Borough of Rochdale
Rochdale Town Hall
Official logo of Borough of Rochdale
Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester and England
Rochdale shown within Greater Manchester and England
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionNorth West England
Ceremonial countyGreater Manchester
Admin HQRochdale (Town Hall)
Founded1 April 1974
 • TypeMetropolitan borough
 • Governing bodyRochdale Metropolitan Borough Council
 • MayorCllr. Aasim Rashid
 • MPs:Tony Lloyd (L)
Chris Clarkson (C)
 • Council LeaderCllr. Neil Emmott
 • Total61.4 sq mi (159 km2)
 • Total223,773 (Ranked 79th)
 • Density3,521/sq mi (1,359/km2)
 • Ethnicity
(United Kingdom Estimate 2006) [1]
86.5% White
11.4% S.Asian or mixed
1.4% Black or mixed
0.8% Chinese or other
Time zoneUTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
OL & M
Area code0161 / 01706
ISO 3166-2GB-RCH
ONS code00BQ (ONS)
E08000005 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSD897133
Number One Riverside, the headquarters of Rochdale Borough Council
Number One Riverside, the headquarters of Rochdale Borough Council

The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after its largest town, Rochdale, The borough covers other outlying towns and villages with a population of 206,500 at the 2011 census. It is the ninth-largest district by population in Greater Manchester. [2]


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 was formed 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.The borough lies mostly within the historic county of Lancashire but a small part lies in the former West Riding of Yorkshire. 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.[3]

Milnrow skyline
Milnrow skyline
Saint Luke's Parish Church, Heywood
Saint Luke's Parish Church, Heywood


Blackstone Edge Fold, Rochdale
Blackstone Edge Fold, Rochdale

The borough lies directly north-northeast of the City of Manchester, to the east of the Metropolitan Borough of Bury, to the north of the Metropolitan Borough of Oldham and partly to the east of the county of West Yorkshire bordering near to the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale and the Lancashire borough of Rossendale is to the northwest. There are some rural parts and urban parts of the district including Blackstone Edge and the Pennine hills which form part of the rural areas of the borough. The more urban areas centre around the town and neighbouring boroughs of Bury, Oldham and Manchester. The town of Middleton is contiguous with the northeastern suburbs of Manchester and the towns of Chadderton, Failsworth and Oldham. The towns of Heywood, Littleborough and Milnrow form an urban area with Rochdale.

Towns, villages and suburbs

Aside from the aforementioned town of Rochdale, other towns in the borough include Heywood, Littleborough and Milnrow. Villages, hamlets and suburbs of the borough include Balderstone, Birtle, Clough, Newhey, Summit and Wardle.


St Chad's Church, Rochdale's parish church
St Chad's Church, Rochdale's parish church

Ethnicity (2021 Census)


The following table shows the religious identity of residents residing in Rochdale.

Religion 2021[5]
Number %
Christian 104,841 46.9
Muslim 42,121 18.8
Jewish 218 0.1
Hindu 613 0.3
Sikh 191 0.1
Buddhism 398 0.2
Other religion 675 0.3
No religion 64,349 28.8
Religion not stated 10,366 4.6
Total 295,963 100.0

Milkstone Mosque, Rochdale
Milkstone Mosque, Rochdale

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[6]

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.[7]

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
Flag of Lower Saxony.svg
Niedersachsen Municipal Borough of Heywood 1967
Germany Germany
DEU Bielefeld COA.svg
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
Flag of Lviv.svg
Lviv Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1992
Bangladesh Bangladesh Sylhet Sylhet Division Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 2009

Freedom of the Borough

The following people and military units have received the Freedom of the Borough of Rochdale.

This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items. (May 2019)


Military units


See also



  1. ^ Lead View Table
  2. ^ "Greater Manchester (United Kingdom): Boroughs - Population Statistics, Charts and Map". Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ Clark 1973, p. 101.
  4. ^ "Ethnicity - Ethnicity by local authorities, ONS".
  5. ^ "Religion - Religion by local authorities, ONS".
  6. ^ "Rochdale District: total population". Vision of Britain. Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  7. ^ "Town twinning". Archived from the original on 29 October 2007. Retrieved 18 August 2011.
  8. ^ "Receiving the Freedom of Rochdale | the Official Gracie Fields".
  9. ^ "Cyril Smith stripped of the freedom of borough".
  10. ^ "'True hero' unveils L/Cpl Stephen Shaw MC Way in Heywood". BBC News Manchester. 27 May 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  11. ^ Gray, Lisa (16 May 2014). "Battle hero Stephen Shaw to be given freedom on his day of honour". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  12. ^ Selby, Alan (3 November 2017). "Death of former MP and influential minister Joel Barnett". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  13. ^ Wilkinson, Damon (29 August 2017). "Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear is to be given the freedom of Rochdale". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  14. ^ Wilkinson, Damon (5 October 2017). "Coronation Street legend Julie Goodyear 'truly humbled' as she is awarded freedom of Rochdale". The Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  15. ^ "Freedom of the Borough honour for Rochdale's England hero Keira Walsh". Rochdale Borough Council. 7 October 2022. Retrieved 9 October 2022.
  16. ^ "Honorary Aldermen and Freemen - Freedom of the Borough".


Coordinates: 53°37′00″N 2°09′24″W / 53.61667°N 2.15667°W / 53.61667; -2.15667