Census (2021). "2021 Census Area Profile – Calderdale Local Authority (E08000033)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 5 January 2024.
  2. ^ "Estimates of the population for the UK, England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 7 April 2022.
  3. ^ "Local Government Act 1972",, The National Archives, 1972 c. 70, retrieved 18 June 2023
  4. ^ "The Metropolitan Districts (Names) Order 1973",, The National Archives, SI 1973/137, retrieved 18 June 2023
  5. ^ Youngs, Frederic A Jr. (1991). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England, Vol.2: Northern England. London: Royal Historical Society. p. 797. ISBN 0-86193-127-0.
  6. ^ "Yorkshire Water hosepipe ban lifted after three months". BBC News. 6 December 2022. Retrieved 28 February 2023.
  7. ^ a b "Calderdale demographic information".
  8. ^ "Calderdale demographic information".
  9. ^ "Calderdale Demographic Information". Calderdale Council. 26 February 2024. Retrieved 16 March 2024.
  10. ^ "How life has changed in Calderdale: Census 2021". Office for National Statistics. 19 January 2023.
  11. ^ "Overview – Calderdale Royal Hospital – NHS Choices". Retrieved 3 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Welcome to the Calderdale Neighbourhood Policing Homepage". Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2009.
  13. ^ "Brighouse station back in action". Telegraph & Argus. 29 July 2009. Retrieved 12 May 2020.
  14. ^ "Stations". Archived from the original on 24 March 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2009.
  15. ^ "Libraries". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  16. ^ "Central Library and Archive incorporating steeple and ruins of Square Road Church (Amended Plans) | Former Square Road Church Burial Grounds Square Road Halifax Calderdale" (13/00671/LAA). Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  17. ^ "Tour new central library and archive". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  18. ^ "Take extra care while work underway". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  19. ^ "Our new Central Library opens – the next chapter!". Retrieved 3 February 2018.
  20. ^ "Elland Railway Station gets planning go-ahead - here's when it could be built by". Halifax Courier. Retrieved 15 March 2023.
  21. ^ "University Centre Calderdale". Archived from the original on 8 February 2009. Retrieved 21 November 2019.
  22. ^ "Emley Moor (Kirklees, England) Full Freeview transmitter". UK Free TV. 1 May 2004. Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  23. ^ "Yorkshire Radio Stations". Retrieved 13 April 2024.
  24. ^ "Parish Councillors". Calderdale Council. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  25. ^ "Civic Heraldry of England and Wales - Yorkshire". Retrieved 28 December 2013.
  26. ^ "Calderdale's Coat of Arms". Calderdale Council. Retrieved 20 June 2023.
  27. ^ "Freedom honour for Paralympian". BBC News. 13 September 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  28. ^ Shaw, Martin (8 November 2019). "Gentleman Jack writer Sally Wainwright set to be given the Freedom of Calderdale". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 18 November 2019.
  29. ^ "Writer Sally Wainwright given freedom of Calderdale". BBC News. 12 March 2020. Retrieved 14 March 2020.
  30. ^ "Regimental Freedom Scrolls". The Duke of Wellington's Regiment (West Riding) – Regimental Association. Retrieved 18 November 2019.

53°43′N 1°58′W / 53.72°N 1.97°W / 53.72; -1.97