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The City of Salford ( ), is a local government district of Greater Manchestermarker, England, with the status of a city and metropolitan borough. It is named after its largest settlement, Salfordmarker, but covers a far larger area which includes the towns of Swintonmarker, Walkdenmarker, Ecclesmarker, and Irlammarker which apart from Irlam each have a population of over 35,000. The city has a population of 218,000.

The current city boundaries were set as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1972, and cover an amalgamation of five former local government districts. It is bounded on the south east by the River Irwell, which forms its boundary with the city of Manchestermarker, on the east by Crumpsallmarker, Cheetham Hillmarker and Strangeways, and by the Manchester Ship Canal to the south, which forms its boundary with Traffordmarker. The metropolitan boroughs of Wiganmarker, Boltonmarker and Burymarker lie to the west, northwest and north respectively. Some parts of the city, which lies directly west of Manchester, are highly industrialised and densely populated, but around one third of the city consists of rural open space. This is because the western half of the city stretches across an ancient peat bog known as Chat Mossmarker.

Salford has a history stretching back to the Neolithic age. There are over 250 listed buildings in the city, including Salford Cathedralmarker, and three Scheduled Ancient Monuments. With the Industrial Revolution, Salford and its neighbours grew along with its textile industry. The former County Borough of Salfordmarker was granted city status in 1926. The city and its industries experienced decline throughout much of the 20th century, until the 1990s. Since then, parts of Salford have undergone regeneration, especially Salford Quaysmarker which has become the home of the BBC in the north of England. The city is ranked ninth out of the ten boroughs of Greater Manchester by General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) exam results. The University of Salfordmarker, situated in the city, is undergoing a £150 million redevelopment as of 2008. The Salford City Reds play rugby league in Super League.


Although the metropolitan borough of the City of Salford was a 20th-century creation, the area has a long history, extending back to the Stone Age. Neolithic flint arrow-heads and tools, and evidence of Bronze Age activity has been discovered in Salfordmarker. The Roman road from Manchester (Mamuciummarker) to Burymarker passes through the city; a hoard of over 550 bronze Roman coins dating between 259 AD and 278 AD was discovered in Boothstownmarker; and a Romano-British bog body, Worsley Man, was discovered in the Chat Mossmarker peat bog.

In 1142, a cell and priory dedicated to St. Leonard was established in Kersalmarker. The 12th century hundred of Salfordmarker was created as Salfordshire in the historic county of Lancashiremarker and survived until the 19th century, when it was replaced by one of the first county boroughs in the country. Salford became a free borough in about 1230, when it was granted a charter as a free borough by the Earl Ranulph of Chester. The cell in Kersal was sold in 1540 during the Dissolution of the Monasteries. A 16th century manor house, called Kersal Cell, was built on the site of the priory. In the English Civil War between King Charles I and parliament, Salford was Royalist. Salford was also noted as Jacobite territory; its inhabitants supported Charles Edward Stuart to the Throne of England and hosted him when he rode through the area during the Second Jacobite Rebellion.

During the Industrial Revolution, Salford grew as a result of the textile industry. Although Salford experienced an increase in population, it was overshadowed by the dominance of Manchester and did not evolve as a commercial centre in the same way. On 15 September 1830, Ecclesmarker was the site of the world's first railway accident. During a stop in Eccles to take on water, William Huskisson, Member of Parliament for Liverpool, had his leg crushed by Stephenson's Rocket; at the time he was in conversation with the Duke of Wellington, who was opening the railway, and did not get out of the way of the train in time. Although Huskisson was taken to Eccles for treatment he died of his injuries. In 1894, the Manchester Ship Canal was opened, running from the River Merseymarker to Salford Quaysmarker; when it was complete it was the largest navigation canal in the world. Along the route of the canal, it was necessary to create an aqueduct carrying the Bridgewater Canal over the Ship Canal. The Barton Swing Aqueduct, designed by Sir Edward Leader Williams, is long and weighs .

At the start of the 20th century, Salford began to decline due to competition from outside the UK. A survey in 1931 concluded that parts of Salford were amongst the worst slums in the country. Salford was granted city status in 1926. In the decades following the Second World War there was a significant economic and population decline in Salford. In 1961 a small part of Eccles was added to the city. On 1 April 1974, the City and County Borough of Salford was abolished under the Local Government Act 1972, and was replaced by the metropolitan borough of City of Salford, one of ten local government districts in the new metropolitan county of Greater Manchestermarker. The city status of the new district was confirmed by additional letters patent issued on the same day. Since the early 1990s, the decline has slowed.

Prior to the metropolitan borough's creation, the name Salford for the new metropolitan district courted controversy. Salford was "thought second-class by those in Eccles", who preferred the new name "Irwell" for the borough (with reference to the River Irwell). A councillor for the then City and County Borough of Salford objected to this suggestion, stating this label was nothing but "a dirty stinking river". The name Irwell won 8 votes to Salford's 7, but a private protest and deliberation favoured Salford as the name for the new city, citing that the River Irwell would pass through two other Greater Manchester districts, and that it "doesn't touch Worsleymarker".


The City of Salford is bounded to the north by the boroughs of Boltonmarker and Burymarker, to the south by Traffordmarker, to the west by boroughs of Wiganmarker and Warringtonmarker in Cheshiremarker, and to the east by Manchestermarker. The natural mossland of Chat Mossmarker lies in the south western corner of the city; it covers an area of about , accounting for about 30% of the city's area, and lies above sea level. The moss makes up the largest area of prime farmland in Greater Manchester. Kersal Moormarker is an area of moorland spanning in Kersalmarker; it is a Local Nature Reserve and a Site of Biological Importance. Greenspace accounts for 55.7% of the City of Salford's total area, domestic buildings and gardens comprise 20.0%, and the rest is made up of roads and non-domestic buildings.

The River Irwell runs south east through Kearsleymarker, Cliftonmarker and Agecroft then meanders around Lower Broughtonmarker and Kersalmarker, Salford Crescent and the centre of Manchester, joining the rivers Irk and Medlock. Turning west, it meets the Mersey south of Irlammarker, where the route of the river was altered in the late 19th century to form part of the course of the Manchester Ship Canal. The Ship Canal, opened in 1894, forms part of Salford's southern boundaries with Traffordmarker. The borough's climate is generally temperate, like the rest of Greater Manchester. The nearest weather station is away at Ringwaymarker, in Manchester; the mean highest and lowest temperatures ( and ) are slightly above the national average, while the annual rainfall ( ) and average hours of sunshine (1394.5 hours) are respectively above and below the national averages.


Parliamentary constituencies

The residents of the City of Salford are represented in the British Parliamentmarker by Members of Parliament (MPs) for three separate parliamentary constituencies. Salford is represented by Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP (Labour). Ecclesmarker is represented by Ian Stewart MP (Labour). Worsleymarker, which also covers parts of the Wiganmarker, is represented by Barbara Keeley MP (Labour). The City of Salford is part of the North West England constituency in the European Parliamentmarker. North West England elects nine MEPs, as at 2008 made up of four Conservatives, three from the Labour Party, one Liberal Democrat, and one member of the United Kingdom Independence Party.


In 1974, Salford City Council was created to administer the newly formed metropolitan borough. The council offices are located in Swinton, in what was formerly the Swinton and Pendleburymarker town hall. The Labour Party have been in control of the council since its formation in 1974. The council has a constitution detailing how they should operate in performing their duties. Councillor Valerie May Burgoyne is Mayor of Salford for 2007–08.

Salford City Council was assessed by the Audit Commission and judged to be "improving well" in providing services for local people. Overall the council was awarded "three star" status meaning it was "performing well" and "consistently above minimum requirements", similar to 46% of all local authorities.

The modern metropolitan borough of the City of Salford is based on the former County Borough of the City of Salfordmarker which included the city centre, Pendletonmarker, Weastemarker, Claremontmarker, Langworthy, Broughtonmarker, Kersalmarker, Ordsallmarker and Seedleymarker. The city is entirely unparished and absorbed the municipal boroughs of Ecclesmarker and Swinton and Pendleburymarker and the urban districts of Irlammarker and Worsleymarker. An urban district was a type of local government district which covered an urbanised area.

Party political make-up of Salford Council
   Party Seats Current Council (2008–09)
2007 2008
  Labour 42 36                                                                                                                        
  Conservative 10 13                                                                                                                        
  Lib Dems 8 10                                                                                                                        
  Independent 0 1                                                                                                                        

Electoral wards

There are 60 councillors representing 20 wards. Swintonmarker and Walkdenmarker have six councillors each.

Ward name Area (ha)/mi2 Population Population density (people per hectare) Ref.
Barton 12,067 47.4
Boothstownmarker and Ellenbrookmarker 9,799 44.5
Broughtonmarker 11,861 44.4
Cadisheadmarker 9,289 21.9
Claremontmarker 10,484 55.2
Ecclesmarker 10,298 38.2
Irlammarker 9,868 28.9
Irwell Riverside 11,571 25.7
Kersalmarker 11,305 36.1
Langworthy 12,373 61.2
Little Hultonmarker 12,713 32.8
Ordsallmarker 6,554 15.8
Pendleburymarker 11,499 27.7
Swintonmarker North 11,000 43.3
Swintonmarker South 10,993 39.1
Walkdenmarker North 11,241 36.0
Walkdenmarker South 10,170 36.4
Weastemarker and Seedleymarker 10,913 30.8
Wintonmarker 12,199 44.1
Worsleymarker 9,964 22.6

Coat of arms

The coat of arms of Salford City Council
The coat of arms of Salford City Council depicts a weaving shuttle surrounded by five bees with a three masted ship above, on a shield flanked by two lions. The blue background with a gold chief is taken from the arms of the city council of the County Borough of Salfordmarker, who in turn took it from the colours of the Earl of Chester. The shuttle and five bees represent the industry of the area and five settlements who benefited from the textile industry. The ship is borrowed from the crest of Eccles Borough Councilmarker and represents the importance of waterways to the city. The ship is flanked by two millrinds – the centres of millstones – symbolising engineering. The lions are taken from the crest of the Borough of Swinton and Pendlebury; they are wearing iron steel chain representing engineering. The shield is topped by a griffin carrying a pennon depicting three boars' heads. The griffin is taken from the crest of Eccles and the boars are from the crest of Irlam Urban Districtmarker. Beneath the shield is a scroll reading salus populi suprema lex, Latin for "the welfare of the people is the highest law".


In 2007–8, Salford City Council spent a total of £218 million. The council spent £50M on children's services (23%); £68M on community health and social care (31%); £15M environmental service (7%); £28M on housing and planning (13%); and £9M on customer and support services (4%). For the 2008–9 financial year, the council’s income is expected to consist of £125M (59%) from government grants and £87M (41%) from council tax.


Salford Compared
2001 UK Census Salford Greater Manchester England
Total population 216,103 2,514,757 49,138,831
White 96.1% 91.2% 90.9%
Asian 1.4% 5.6% 4.6%
Black 0.6% 1.2% 2.3%
As of the 2001 UK census, the City of Salford had a total population of 216,103. Of the 94,238 households in Salford, 29.3% were married couples living together, 36.7% were one-person households, 8.5% were co-habiting couples and 12.5% were lone parents. The figures for lone parent households were above the national average of 9.5%, and the percentage of married couples was also below the national average of 36.5%; the proportion of one person households was higher than the national average of 30.1%.

The population density was and for every 100 females, there were 96.6 males. Of those aged 16–74 in Salford, 35.5% had no academic qualifications, significantly higher than 28.9% in all of England. 5.3% of Salford’s residents were born outside the United Kingdom, significantly lower than the national average of 9.2%. The largest minority group was recorded as Asian, at 1.4% of the population.

The number of theft from a vehicle offences and theft of a vehicle per 1,000 of the population was 21.3 and 7.9 compared to the English national average of 7.6 and 2.9 respectively. The number of sexual offences was 1.1 compared to the average of 0.9. The national average of violence against another person was 16.7 compared to the Salford average of 27.2. The figures for crime statistics were all recorded during the 2006/7 financial year. Although all were above the averages for England, Salford's crime rate was lower than Manchester's.

Population change

The table below details the population change since 1801, including the percentage change since the last available census data. Although the City of Salford has existed as a metropolitan borough since 1974, figures have been generated by combining data from the towns, villages, and civil parishes that would later be constituent parts of the city.
Population growth in City of Salford 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 29,495 38,460 49,114 68,744 91,361 108,699 148,740 188,781 228,822 265,000 296,210 331,098 333,031 334,989 318,152 302,160 291,240 280,739 241,532 230,726 216,103
% change +30.4 +27.7 +40.0 +32.9 +19.0 +36.9 +26.9 +21.2 +15.8 +11.8 +11.8 +0.6 +0.6 −5.0 −5.0 −3.6 −3.6 −14.0 −4.5 −6.3
Source: Vision of Britain


Religion in the City of Salford
2001 UK Census City of Salford North West England England
Population 216,103 6,729,764 49,138,831
Christian 76.5% 78.0% 71.7%
Jewish 2.4% 0.4% 0.5%
Muslim 1.2% 3.0% 3.1%
No religion 11.0% 10.5% 14.6%
As of the 2001 UK census, 76.5% of Salford’s residents were Christian, 2.4% Jewish, 1.2% Muslim, 0.3% Hindu, 0.2% Buddhist, and 0.1% Sikh. 11.0% had no religion, 0.2% had an alternative religion and 8.1% did not state their religion. Salford is covered by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Salfordmarker, and the Church of England Diocese of Manchestermarker. During the mid-19th century, there was an influx of Irish people into the Salford area, partly due to The Great Hunger in Ireland. In 1848, Salford Roman Catholic Cathedralmarker was consecrated, reflecting Salford's large Irish-born community at the time.

Of Salford’s six Grade I listed buildings, three are churches. St Augustine's Churchmarker, in Pendleburymarker, was built in 1874 by George Frederick Bodley. The Church of St Mary the Virginmarker, in Ecclesmarker, was originally built in the 13th century but was expanded in the 15th. A church has been on the site since at least the Norman period. St Mark's Churchmarker, in Worsleymarker, was built in 1846 by George Gilbert Scott. The six Grade II* listed churches are the Church of St Andrew in Eccles, the Cathedral Church of St John, the Church of St Luke in Salford, Monton Unitarian Church in Montonmarker, the Church of St Philip in Salford, and the United Reformed Church.


Salford Docksmarker (also called Manchester Docks) were opened by Queen Victoria in 1894, providing docks in Manchester and Salford for the Manchester Ship Canal which linked Manchester to the sea. During the 1970s, the docks fell into decline as they proved too small for new, larger ships, and when they were abandoned in 1982 over 3,000 people lost their jobs. Salford City Council purchased the docks in 1984 and since then they underwent regeneration as a centre of tourism in Salford, which included the construction of the Lowry Centremarker. More than 10,000 people are employed in the Quays in jobs such as retail, construction, and e-commerce. In 2007, it was confirmed that the BBC would be moving five of its departments to a new development on Pier 9 of Salford Quays, to be called MediaCityUK. The move, which is expected to be completed by 2011, will create up to 15,500 jobs and add £1bn to the regional economy over 5 years.
City of Salford Compared
2001 UK Census City of Salford North West England England
Population of working age 155,376 4,839,669 35,532,091
Full time employment 39.3% 38.8% 40.8%
Part time employment 10.6% 11.9% 11.8%
Self employed 5.4% 7.1% 8.3%
Unemployed 3.8% 3.6% 3.3%
Retired 13.5% 14.3% 13.5%
Finance and professional services, tourism and culture, and computer and internet based services have been identified as growth industries in Greater Manchester and are concentrated in Manchestermarker and Salford. Average house prices in the City of Salford are sixth out of all the metropolitan boroughs in Greater Manchester, 7.6% lower than the average for the county.

As of the 2001 UK census, Salford had 155,376 residents aged 16 to 74. 3.0% of these people were students with jobs, 5.9% looking after home or family, 9.5% permanently sick or disabled and 3.9% economically inactive for other reasons. The City of Salford has a high rate of people who are permanently sick and disabled, nearly double the national average of 5.3%.

In 2001, of 89,920 residents of the City of Salford in employment, the industry of employment was 18.7% retail and wholesale, 14.4% manufacturing, 12.7% property and business services, 11.9% health and social work, 7.7% transport and communications, 7.6% education, 6.8% construction, 5.1% hotels and restaurants, 4.7% public administration and defence, 4.4% finance, 0.7% energy and water supply, 0.4% agriculture, and 4.9% other. This was roughly in line with national figures, except for the proportion of jobs in agriculture which is less than half the national average, reflecting the city's suburban nature and its proximity to the centre of Manchester.



As of September 2003, the City of Salford has 6 Grade I, 14 Grade II*, and 253 Grade II listed buildings. The city has the equal second highest number of Grade I listed buildings out of the districts of Greater Manchester, behind Manchester. The Grade I listed buildings are the Church of St Augustinemarker, the Parish Church of St Mary the Virginmarker, St Mark's Churchmarker, Ordsall Hallmarker, Wardley Hallmarker, and a bridge over the River Irwell. Salford Cathedralmarker, built in 1845, is the seat of the Diocese of Salford and a Grade II* listed building. Most of the Salford's tallest buildings are mid-20th century residential tower blocks or 21st century high rise apartments. A study by Professor Christopher Collier of the University of Salfordmarker suggested that Manchester's drizzly climate is largely due to the multitude of high-rise blocks in Salford. Collier has proposed that they have a "dramatic influence on the region's weather patterns", and may contribute to the 8 °C (14 °F) temperature difference between Salford and its surrounding countryside.

There are three Scheduled Ancient Monuments in the city. The oldest is an Iron Age promontory fort occupied from 500 BC–200 AD. Also scheduled is Hanging Bridgemarker on the border with Manchester, dating to the 14th century, and an underground section of the Bridgewater Canal in Swintonmarker built in 1759.


Salford is home to three rugby league teams. Founded in 1873, Salford City Reds play in the Engage Super League at The Willowsmarker in Salford. They won the Challenge Cup in the 1938, and have experienced two previous stretches in the Super League, 1997–2002 and 2004–2007. In 2008 they won the Northern Rail Cup beating Doncaster 60-0 in the Final at Blackpool. They previously won the same trophy in 2003. They also won the National League 1 Grand Final in 2008, beating Celtic Crusaders after extra time in Warrington. Construction on a new 20,000 seat £35M stadium for the team, called the City of Salford Stadiummarker, is scheduled to be completed by 2011 in the Barton area of the city, close to the Trafford Centre shopping mall.

Swinton Lions were founded in 1866 and play in National League Two at Park Lanemarker. They won the Rugby League Championship six times between 1926 and 1964, before it was superseded by Super League.

The Broughton Rangers were founded in 1877 and won the Rugby League Challenge Cup in the 1901-02 and 1910-11 seasons. The club folded in 1955, but were reformed as a local amateur club in 2007 with the support of Salford City Reds.

Also in Salford are several football and cricket teams. Irlam F.C.marker is an amateur football team that has played in the Manchester Football League since 1989. They were founded in 1969 as Mitchell Shackleton Football Club and changed their name in 2006. Salford City F.C. was founded in 1940 and play in the North West Counties Football League. Monton & Weaste C.C. and Clifton C.C. have played in the Central Lancashire Cricket League since 2005 and 2006 respectively. Walkdenmarker play in the Bolton Cricket League. Little Hultonmarker play in the Bolton and District Cricket Association. Wintonmarker and Worsleymarker play play in the Manchester and District Cricket Association.


Overall, Salford was ranked 75th out of the all the Local Education Authorities – and seventh in Greater Manchester – in National Curriculum assessment performance in 2007. Unauthorised absences and authorised absences from Salford secondary schools in 2006-07 were 2.0% and 7.0% respectively, both higher than the national average (1.4% and 6.4%). In 2007, the Salford LEA was ranked 127th out of 149 in the country – and ninth in Greater Manchester – based on the percentage of pupils attaining at least 5 A*–C grades at General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) including maths and English (37.8% compared with the national average of 46.7%). In 2007, Beis Yaakov High School was the most successful school in Salford at GCSE, with 90% of the pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at A*–C grade including maths and English. Bridgewater School was the most successful at A–level.

The University of Salfordmarker is one of four universities in Greater Manchester and was ranked 81st by The Times. It has over 19,000 students and a 69.7% level of student satisfaction. In 2007, the university received nearly 17,000 applications for 3,660 places. The university is undergoing £150M of redevelopment through investment in new facilities, including a £10M law school and a £22M building for health and social care which were opened in 2006. In 2007, the drop out rate from the university was 25%. Of the students graduating, 50% gained first class or 2:1 degrees, which is below the national average of about 55%.


The City of Salford is served by nine railway stations on four routes. Ecclesmarker and Patricroftmarker are on the northern route of the Liverpool to Manchester Line, while Irlammarker, in the southwest of the borough, is on the southern route. Cliftonmarker is on the line to Bolton and Preston; Swintonmarker, Moorsidemarker and Walkdenmarker are on the Manchester to Southport Line via Wigan; and Salford Centralmarker and Salford Crescentmarker are served by both routes. A station at Pendletonmarker was closed in 1998 after suffering fire damage and a loss of patronage in favour of nearby Salford Crescent, opened a few years earlier. Most train services are provided by Northern Rail, although Salford Crescent is also served by First TransPennine Express as part of its TransPennine North West network.

The Eccles line of the Manchester Metrolink runs through the City of Salford, with stations at Exchange Quaymarker, Salford Quaysmarker, Anchoragemarker, Harbour Citymarker, Broadwaymarker, Langworthy, Weaste, Ladywell, and Ecclesmarker. The line was opened in two stages, in 1999 and 2000, as Phase 2 of the system's development.

There are bus stations at Pendletonmarker and Ecclesmarker. Buses run to destinations throughout the city, across Greater Manchester and further afield: Pendleton is served by a route to Prestonmarker, while the Eccles Interchange, next to the Metrolink stop, has a service to Liverpool John Lennon Airportmarker.

The council is responsible for the administration and maintenance of public roads and footpaths in the city.

Twin towns

The City of Salford has formal twinning arrangements with four European places. Each was originally twinned with a place within the City of Salford prior to its creation in 1974.

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Country Place County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
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Auvergnemarker Salfordmarker 1966
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North Rhine-Westphaliamarker Swinton and Pendleburymarker 1966
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Seine-Saint-Denismarker Worsleymarker 1961
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Languedoc-Roussillonmarker Ecclesmarker 1957

See also


  1. Cooper (2005), p. 18
  2. Pain (2003), p. 48
  3. Cooper (2005), p. 12
  4. Cooper (2005), p. 23
  5. Owen (1983), p. 120.
  6. Nevell (1997), p. 135.
  7. Cooper (2005), p. 41
  8. HMSO. Local Government Act 1972. 1972 c.70
  9. .
  10. Birks (1965), p. 273.
  11. Nevell (1997), p. 125.
  12. Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  13. Cooper, Salford: An Illustrated History, p. 39


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