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South Gloucestershire District
Status: Unitary authority
Region: South West England
Historic county: Gloucestershiremarker
Ceremonial county: Gloucestershiremarker

- Total


191.87 square miles (496.94 km²)
Admin. HQ: Thornburymarker
ONS code: 00HD

- Total ( )

- Density

/ km²
Ethnicity: 97.6% White
Gloucestershire Council
Leadership: Leader & Cabinet
MPs: Roger Berry

Doug Naysmith /

Dan Norris

Steve Webb

South Gloucestershire is a unitary district in the ceremonial county of Gloucestershiremarker in South West England.


The district was created in 1996, when the county of Avon was abolished, by the merger of former area of the districts of Kingswood and Northavonmarker. The district borders the City and County of Bristolmarker, the Bath and North East Somerset unitary district and the shire counties of Gloucestershiremarker and Wiltshiremarker.

South Gloucestershire also existed from 1950 to 1983 as the name of a roughly coterminous Parliamentary constituency, South Gloucestershire. Its MPs were in turn Tony Crosland, Frederick Corfield and John Cope. The constituency of Northavon now covers most of South Gloucestershire with Liberal Democrat Steve Webb MP representing the area.

Until 1881, the 61st Regiment of Foot was classified as The South Gloucestershire Regiment when it merged with the 28th Regiment to form The Gloucestershire Regiment.


In the 2001 census, the population of South Gloucestershire was estimated to be 245,641.

According to these estimates, 97.6 percent of the population were described as white, 0.8 percent as dual heritage, 0.7 percent as Asian or Asian British, 0.4 percent as Black or Black British and 0.5 percent as Chinese or other.

Much of the population is in the northern and eastern suburbs of Bristol, although there are also large population centres in the Yatemarker-Sodbury, Winterbournemarker-Frampton Cotterellmarker and Thornburymarker areas. All of the villages are within the commuting belt for Bristol, Bathmarker, Gloucestermarker and Cheltenhammarker.


The main employers are the Local Authority with 9,500 people and the Ministry of Defence Headquarters for Defence, Procurement and Naval Support Command with 7,000 employees. Other key employers include Airbus which dominates the Filtonmarker-Patchwaymarker area of South Gloucestershire, AXA, Hewlett Packard, Rolls Royce and the Royal Mail.

A notable business park is Aztec West, which is adjacent to the M5/A38 and M4/M5 interchanges.

The Mall, Cribbs Causewaymarker shopping centre is within South Gloucestershire.


South Gloucestershire is home to 99 primary schools and 16 secondary schools, and post-16 centres. There is one university which was a former polytechnic, The University of the West of Englandmarker. In 2008, DCSF figures revealed that 6.6% overall absence in the constituencies secondary schools, whilst 7.4% is the national average.

Key Stage 4 results (2008) 5 or more grades A*-C including English and maths GCSEs % Level 2 in functional English and maths Level 1 in functional English and maths Level 2 (5 or more grades A*-C) Level 1 (5 or more grades A*-G) 2 grades A*-C which cover the Key Stage 4 science programme of study A*C in a modern foreign language A*G in a modern foreign language At least one qualification
Local Authority average 48.1% 56.9% 92.8% 63.6% 93.0% 50.3% 30.6% 49.7% 98.0%
England average 48.1% 52.0% 90.2% 65.3% 91.6% 50.3% 30.7% 44.8% 98.6%

In 2005, the then Chancellor of the Exchequer recognised the City of Bristol's ties to science and technology by naming it one of six "science cities", and promising funding for further development of science in the city, with a £300 million science park planned at Emerson's Greenmarker, which is situated in South Gloucestershire


The River Severn forms the north-western edge of the area, with a wide coastal plain terminated by the Severn Escarpment. East of this is the wide River Frome Valley drainage area. Further east is another escarpment running roughly north-south, passing between Yate and Chipping Sodbury and west of Pucklechurch. The Cotswolds Escarpmentmarker forms the eastern edge of South Gloucestershire.

A small part of the Cotswoldsmarker and the National Trust site of Dyrham Parkmarker are also in the district. South of the motorways are suburbs of Bristol while areas north are rural areas. Some of the inner green belt has been taken away by developments like the new town of Bradley Stoke.


Map of South Gloucestershire; the blue lines are motorways.
South Gloucestershire is a major transport hub where the M4 and M5 motorways meet. Other major routes include the A38, the Avon Ring Road and part of the M32.

The area also has major connections to the railway network, with routes from London through the Severn Tunnel to South Wales, and from the South-West to Birmingham and beyond, crossing at Bristol Parkway railway stationmarker. It is home to the eastern ends of the two Severn bridgesmarker, which are the main routes by road to and from South Walesmarker.

Mode of transport South Glos % National %
Car driver 65.4 55.2
On foot 7.3 10.0
Bus or coach 6.5 7.4
Car passenger 6.3 6.3
Bicycle 3.0 2.8
Motorcycle 1.8 1.1
Train 0.6 4.1
Taxi 0.2 0.5
Other 0.3 0.5
Work from home 8.5 9.2

Major towns in South Gloucestershire, and their population

Other towns and villages

Places of interest

Parliamentary constituencies

Under the Boundary Commission proposals, which will take effect at the next general election, the authority will be divided between three new constituencies, all lying within the authority boundary. These are: County/Borough is a legal term denoting the type of constituency. County is a rural area, Borough is an urban area.

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