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The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after its largest town, Rochdale, but spans a far larger area which includes the towns of Middleton, Heywood, Littleborough and Milnrow, and the village of Wardle.

Borough of Rochdale
Number One Riverside, Rochdale
Official logo of Borough of Rochdale
Coat of Arms of the Borough Council
Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester and England
Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester and England
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial countyGreater Manchester
Admin HQRochdale (Town Hall)
Founded1 April 1974
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • Governing bodyRochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
 • MayorCllr. Ian Duckworth
 • MPs:Tony Lloyd (L)
Liz McInnes (L)
 • Council LeaderCllr. Allen Brett
 • Total61.4 sq mi (159 km2)
 (mid-2018 est.)
 • Total220,001 (Ranked 79th)
 • Density3,521/sq mi (1,359/km2)
 • Ethnicity
(United Kingdom Estimate 2006) [1]
86.5% White
11.4% S.Asian or mixed
1.4% Black or mixed
0.8% Chinese or other
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
OL & M
Area code(s)0161 / 01706
ISO 3166-2GB-RCH
ONS code00BQ (ONS)
E08000005 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSD897133

The borough was formed in 1974 as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972 and is an amalgamation of six former local government districts. It was originally proposed that the borough include the neighbouring town of Bury and disclude Middleton; Bury however went on to form the administrative centre for the adjacent Metropolitan Borough of Bury.


The borough lies directly north-northeast of the City of Manchester and has a population of 206,500. Although some parts are highly industrialised and densely populated, the borough has the lowest population density in Greater Manchester, with some areas of rural open space including Blackstone Edge and the Pennine hills.


The old Municipal Offices, demolished in 2014, which were replaced by Number One Riverside.

The borough, which is the largest such borough of Greater Manchester, was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, by a merger of the former county borough of Rochdale and, from the administrative county of Lancashire, the municipal boroughs of Heywood and Middleton, along with the urban districts of Littleborough, Milnrow and Wardle.

Prior to its creation, it was suggested that the metropolitan borough be named Chadwick (with reference to Sir Edwin Chadwick), but this was rejected in favour of Rochdale.[2]

Neighbouring districtsEdit

The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham lies to the south-east, and the Metropolitan Borough of Bury lies to the west. The City of Manchester is to the south.

To the north-west is the borough and non-metropolitan district of Rossendale in Lancashire and to the north-east is the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire.

Unparished areasEdit

Showing former status (prior to 1974)

  1. Heywood (municipal borough)
  2. Littleborough (urban district)
  3. Middleton (municipal borough)
  4. Milnrow (urban district)
  5. Rochdale (county borough)
  6. Wardle (urban district)

Ethnic groups[3]Edit

  • White British - 176,800
  • White Irish - 2,994
  • White Other - 2,097
  • Asian or Asian British: Pakistani - 15,829
  • Asian or Asian British: Bangladeshi - 3,594
  • Asian or Asian British: Other Asian - 956
  • Black British - 1,571
  • Chinese or Other - 1,200
  • Mixed White and Asian - 900
  • Mixed White and Black - 1,100
  • Mixed Other - 400

Population changeEdit

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

Population growth in Rochdale since 1801
Year 1801 1811 1821 1831 1841 1851 1861 1871 1881 1891 1901 1911 1921 1931 1941 1951 1961 1971 1981 1991 2001
Population 28,689 36,815 46,440 57,377 69,956 80,317 102,247 124,177 146,107 151,490 165,617 181,061 181,227 181,395 177,574 173,833 188,316 204,071 206,351 204,802 205,233
% change +28.3 +26.1 +23.6 +21.9 +14.8 +27.3 +21.4 +17.7 +3.7 +9.3 +9.3 +0.1 +0.1 −2.1 −2.1 +8.3 +8.4 +1.1 −0.8 +0.2
Source: Vision of Britain[4]

Twin townsEdit

The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale has formal twinning arrangements with six places. Three were originally twinned with a place within the Metropolitan Borough boundaries prior to its creation in 1974.[5]

Country Place County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
  France   Tourcoing Nord-Pas de Calais County Borough of Rochdale 1956
  Germany   Peine   Niedersachsen Municipal Borough of Heywood 1967
  Germany   Bielefeld   Nordrhein-Westfalen County Borough of Rochdale 1953
  Pakistan Sahiwal Punjab Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1988
  Ukraine   Lviv   Lviv Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1992
  Bangladesh Sylhet Sylhet Division Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 2009

Freedom of the BoroughEdit

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


Military UnitsEdit


See alsoEdit



  1. ^ Lead View Table
  2. ^ Clark 1973, p. 101.
  3. ^ Lead View Table
  4. ^ "Rochdale District: total population". Vision of Britain. Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  5. ^ "Town twinning". Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  6. ^
  7. ^


  • Clark, David M. (1973). "Greater Manchester Votes: A Guide to the New Metropolitan Authorities". Redrose. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External linksEdit

  •, Rochdale Council.
  •, Rochdale Development Agency - information on the borough, its economy and regeneration.
  • Development Arm of Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) Uniting Private & Public Sector to support the Regeneration of Rochdale Borough.
  • Stats and Maps is the Rochdale Borough statistics and maps website. It is a shared evidence based that provides quick and easy on-line access to data, information, and intelligence about the borough of Rochdale, and aims to meet the needs of the local community, LSP partners, and the general public.

Coordinates: 53°37′00″N 2°09′24″W / 53.61667°N 2.15667°W / 53.61667; -2.15667