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West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county in England. It is an inland and in relative terms upland county having eastward-draining valleys while taking in moors of the Pennines and has a population of 2.2 million. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.[1]

West Yorkshire
County
West Yorkshire within England
West Yorkshire in England
Coordinates: 53°45′N 1°40′W / 53.750°N 1.667°W / 53.750; -1.667Coordinates: 53°45′N 1°40′W / 53.750°N 1.667°W / 53.750; -1.667
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Country England
Region Yorkshire and the Humber
Established 1 April 1974
Preceded by West Riding of Yorkshire
Origin Local Government Act 1972
Ceremonial county
Lord Lieutenant Ingrid Roscoe
High Sheriff Ed Anderson
Area 2,029 km2 (783 sq mi)
 • Ranked 29th of 48
Population (mid-2016 est.) 2,299,700
 • Ranked 4th of 48
Density 1,133/km2 (2,930/sq mi)
Ethnicity 81.8% White
11.6% S. Asian
2.1% Mixed
2.1% Black
2.4% Other
Metropolitan county
Government West Yorkshire Combined Authority
Admin HQ Leeds
ONS code 2F
GSS code E11000006
NUTS UKE4
Website www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk
West Yorkshire numbered districts.svg
Districts of West Yorkshire
Metropolitan districts
Districts
  1. City of Leeds
  2. City of Wakefield
  3. Kirklees
  4. Calderdale
  5. City of Bradford
Members of Parliament List of MPs
Police West Yorkshire Police
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC)
 • Summer (DST) British Summer Time (UTC+1)

West Yorkshire consists of five metropolitan boroughs (City of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, City of Leeds and City of Wakefield) and shares borders with the counties of Derbyshire (briefly to the south), Greater Manchester (to the south-west), Lancashire (to the north-west), North Yorkshire (to the north and east) and South Yorkshire (to the south and south-east).

Leeds, informally, is the capital of West Yorkshire, Leeds (city) has developed into the third biggest in the UK by population after London and Birmingham, York is the Capital of Yorkshire, the Leeds-Bradford Metropolitan County has grown to become the 4th largest in the UK after Greater London, West Midlands (Birmingham) and Greater Manchester with a population over 2.2 million.

Remnants of a strong industrialisation in coal, wool and iron ore industries remain in the county having attracted people over the centuries, and this can be seen the buildings and architecture. The greatest hub Leeds may become a terminus for a north-east limb of High Speed 2. Major railways and three major motorways traverse the county. In the heart of the county is Leeds Bradford International Airport.

West Yorkshire County Council was abolished in 1986 so its five districts became effectively unitary authorities. However, the metropolitan county, which covers an area of 2,029 square kilometres (783 sq mi), continues to exist in law, and as a geographic frame of reference.[2][3][4] Since 1 April 2014 West Yorkshire has been a combined authority area, with the local authorities pooling together some functions over transport and regeneration as the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

West Yorkshire includes the West Yorkshire Urban Area, which is the most built-up and biggest urban area within the historic county boundaries of Yorkshire.

Contents

HistoryEdit

West Yorkshire was formed as a metropolitan county in 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972, and corresponds roughly to the core of the historic West Riding of Yorkshire and the county boroughs of Bradford, Dewsbury, Halifax, Huddersfield, Leeds, and Wakefield.

West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council inherited the use of West Riding County Hall at Wakefield, opened in 1898, from the West Riding County Council in 1974. Since 1987 it has been the headquarters of Wakefield City Council.[5]

The county initially had a two-tier structure of local government with a strategic-level county council and five districts providing most services.[6] In 1986, throughout England the metropolitan county councils were abolished. The functions of the county council were devolved to the boroughs; joint-boards covering fire, police and public transport; and to other special joint arrangements.[7] Organisations such as the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (governed by the West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner) continue to operate on this basis.

Although the county council was abolished, West Yorkshire continues to form a metropolitan and ceremonial county with a Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire and a High Sheriff.

Wakefield's Parish Church was raised to cathedral status in 1888 and after the elevation of Wakefield to diocese, Wakefield Council immediately sought city status and this was granted in July 1888.[8] However the industrial revolution, which changed West and South Yorkshire significantly, led to the growth of Leeds and Bradford, which became the area's two largest cities (Leeds being the largest in Yorkshire). Leeds was granted city status in 1893 and Bradford in 1897. The name of Leeds Town Hall reflects the fact that at its opening in 1858 Leeds was not yet a city, while Bradford renamed its Town Hall as City Hall in 1965.[9]

post-1974 pre-1974
Metropolitan county Metropolitan borough County boroughs Non-county boroughs Urban districts Rural districts
 
West Yorkshire is an amalgamation of 53 former local government districts, including six county boroughs and ten municipal boroughs.
Bradford Bradford Keighley Baildon • Bingley • Denholme • Ilkley • Queensbury and Shelf[10] •Silsden • Shipley Skipton
Calderdale Halifax Brighouse • Todmorden Elland • Hebden Royd • Queensbury and Shelf[10] • Ripponden • Sowerby Bridge
Kirklees Huddersfield • Dewsbury Batley • Spenborough Colne Valley • Denby Dale • Heckmondwike • Holmfirth • Kirkburton • Meltham • Mirfield
Leeds Leeds Morley • Pudsey Aireborough • Garforth • Horsforth • Otley • Rothwell Tadcaster • Wharfedale • Wetherby
Wakefield Wakefield Castleford • Ossett • Pontefract Featherstone • Hemsworth • Horbury • Knottingley • Normanton • Stanley Hemsworth • Osgoldcross • Wakefield

GeographyEdit

 
Geology of Yorkshire

The county borders, going anticlockwise from the west: Lancashire, Greater Manchester, Derbyshire, South Yorkshire and North Yorkshire. It lies almost entirely on rocks of carboniferous age which form the southern Pennine fringes in the west[11] and the Yorkshire coalfield further eastwards.[12] In the extreme east of the metropolitan county there are younger deposits of magnesian limestone.[13] The Bradford and Calderdale areas are dominated by the scenery of the eastern slopes of the Pennines, dropping from upland in the west down to the east, and dissected by numerous steep-sided valleys. There is a close conjunction of large scale industry, urban areas and transport routes with open countryside. The dense network of roads, canals and railways and urban development, confined by valleys creates dramatic interplay of views between settlements and the surrounding hillsides.[citation needed]

The carboniferous rocks of the Yorkshire coalfield further east have produced a rolling landscape with hills, escarpments and broad valleys. In this landscape there is widespread evidence of both current and former industrial activity. There are numerous derelict or converted mine buildings and recently landscaped former spoil heaps.[citation needed] The scenery is a mixture of built up areas, industrial land with some dereliction, and farmed open country. Ribbon developments along transport routes including canal, road and rail are prominent features of the area although some remnants of the pre industrial landscape and semi-natural vegetation still survive. However, many areas are affected by urban fringe pressures creating fragmented and downgraded landscapes and ever present are urban influences from major cities, smaller industrial towns and former mining villages.[citation needed]

In the magnesian limestone belt to the east of the Leeds and Wakefield areas is an elevated ridge with smoothly rolling scenery, dissected by dry valleys. Here, there is a large number of country houses and estates with parkland, estate woodlands, plantations and game coverts.[citation needed]

The rivers Aire and Calder drain the area, flowing from west to east.

The table below outlines many of the county's settlements, and is formatted according to their metropolitan borough.

Metropolitan county Metropolitan borough Centre of administration Other places
West Yorkshire City of Bradford   Bradford Addingham, Baildon, Bingley, Burley-in-Wharfedale, Cottingley, Crossflatts, Cross Roads, Cullingworth, Denholme, East and West Morton, Eccleshill, Eldwick, Esholt, Gilstead, Harden, Haworth, Ilkley, Keighley, Menston, Oakworth, Oxenhope, Queensbury, Riddlesden, Saltaire, Sandy Lane, Shipley, Silsden, Stanbury, Steeton, Thornbury, Thornton, Tong, Undercliffe, Wilsden
Calderdale   Halifax Bailiff Bridge, Boothtown, Brighouse, Copley, Cragg Vale, Elland, Greetland, Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Hipperholme, Holywell Green, Luddendenfoot, Mytholmroyd, Norwood Green, Rastrick, Ripponden, Shelf, Shibden, Sowerby Bridge, Todmorden
Kirklees   Huddersfield Almondbury, Batley, Birkby, Birkenshaw, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Dalton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Emley, Golcar, Gomersal, Hartshead, Hartshead Moor, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Honley, Kirkburton, Kirkheaton, Linthwaite, Liversedge, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield, New Mill, Norristhorpe, Roberttown, Scammonden, Shelley, Shepley, Skelmanthorpe, Slaithwaite, Thornhill
City of Leeds   Leeds Allerton Bywater, Beeston, Boston Spa, Collingham, Garforth, Guiseley, Harewood, Headingley, Holbeck, Horsforth, Kippax, Kirkstall, Ledsham, Ledston, Methley, Middleton, Morley, New Farnley, Otley, Oulton, Pool-in-Wharfedale, Pudsey, Rothwell, Rawdon, Scarcroft, Scholes, Stourton, Swillington, Walton (Leeds), Wetherby, Yeadon
City of Wakefield   Wakefield Ackworth, Alverthorpe, Castleford, Crigglestone, Crofton, Durkar, Fairburn Ings, Featherstone, Ferrybridge, Fitzwilliam, Hemsworth, Horbury, Knottingley, Newmillerdam, Normanton, Nostell, Ossett, Outwood, Pontefract, Ryhill, Sandal, Sharlston, Stanley, Walton (Wakefield), West Bretton

ClimateEdit

West Yorkshire has an Oceanic climate, similar to other parts of the United Kingdom. West Yorkshire tends to be cooler than counties further south, due to inland location and high elevation (especially in western areas). Snow is common, as are sub-zero temperatures. In December 2010, many rivers in West Yorkshire froze over.

Temperatures over the year usually remain between −1 °C (30 °F) and 20 °C (68 °F) with rare extremes near 30 °C (86 °F) and −16 °C (3 °F).

Climate data for West Yorkshire
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5
(41)
5
(41)
8
(46)
11
(52)
15
(59)
18
(64)
19
(66)
19
(66)
17
(63)
13
(55)
8
(46)
6
(43)
12
(53.5)
Average low °C (°F) 0
(32)
0
(32)
1
(34)
3
(37)
5
(41)
8
(46)
10
(50)
10
(50)
8
(46)
6
(43)
2
(36)
1
(34)
4.5
(40.1)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 61
(2.4)
45
(1.77)
52
(2.05)
48
(1.89)
54
(2.13)
54
(2.13)
51
(2.01)
65
(2.56)
57
(2.24)
55
(2.17)
57
(2.24)
61
(2.4)
660
(25.99)
Source #1: www.worldtravels.com[14]
Source #2: www.wunderground.com[15]

GovernanceEdit

 
The coat of arms of the former West Yorkshire County Council

In Parliament, 15 out of 23 of West Yorkshire's MPs are Labour, 6 are Conservative and 2 are Liberal Democrats. At local level, the councils are generally divided, apart from the Wakefield district, which has long been one of the safest Labour councils in the country.

Certain services are provided across the county by West Yorkshire Joint Services, and the West Yorkshire Police and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service are also county-wide.

DemographyEdit

District Area km2 Population Population density
City of Bradford 366.42 523,100 1,346
Calderdale 363.92 200,100 545
Kirklees 408.61 401,000 975
City of Leeds 551.72 761,100 1,360
City of Wakefield 338.61 321,600 949
 
Population density in the 2011 census in West Yorkshire.
Distribution of ethnic groups in West Yorkshire according to the 2011 census.
White 
White-British 
White-Irish 
White-Other 
Asian 
Asian-Indian 
Asian-Pakistani 
Asian-Bangladeshi 
Asian-Chinese 
Black 
Black-African 
Black-Caribbean 
Other-Arab 
Distribution of religions in West Yorkshire according to the 2011 census.
Christianity 
Islam 
Judaism 
Hinduism 
Sikhism 
Buddhism 
Other religion 
No religion 

EconomyEdit

 
Bridgewater Place, a symbol of Leeds' growing financial importance.

This is a chart of regional gross value added for West Yorkshire at current basic prices with figures in millions of British Pounds Sterling.[16]

Year Regional Gross Value Added[17] Agriculture[18] Industry[19] Services[20]
1995 21,302 132 7,740 13,429
2000 27,679 80 8,284 19,314
2003 31,995 91 8,705 23,199

IndustriesEdit

West Yorkshire grew up around several industries. Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield were grown through the development of woollen mills, Leeds' traditional industry was the manufacturing of cloth, while heavier engineering industries facilitated growth in South Leeds. Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and South and East Leeds were traditional coal mining areas. The woollen and cloth industries declined throughout the twentieth century. Many of the coal mines in West Yorkshire closed during the Robens era in the 1960s, but mining was still a significant employer in the Wakefield district at the time of the 1984-5 strike. The last pit in West Yorkshire to close was Hay Royds Colliery at Denby Dale in 2012 after a flood.[21]

Leeds has since attracted investment from financial institutions, to become a recognised financial centre, with many banks, building societies and insurance companies having offices in the city. Wakefield has also attracted many service based industries, inparticularly call centres. Two of the big four supermarkets are from West Yorkshire. Morrisons is based in Bradford, while Asda is based in Leeds. Netto have their British headquarters in South Elmsall.

Rhubarb

The Rhubarb Triangle is wholly in West Yorkshire and still produces the vegetable in considerable quantities. Twelve farmers who farm within the Rhubarb Triangle applied to have the name "Yorkshire forced rhubarb" added to the list of foods and drinks that have their names legally protected by the European Commission's Protected Food Name scheme.[22] The application was successful and the farmers in the Rhubarb Triangle were awarded Protected Designation of Origin status (PDO) in February 2010. Food protected status accesses European funding to promote the product and legal backing against other products made outside the area using the name. Other protected names include Stilton cheese, Champagne and Parma Ham.

Film and television productionsEdit

Several films and television series have been filmed in West Yorkshire's historic areas, particularly around the city of Huddersfield.[23][24] For example, portions of the BBC television series Happy Valley were filmed in Huddersfield; in addition to exteriors, some of the studio filming was done at North Light Film Studios at Brookes Mill, Huddersfield. As well, interiors for the BBC's Jamaica Inn, for the BBC's Remember Me and for ITV series Black Work, were also filmed at the studios.[25][26][27][28] More recently, many of the exteriors of the BBC series Jericho were filmed at the nearby Rockingstone Quarry and some interior work was done at North Light Film Studios.[29]

TourismEdit

Urban tourism varies. National interest features include sporting stadia, museums, theatre and galleries. Royal Armouries is in Leeds, as is the West Yorkshire Playhouse, Opera North and The Grand Theatre. The First Direct Arena in Leeds seats around 15,000 people. Sheffield (South Yorkshire) Arena is also popular, as is the Alhambra Theatre, St Georges Hall and The Media and Science Museum in Bradford, West Yorkshire. Leeds is the most popular shopping destination in West Yorkshire, probably Yorkshire and rivals Manchester having claim to Briggate, the Headrow, the Trinity Centre, Victoria Gate, the Victoria and Northern Quarters, the biggest indoor market in Europe and the White Rose Shopping Centre, as well as many 'first outside of London' labels such as Harvey Nichols and Victoria's Secret. Leeds is also a popular nightlife destination domestically, which is not surprising given its accessibility and central location. All cities are well connected via rail and road, Leeds Railway Station is an important hub seeing 29.7 million passengers 2015-16, making it the fourth busiest station in the UK (London altogether being classed as number one) after London, Birmingham New Street and Glasgow Central. It is the busiest in Northern England. Signposted walks follow rivers and the escarpment of the Pennines, which is scaled in meandering stages and tunnels by the recreational Leeds-Liverpool Canal and Rochdale Canal, navigatable by barge, canoe or kayak. Other tourism features include abbeys, castles, countryside walks, landscapes, picturesque villages, architecture, stately homes, tea rooms, real ale breweries, farmer's markets, restaurants and hiking in villages including Hebden Bridge, Ilkley with its scenic riversides, cherry blossoms and suspension bridge and equally in Wharfedale, Otley.

TransportEdit

West Yorkshire lies in arguably the most strategic part of Yorkshire: the M62, M1 and the A1(M) pass through the county, as well as the internal urban motorways in Leeds and Bradford. West Yorkshire has two mainline railway stations, Leeds and Wakefield Westgate. Leeds railway station is the only Network Rail principal station in Yorkshire and North East England, and one of only three in the North of England along with Manchester Piccadilly and Liverpool Lime Street. Other important railway stations in West Yorkshire include Bradford Interchange, Bradford Forster Square, Huddersfield, Halifax, Dewsbury, Keighley and Shipley. West Yorkshire also has Yorkshire's largest airport, Leeds Bradford International Airport.

Unlike South Yorkshire, West Yorkshire has no light transit system; the Leeds Supertram was proposed, but was later cancelled after the withdrawal of government funding; the Leeds Trolleybus is the current proposed scheme. Public transport is run under the authority of the West Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (Metro).

SportEdit

The three major football clubs in West Yorkshire are Bradford City, Huddersfield Town, who are the sole team in Yorkshire to play in the premier league of English football and Leeds United. Rugby league is also big in West Yorkshire. The teams who are, or have been, in Super League are Bradford Bulls, Castleford Tigers, Halifax, Huddersfield Giants, Leeds Rhinos, and Wakefield Trinity. Other rugby league clubs in West Yorkshire are Batley Bulldogs, Dewsbury Rams, Featherstone Rovers, Hunslet Hawks and Keighley Cougars. Any combination of these teams playing against each other would be called a West Yorkshire derby even if the rivalry is not as great as other rivalries between teams in the area. The main rugby union club in the county is Yorkshire Carnegie.

The Headingley Stadium is home of the Yorkshire County Cricket Club, Leeds Rhinos and Yorkshire Carnegie, whereas the John Smith's Stadium is home of Huddersfield Town and Huddersfield Giants. Valley Parade is home of Bradford City, whereas the Odsal Stadium is home of the Bradford Bulls.

There are two racecourses in West Yorkshire: Pontefract and Wetherby

Places of interestEdit

Historic environmentEdit

Key
  Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
  Accessible open space
  Amusement/Theme Park
  Castle
  Country Park
  English Heritage
Forestry Commission
  Heritage railway
  Historic House
 
 
Museum (free/not free)
  National Trust
  Theatre
  Zoo

MuseumsEdit

 
Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds: Looking up the main stairwell

Natural environmentEdit

 
Emley Moor Mast

WaterwaysEdit

 
Clarence Dock in Leeds

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

Notes

  1. ^ Arnold-Baker, C., Local Government Act 1972, (1973)
  2. ^ "Gazetteer of the old and new geographies of the United Kingdom" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. p. 48. Retrieved 14 December 2006. 
  3. ^ "Metropolitan Counties and Districts". Beginners' Guide to UK Geography. Office for National Statistics. 17 September 2004. Retrieved 11 January 2007. 
  4. ^ "Yorkshire and Humber Counties". The Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 14 February 2007. 
  5. ^ "County Hall". Wakefield City Council. 20 November 2004. 
  6. ^ Redcliffe-Maud and Wood, B., English Local Government Reformed, (1974)
  7. ^ Kingdom, J., Local Government and Politics in Britain, (1991)
  8. ^ Beckett 2005, pp. 39,40
  9. ^ "History of City Hall". City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council. Retrieved 17 January 2009. 
  10. ^ a b The urban district of Queensbury and Shelf was split between Bradford and Calderdale in 1974: Queensbury civil parish was amalgamated into Bradford; Shelf civil parish was amalgamated into Calderdale.
  11. ^ "Yorkshire Southern Pennine Fringe". www.countryside.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  12. ^ "Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and Yorkshire Coalfield". www.countryside.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  13. ^ "Southern Magnesian Limestone". www.countryside.gov.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  14. ^ "Leeds average weather data.". www.worldtravels.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "Leeds average weather data.". www.wunderground.com. Retrieved 21 January 2016. 
  16. ^ "Regional Gross Value Added" (PDF). Office for National Statistics. 21 December 2005. pp. 240–253. Retrieved 6 October 2008. 
  17. ^ Components may not sum to totals due to rounding
  18. ^ includes hunting and forestry
  19. ^ includes energy and construction
  20. ^ includes financial intermediation services indirectly measured
  21. ^ "The Drift remembers Yorkshire's industrial past". University of Bolton. Retrieved 29 July 2017. 
  22. ^ Application to register Yorkshire Forced Rhubarb (PDF), DEFRA, retrieved 25 February 2010 
  23. ^ "Productions at North Light Film Studios". North Light Film Studios. North Light Film Studios. 2017. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  24. ^ "Film & TV". Examiner. Huddersfield. 29 October 2016. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  25. ^ Ballinger, Lauren (5 December 2014). "North Light Film Studios - Remember Me filming locations". Examiner. Huddersfield. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  26. ^ Rees, Caroline (3 November 2013). "Sally Wainwright: not the same old". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  27. ^ Bremner, Jade (11 December 2013). "Last Tango in Halifax actress Sarah Lancashire begins shooting new crime drama in Yorkshire". Radio Times. Retrieved 19 January 2014. 
  28. ^ "Creative England provides filming location and crew support to new BBC drama Happy Valley when filming in Yorkshire". Creative England. 29 April 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  29. ^ Gildea, Samantha (1 February 2016). "Jericho filming locations". Examiner. Huddersfield. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 

Bibliography

External linksEdit