Metropolitan Borough of Bolton 

Borough of Bolton
Metropolitan borough
Bolton Town Hall, the seat of Bolton's borough council
Bolton Town Hall, the seat of Bolton's borough council
Official logo of Borough of Bolton
Coat of Arms of the Metropolitan Borough Council
Motto: "Supera Moras"
(Latin: "Overcome delays")
Bolton shown within Greater Manchester
Bolton shown within Greater Manchester
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region North West England
Ceremonial county Greater Manchester
Admin HQ Bolton Town Hall
Founded 1 April 1974
 • Type Metropolitan Borough
 • Governing body Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council
Mayor: Guy Harkin
 • Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
 • Leader: Cllr. Cliff Morris (L)
 • MPs: David Crausby (L)
Yasmin Qureshi (L)
Julie Hilling (L)
 • Total 53.98 sq mi (139.80 km2)
Population (2011 est.)
 • Total 277,300 (Ranked 39th)
 • Density 4,860/sq mi (1,877/km2)
Time zone Greenwich Mean Time (UTC+0)
Postcode areas BL1-BL9, M26
Area code(s) 01204, 01942, 0161
Twin cities
 • Le Mans France France
 • Paderborn Germany Germany
ISO 3166-2 GB-BOL
ONS code 00BL (ONS)
E08000001 (GSS)
OS grid reference SD715095
The Metropolitan Borough of Bolton is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester, England.

It is named after its largest settlement,  Bolton, but covers a far larger area which includes  BlackrodFarnworthHorwich, Sharples, Kearsley and  Westhoughton, and a suburban and rural element from the West Pennine Moors.

The borough has a population of 276,800, and is administered from Bolton Town Hall.

The boundaries the Bolton metropolitan district were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, and cover an amalgamation of eight former local government districts; seven Urban Districts from the administrative county of Lancashire, and the  County Borough of Bolton.

The metropolitan districts of Bury, Salford and Wigan lie to the east, south and west respectively; and the non-metropolitan districts of Blackburn with Darwen and Chorley in Lancashire lie to the north and north-west.

The Arms of Bolton Metropolitan Borough Council are a pun on the word Bolton, as they depict an arrow (a "bolt") passing through a crown (a "tun").


The metropolitan borough was formed on 1 April 1974, by the merger of the County Borough of Bolton and the following districts from the administrative county of Lancashire:

  • The Municipal Borough of Farnworth
  • The Urban district of Horwich
  • The Urban district of Westhoughton
  • The Urban district of Blackrod
  • The Urban district of Kearsley
  • The Urban district of Little Lever
  • The southern part of the Urban district of Turton, specifically the villages of Bradshaw, Bromley Cross, Dunscar, Egerton and Harwood. This area is now known as South Turton.

  • Bolton Council unsuccessfully petitioned Elizabeth II for the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton to be granted city status in 1992 (the Queen’s 40th year as monarch), in 2000 (for the Millennium celebrations), in 2002 (Queen’s Golden Jubilee), and 2012 (Queen's Diamond Jubilee).


    Horwich, Westhoughton and Blackrod are now constituted as civil parishes.

    There are three town councils in the metropolitan borough, Westhoughton Town Council, Horwich Town Council and Blackrod Town Council.

    The rest of the metropolitan borough, Bolton, Farnworth, Kearsley, Little Lever, and South Turton, have remained unparished areas since 1974.


    According to the 2009 estimates, of the 265,100 people living in Bolton Metropolitan Borough, the following ethnicities have been recorded:

    • 88.0% White
      • 85.9% White British
      • 1.2% Other White
      • 0.8% White Irish

    • 9.3% South Asian
      • 5.9% Indian
      • 2.7% Pakistani
      • 0.5% Other South Asian
      • 0.2% Bangladeshi

    • 1.2% Mixed Race
      • 0.5% White and Asian
      • 0.4% White and Black Caribbean
      • 0.2% White and Black African
      • 0.2% Other Mixed

    • 1.0% Black
      • 0.6% Black African
      • 0.4% Black Caribbean
      • 0.1% Other Black

    • 0.6% Other
      • 0.3% Chinese
      • 0.3% Other

    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 Bolton has only existed since 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 Bolton since 1801
    Year Population % change Year Population % change Year Population % change
    1801 37,417 1871 158,917 +20.0 1941 256,207 −1.9
    1811 48,996 +30.9 1881 185,397 +16.7 1951 251,388 −1.9
    1821 60,319 +23.1 1891 216,792 +16.9 1961 255,627 +1.7
    1831 75,787 +25.6 1901 240,014 +10.7 1971 259,993 +1.7
    1841 89,507 +18.1 1911 265,733 +10.7 1981 260,229 +0.1
    1851 105,957 +18.4 1921 263,413 −0.9 1991 262,880 +1.0
    1861 132,437 +25.0 1931 261,119 −0.9 2001 261,035 −0.7
    Source: Vision of Britain


    The Bolton metropolitan area is served by the following railway stations:


    In 2007, Bolton was ranked 69th out of the 149 Local Education Authorities — and sixth out of ten in Greater Manchester — for its National Curriculum assessment performance.

    Measured on the percentage of pupils attaining at least 5 A*–C grades at GCSE including maths and English, the Bolton LEA was 111th out of 149: 40.1% of pupils achieved this objective, against a national average of 46.7%.

    Unauthorised absence from Bolton's secondary schools in the 2006/2007 academic year was 1.4%, in line with the national average, and authorised absence was 6.0% against the national average of 6.4%.

    At GCSE level, Bolton School (Girls' Division) was the most successful of Bolton's 21 secondary schools, with 99% of pupils achieving at least 5 A*–C grades at including maths and English.

    The University of Bolton is one of Greater Manchester's four universities. In 2008, The Times Good University Guide ranked it 111th of 113 institutions in Britain.

    There are 4,440 students (83% undergraduate, 17% postgraduate); 2.6% come from outside Britain.

    In 2007 there were 8.8 applications for every place, and student satisfaction was recorded as 74.4%.

    It is one of Britain's newest universities, having been given this status in 2005.

    GCSE Examination Performance 2009

    School A*-C
    Pass Rate
    Bolton Muslim Girls' School 100% 533.1
    Bolton School (Girls' Division) 98% 546.7
    Canon Slade C of E School 93% 508.5
    Lord's Independent School 93% 401.5
    St Joseph's RC High School and Sports College 85% 426.6
    Madrasatul Imam Muhammed Zakariya 79% 347.3
    Al Jamiah Al Islamiyyah at Mount St Joseph's Convent 79% 327.9
    Ladybridge High School 78% 437.6
    Turton School 76% 396.1
    Sharples School 74% 414.1
    Westhoughton High School 67% 424.0
    Rivington and Blackrod High School 69% 456.7
    Essa Academy 67% 383.7
    Smithills School 66% 400.8
    Little Lever Specialist Language College 61% 442.7
    Mount St Joseph Business and Enterprise College 61% 422.7
    Harper Green School 59% 384.7
    George Tomlinson School 55% 307.4
    Bolton School (Boys' Division) 52% 240.4
    Average for Metropolitan Borough of Bolton 71.4% 422.5
    Average for England 70.0% 413.5

    • The table on the left shows the percentage of students gaining five A* to C grades, including English and Maths, for secondary schools in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton.

    • The table on the right shows the Average Total Point Score per Student for secondary schools in the Metropolitan Borough of Bolton.

    • Schools highlighted in yellow are above the LEA average; those highlighted in orange are below the average.

    • Another secondary school, Bolton Muslim Girls' School, has opened since January 2007; no results are available.

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