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.

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, which lies directly north-northeast of the City of Manchester, has a population of 206,500, and although most parts are highly industrialised and densely populated, contiguous with one of the United Kingdom's major cities, some of the borough consists of rural open space, for the most part due the territory in the eastern half stretching across 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 districts

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 areas

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]

  • 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 change

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 towns

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 France Blason ville fr Tourcoing (Nord).svg Tourcoing Nord-Pas de Calais County Borough of Rochdale 1956
Germany Germany Wappen Stadt Peine.jpg Peine Flag of Lower Saxony.svg Niedersachsen Municipal Borough of Heywood 1967
Germany Germany DEU Bielefeld COA.svg Bielefeld Flag of North Rhine-Westphalia.svg Nordrhein-Westfalen County Borough of Rochdale 1953
Pakistan Pakistan Sahiwal Punjab Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1988
Ukraine Ukraine Coat of arms of Lviv.svg Lviv Flag of Lviv.svg Lviv Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1992
Bangladesh Bangladesh Sylhet Sylhet Division Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 2009

See also



  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". rochdale.gov.uk. Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2011-08-18. 


  • Clark, David M. (1973). "Greater Manchester Votes: A Guide to the New Metropolitan Authorities". Redrose. 

External links

  • www.rochdale.gov.uk, Rochdale Council.
  • www.investinrochdale.co.uk/, Rochdale Development Agency - information on the borough, its economy and regeneration.
  • www.pennineland.co.uk Development Arm of Rochdale Development Agency (RDA) Uniting Private & Public Sector to support the Regeneration of Rochdale Borough.
  • www.statsandmaps.co.uk 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