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Loughborough ( , or ) is a town within the Charnwoodmarker borough of Leicestershiremarker, England. It had a population of 57,600 in 2004. It is the second largest settlement in Leicestershire after Leicestermarker, is the seat of Charnwood Borough Council, and the home of Loughborough Universitymarker.

In 1841 Loughborough was the destination for the first package tour, organised by Thomas Cook for a temperance group from Leicestermarker. The town has the world's largest bell foundryJohn Taylor Bellfoundersmarker, which made the bells for the Carillon war memorial, a landmark within the Queens Park in the town, and York Minstermarker. The first mention of Loughborough is in the 1086 Domesday Book.

On the edge of Loughborough to the north, Dishley Grange Farm was home of agricultural revolutionist Robert Bakewell. The farm was once home to the annual Leicestershire County Show. Loughborough has the Loughborough Echo and Loughborough Guide, but is also served by the Leicester Mercury.



Loughborough stationmarker is on the Midland Main Line, east of the town. This line links to London to Nottinghammarker, Sheffieldmarker and Leedsmarker. There were at one time three railway routes to the town: the still operating Midland line; the Great Central Railway which had its own Central station, closed as a result of the Beeching cuts; and a branch line from Nuneaton, part of the London and North Western Railway. The Great Central Railway line is now terminus of the south section of the Great Central Steam Railway heritage railway; plans are to reopen the line north and join the two sections.

Brush Tractionmarker, builder of railway locomotives, is in the town.The M1's Junction 23 is 2 miles (5 km) west. The north of the town can be accessed from Junction 24, travelling through Kegworthmarker and Hathernmarker on the A6 road. Local buses are operated by Arriva, Paul S Winson Coaches, Premiere Travel and Kinch Bus(Article is for the parent company)

The River Soarmarker passes to east of the town. Navigation from Loughborough north towards the Trent was achieved in 1778 by the Loughborough Navigation which terminates at Loughborough Wharf between Derby Road and Bridge Street. Subsequently the Leicester navigation was constructed connecting to the Loughborough Navigation at Canal Bridge. The Leicester navigation connects to the River Soar south of the town. Both form part of the Grand Union Canalmarker.


The centre of Loughborough's shopping area is the pedestrianised Market Place and Market Street, which maintain a number of original art deco buildings, such as the building that currently houses the 'Reel Cinema'. A large outdoor market is held there every Thursday and Saturday. There is a monthly farmers' market. The first mention of a market in Loughborough is 1221.

'The Rushes' shopping centre has been built on the former bus station and is occupied by national chains. The Rushes is linked to the town centre area by Churchgate and Churchgate Mews; the latter has independent shops.

Sports and culture

The Rugby Union club, Loughborough RFC, play at Derby Road playing fields. The club was formed in 1891.

Other sports teams include the non-league Loughborough Dynamo Football Club and the Loughborough Aces (Collegiate American Football). There is a netball league at Loughborough Leisure Centre. The town was also once home of a professional football club, Loughborough F.C., in the Football League during the late 1800s. Cricket is prominent, with Loughborough Town C.C., Loughborough Carillon C.C., Loughborough Carillon Old Boys' C.C. and Loughborough Greenfields C.C. representing various standards of Cricket in the area. The university is home to the ECB National Cricket Academy, used by the England team as primary training centre. There is also Loughborough Town Swimming Club, who are based in the town and train at local venues.

The Loughborough Canal Festivalmarker which started in 1997, is an annual event in May centred on Chain Bridge. The event attracts 10,000 visitors. The Picnic In the Park started in 1980 and is held in May. It is organised by Charnwood Arts and in Queens Park. Streets Alive is another event organised between Charnwood Arts and Charnwood Borough Councilmarker at a similar time of year.

Great Central Railway is a preserved railway based at Loughborough Central Station south of the town centre. It runs every weekend.

In November, the street fair takes over the centre of the town and closes the A6 and other roads. The fair runs from Wednesday afternoon to Saturday night. The fair has many rides, amusement arcades, food stands and games. This is the biggest street fair in Europe.

Loughborough Town Hall is a venue for theatre as well as conferences and weddings. The 497-seat theatre underwent a £2.8 million refurbishment.

The town is home to the Reel Cinema, part of a chain of 10. There are six screens in the theatre, which is in art deco. The cinema was built in 1936 and has been called the Pal Court and Ballroom, Empire, Classic and Curzon.



Tertiary education

Loughborough University

Loughborough University
In 2004, Loughborough University was ranked 9th among the British universities by the Times' Good University Guide. In 2006 Loughborough was ranked 6th. In 2007 The Guardian rated the university 8th, and 10th of 117 institutions by The Guardian League Tables 2009 (published online 1/6/08 for the 2009-10 academic year. The university is 5th in some rankings, behind Oxbridge and the London universities. The university has the largest sports scholarship in the UK. More than 250 international athletes are studying and training there. In 2008 Loughborough was named Sunday Times University of the Year. The university is also the town's largest employer.

Loughborough College

Loughborough College is the second biggest education establishment in Loughborough. Its offers Further Education and vocational courses. It was originally established in 1909. It has an over 12,000 full and part-time students population. A thriving and successful further education College, it has an annual turnover in excess of £19m and employs over 900 staff working hard to provide a high quality learning experience for every student.

Notable people

Loughborough natives include Albert Francis Cross, the journalist, author, poet and playwright who was born on Moor Lane on 9 May 1863, the two time Laurence Olivier Award nominated stage actress Nicola Hughes and Coronation Streetmarker's Roy Cropper actor David Neilson. Bobsleigher and Paratrooper Dean Ward, who won a bronze medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics was born in the town. Most biographies of Felix Buxton of Basement Jaxx suggest he was a Londoner. In fact he was a pupil at Loughborough Grammar Schoolmarker and son of the one-time vicar of nearby Woodhouse Eavesmarker and Ibstockmarker. The Dundee-born comedian, TV presenter and entertainerDanny Wallace attended Holywell County Primary School. Mark Collett, sidekick of Nick Griffin in the BNP, attended Loughborough Grammar School. The high jumper Ben Challenger, son of Showaddywaddy drummer Romeo Challenger, is also from Loughborough. The popular Muslim and Bangladeshi presenter Rizwan Hussain was brought up here. More recently, Fred Bowers, a 73 year old Loughborough pensioner reached the Semi-Finals of Britains Got Talent 2009, with his breakdancing act.

Notable sporting graduates of Loughborough University include Sir Clive Woodward, Sebastian Coe, Paula Radcliffe, David Moorcroft, Tanni Grey-Thompson, Monty Panesar, Steve Backley, Jack Kirwan and Lawrie Sanchez.


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