Borough of Rochdale
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)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total222,412 (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 code(s)0161 / 01706
ISO 3166-2GB-RCH
ONS code00BQ (ONS)
E08000005 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSD897133

The Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale is a metropolitan borough of Greater Manchester in North West England. It is named after its largest town, Rochdale, but spans a far larger area which includes the towns of Middleton, Heywood, Littleborough, and Milnrow, as well as the village of Wardle.

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 lies directly north-northeast of the City of Manchester and has a population of 206,500. Although some parts are highly industrialised and densely populated, the borough has the lowest population density in Greater Manchester, with some areas of rural open space including Blackstone Edge and the Pennine hills.


The old Municipal Offices, demolished in 2014, which were replaced by Number One Riverside.
The old Municipal Offices, demolished in 2014, which were replaced by Number One Riverside.

The borough, which is the largest such borough of Greater Manchester, was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, 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.

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.[2]

Neighbouring districts

The Metropolitan Borough of Oldham lies to the south-east, and the Metropolitan Borough of Bury lies to the west. The City of Manchester is to the south.

To the north-west is the borough and non-metropolitan district of Rossendale in Lancashire and to the north-east is the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire.

Unparished areas

Showing former status (prior to 1974)

  1. Heywood (municipal borough)
  2. Littleborough (urban district)
  3. Middleton (municipal borough)
  4. Milnrow (urban district)
  5. Rochdale (county borough)
  6. Wardle (urban district)

Ethnic groups

Rochdale(2011) - count - %

Source: ONS - 2011 Census (KS201EW)[4]

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[5]

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.[6]

Country Place County / District / Region / State Originally twinned with Date
France France
Tourcoing Nord-Pas de Calais County Borough of Rochdale 1956
Germany Germany
Niedersachsen Municipal Borough of Heywood 1967
Germany Germany
Nordrhein-Westfalen County Borough of Rochdale 1953
Pakistan Pakistan Sahiwal Punjab Metropolitan Borough of Rochdale 1988
Ukraine Ukraine
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. ^ Clark 1973, p. 101.
  3. ^ Lead View Table
  4. ^ UK Census (2011). "Local Area Report – Rochdale Local Authority (E08000005)". Nomis. Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  5. ^ "Rochdale District: total population". Vision of Britain. Retrieved on 20 December 2008.
  6. ^ "Town twinning". Archived from the original on 2007-10-29. Retrieved 2011-08-18.
  7. ^ "Receiving the Freedom of Rochdale | the Official Gracie Fields".
  8. ^ "Cyril Smith stripped of the freedom of borough".
  9. ^ "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