Chorley district profile

Chorley district profile map version 2


District profile



The Local Assessment for Chorley

This summary offers a snapshot of some of the most important economic, social and environmental factors in Chorley district with links through to the source information. The information has been allocated to one of seven themes:

1.   Children and Young People

2.   People and Communities

3.   Economic Development

4.   Community Safety

5.   Environment and transport

6.   Health and Wellbeing

7.  Older People  


Chorley is a district in central Lancashire that occupies a prime strategic location. The authority covers 203 square kilometres, has 20 wards, and in the number of people per km² is similar to the North West average. From an historic point of view there have been dramatic changes and the pace of future change is liable to increase.



1. Children and Young People

The children and young people section of the website highlights a number of issues at the local authority level.

Each of the 12 district authorities in the county council area has a Local Children's Trust Partnership. The Trusts have identified district priorities, and the 'what's happening in your area' section links to detailed outcomes for children and young people reports (CYP profiles) for each authority.   

The population estimates article includes age-group results that allow the numbers of young people to be identified in each Lancashire authority.  

Key stage 4 covers the two years of school education that incorporates GCSEs in maintained schools. The percentage of pupils achieving five or more A*-C grades at GCSE or equivalent including English and Maths in 2013/14 was 60.3% in Chorley district. This was ahead of the average of 56.8% for the Lancashire County Council area. The Department for Education achievement and attainment tables have more information on achievement at other levels. 

District authority level documents are available (lifecycle/population of 100s analyses) that identify problem areas for children and young people in the 12 district authorities in the Lancashire County Council area. Included within each document is a performance summary table, this highlights a number of indicators, and the district's performance compared to national and county performance.  

For young children and parents the county council has overseen the development of a number of children's centres in the authority. The county council's Lancashire schools website lists all schools in Chorley district. Ofsted inspection reports are a useful source of local information.

The county council's Young People's Service website has an activity and organisations search facility that lists a wide range of options for young people in each 12 districts within the county council area. 

2. People and Communities

The population in the authority has been increasing at a reasonable fast rate and rose from 97,000 in 1991 to 111,607 in 2014.  

Local authority live births and deaths graphs are available that track changes in births and deaths since the 1980s for each authority in Lancashire. 

It is estimated that between 2012 and 2037 the population of Chorley will increase by 14.9%, the highest rate of predicted growth in Lancashire. The number of households in the authority is predicted to increase by a substantial 23.5% between 2012 and 2037. This is the largest expected growth rate in Lancashire.   

A mosaic profile of local households classifies Lancashire residents by 15 main groups. Aspiring homemakers is a particularly well-represented group in the authority, whilst prestige positions and senior security are among the other dominant groups in parts of Chorley district.  

The median house price to median earnings ratio places the authority well about the average for the county council area.  

Chorley has around 48,500 dwellings, of which 87% are owner occupied or private rented. On the whole, there are larger proportions of housing stock in the higher council tax bands in comparison to the county average. It has, over recent years, also recorded strong growth in the number of dwellings in the authority. in 2015, Chorley district had 30.1% of its housing stock in the lowest council tax band A, which was well below the Lancashire-14 area average of 40.1%.

The past few years has seen the number of net additional dwellings in Chorley district expand at a far higher rate than other Lancashire authorities.

In Chorley, 8.2% of households were in fuel poverty in 2013, which was lower than the England rate of 10.4%. The main factors that determine this are the energy efficiency status of the property, the cost of energy; and household income.

The 2015 Indices of Deprivation  reveals that of out of 326 districts and unitary authorities in England, Chorley was ranked the 186th most deprived by the rank of average rank score.  

The national lottery funding results for Chorley are updated on a regular basis.  

3. Economic Development

The growth in employee numbers in Chorley was well above the national and county averages in the decade to 2008, but between 2009 and 2014, the employment number for the authority declined by 2.2%.                    

In Chorley as in most places, the manufacturing sector has shed jobs over the years whilst the service sector has grown to become a far greater source of employment. Chorley has a lower rate of employee jobs in the manufacturing sector than is the norm in the county and nationally and conversely a higher rate of employment in the service sector generally, but in particular as a result of the authority's high level of employment in real estate, professional, scientific and administrative sector

Our extensive employment records allow us to monitor the changes to employee numbers from 1929 onwards. We have published separate graphs for each of the 14 Lancashire local authorities that reveal changes in total employee numbers and the shift from manufacturing to service sector employment. Methodological changes, and assumptions for missing years, reduce the accuracy of the graphs, but they do give a useful broad indication of changes over time.  

In 2014, there were 4,290 active enterprises in Chorley. The most recent company in Chorley to win a Queen's Award for Enterprise (Innovation Award) was Shackerley Holdings Group in 2007. The authority is in an excellent business location that will be further enhanced by developments such as the 128 acre Revolution logistics and industrial park that forms part of the Buckshaw Village site. 

The proximity of three motorways, rail connections in to Manchester and nearby access to services along the West Coast Mainline have together helped to facilitate strong growth in Chorley for a number of years. The rural areas of the authority are particularly sought after as commuter locations.

Chorley is part of central Lancashire which operates as a relatively well-connected internal labour market with strong commuting flows between Preston, South Ribble and Chorley. Chorley also stands out as a supplier of labour to the Manchester city region, especially Bolton and Wigan. These northern Manchester districts are experiencing economic challenges and restructuring and have not benefited substantially from the strong economic growth in the core of Manchester. The 2011 census confirmed that Chorley had a low percentage (39.1%) of people aged 16+ who lived and worked within the authority.

The location and infrastructure section of our website has a map of the 2011 travel to work areas (TTWAs). These are areas where the bulk of the residents both live and work. The map shows that the whole of Chorley district forms the southern section of the substantial Preston TTWA.   

The significant expansion of Chorley and the surrounding area has not unduly affected the town centre which retains a traditional feel. The famous Flat Iron covered market on Tuesdays, and old established Lancashire businesses in the town centre, such as Booths, Frederick's, Althams and Chorley Building Society, give Chorley a distinctive atmosphere. In addition, major national retailers are well represented in the Market Walk Centre.

Northern Trust is a property investment, development and land regeneration company, and its website mentions a selection of sites in Chorley and neighbouring authorities. Eckersley is a firm of chartered surveyors and property consultants that details on its website a large range of commercial sites that are available in the authority. Roundhouse Properties also highlights a number of sites in Chorley and other parts of Central Lancashire.   

The UK government properties database is a searchable list of all UK government property holdings and land assets. The web page for the North West region lists land and properties by towns including those in Chorley district.

Popular visitor attractions in the authority include Botany Bay and important cultural assets in the area include Astley Hall, and Hoghton Tower. The authority is also home to Bank Hall, which is on the English Heritage Buildings at Risk register. 

Average earnings in Chorley are noticeably higher when measured by place of residence in comparison to place of work. The excellent transport connections to Manchester and other localities mean that the district records a positive benefit from commuter flows. Both figures are however below the GB average. The 2011 census results reveal how employment patterns results in a much lower workday population figure for Chorley in comparison to the usual resident population. The article also shows that there is a large net outflow of well-qualified commuters (NVQ level 4). 

The survey of personal incomes by HM Revenue and customs broadly includes all individuals whose income is higher than the prevailing personal tax allowance and who are therefore liable to tax. The median results are the middle value that best reflects typical income and they show a result for Chorley that is above the regional average.

The annual population survey includes local authority estimates of the working-age population by level of national vocational qualification. In Chorley the proportion of the working age in the authority qualified to NVQ level 4 is above the regional and national averages and has improved over recent years. More people with higher level skills are needed to support the shift to a higher value economy and for Lancashire to compete economically.

Housing benefit is claimed by a large number of households in the authority, and the article identifies the effects of the spare room subsidy withdrawal.  

4. Community Safety   

Chorley has a crime rate that is well below the average for the Lancashire 14-authority area.  

For details on community safety in your neighbourhood, please enter your postcode into Safer Lancashire.  

Alcohol is known to contribute to offending behaviour, particularly violence, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.  Residents in the authority have significantly worse hospital stays due to alcohol and binge drinking than the national average according to the LAPE (Local Alcohol Profiles for England).

In 2014, a total of 71 people were killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in the authority.  

Chorley has two of the four prisons in Lancashire within its area, Garth and Wymott. Together they account for a large proportion of the prison spaces in the county and are a significant source of local employment.

The Ministry of Justice identify how likely it is for offenders to commit further crimes in the authority and how many crimes they typically will commit. The rate of re-offending in Chorley is 27% and they commit an average of 2.7 offences per re-offender. This measures, over a 12 month period, the proven reoffending for all adult offenders who were released from custody, or who received a non-custodial conviction at court, a caution, a reprimand, a warning, or who tested positive for opiates or cocaine. 

5. Environment and transport

Transport has a key role to play in realising the economic potential of an area by unlocking key locations, such as the existing and new locations referred to in the economy section.  Using sustainable transport modes can significantly improve employment opportunities and life chances. In urban areas the reliance on the car presents problems of traffic congestion and reduced air quality. The urban core central area of the authority has one area close to the M61 motorway that has an air quality result amongst the worst in the county.

The Central Lancashire Highways and Transport Masterplan is the strategic transport document for the wider area and contains references to transport issues in the authority.

The M6, M61 and M65 motorways all pass through the authority and offer quick connections to other parts of the county and beyond. There is also a network of 'A' roads. The Department for Transport website has an interactive map that lists the traffic flows at hundreds of sites across all of the Lancashire County Council area.

Lower Adlington 


Lower Adlington

The modern town centre bus station is at the centre of an extensive local bus network. Local operators include Stagecoach and Arriva.

Local rail services are provided by Northern Rail and First TransPennine Express. There are five railway stations in the authority with Chorley being by far the most impotant. Buckshaw Village station has recorded some noticeable growth since its opening in October 2011.    

Work is continuing to electrify key rail routes between Manchester, Liverpool, Preston and Blackpool. By the end of 2015, diesel trains could be replaced with electric ones between Liverpool and Blackpool (these stop at Euxton Balshaw Lane in Chorley) and by the end of 2016 electrification of the line through Adlington, Chorley and Buckshaw Village could be complete.

Maps are available that reveal the various rural-urban definitions across Lancashire down to the very small census output area level.

The National Biodiversity Network Gateway acts as a “data warehouse” for biodiversity information, which can be quickly and easily accessed to understand the distribution of particular species in the UK. The site includes information for grid references that include Lancashire. Choose the relevant grids for information for each Lancashire local authority 

Green belts have been an enduring element of national planning policy. They check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another; assist in safeguarding the countryside, preserve the character of historic towns and encourage the recycling of derelict and other urban land. Chorley has a very high proportion (71.8%) of its land designated as green belt. There is extensive countryside and Chorley Borough Council is responsible for the many parks and open spaces in the area that cover over 300 hectares.

The Central Lancashire Core Strategy was adopted in July 2012. Produced by Preston, South Ribble and Chorley councils, with assistance from the county council, its aim is to help co-ordinate development in the area and contribute to boosting employment and investment. It will encourage sustainable managed growth, whilst protecting and enhancing green spaces and access to open countryside. The Chorley Local Plan provides the spatial planning outline for the area. Chorley Borough Council is responsible for a range of planning and environmental issues including nine conservation areas and environmental health.

Total carbon dioxide emissions in Chorley are higher than the national average when measured by tonnage per person. There is a high level of emissions from road transport as a result of the authority's position at the heart of the county's motorway network.

The rates of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting have in general been improving over the years as sharp increases in Landfill Tax has made the traditional form of Landfill disposal much more expensive. The household reuse, recycling and composting rate for Chorley in 2014/15 was 47.7%.

The legacy of former mine workings in the area was highlighted in 2015, when the  coal authority published development risk plans and specific risk plans that included a set for Chorley district.

Lancashire County Council supports a various projects in district authorities via a range of grants and funding options. The county council's environment directorate produces district commissioning plans, and regularly updated district-level dashboards that comment on performance across a range of transport, environmental and other issues. 

The woodlands from waste programme is an innovative partnership to develop woodlands in Lancashire. It includes the use of an organic growth medium to develop woodland on former brownfield sites. Chisnall Hall is a former colliery near Coppull that is being restored over a period of time as community woodland. Work began in 2012, and the initial tree planting was completed in spring 2013. 

The countryside to the east of Chorley forms part of the West Pennine Moors, The area incorporates the Rivington Terraced Gardens that are being restored by the Rivington Heritage Trust. Also of note in the locality is the Rivington Hall Barn, the Anderton Centre, and the Go Ape treetop adventure at Rivington.  

6. Health and Wellbeing

Figures for life expectancy at birth reveal that Chorley district had a male rate similar to the national average, but the female rate was below the national outturn. 

The Chorley Health Profile, published by the Association of Public Health Authorities, reveals a varied picture compared with the England average.

The health behaviours section of our website contains a Chorley district summary.

Chorley is one of the areas for which Chorley and South Ribble Clinical Commissioning Group is responsible for the planning and buying of local health services. A major local facility on the outskirts of the town is the Chorley and South Ribble Hospital whilst the Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust website lists a few other locations in the authority.

The Trauma and Injury Intelligence Group (TIIG) was established to develop an injury surveillance system covering the North West. The Lancashire results include reports for Chorley and South Ribble Hospital.

The Sport England website contains local sport profiles for each local authority in England.

The local government association has produced 'housing, health and wellbeing profiles' for each local authority across the country. The figures go down to the ward level, and the Chorley profile has results from the census, the index of multiple deprivation and other data sources.

7. Older People  


The state pension caseload in Chorley district is now over 22,000.  

It has been well documented over recent years that people are living longer and that the older age-groups will record some dramatic increases over future years, with associated financial implications and demand for health and social care services. By 2037, the  popultion projections estimate that Chorley will have 33,800 people aged 65 or over. The compendium of data relating to older people pulls together a wide range of information about the changing health, social care and cultural needs of people as they age.

Attendance allowance provides financial help to people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally disabled. The caseload in Chorley, in comparison to other authorities, does not appear to be excessive.

Life expectancy as mentioned earlier is increasing but there is no guarantee that the extra years of life will necessarily equate to extra years of healthy life expectancy. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that "extra" years of life expectancy should necessarily lead to additional years with ill health or disability. More suitable community services to enable independent living and more effective practice of preventive lifestyles and medicine has the potential to lengthen disability-free life expectancy, particularly in the case of the prevention and treatment of non-fatal but disabling diseases.

The county council has a number of care services establishments that include a site in Adlington.

The Lancashire Care Homes Association is an organisation that represents care providers across the broader Lancashire area. The website lists a large number of care and nursing homes, along with domiciliary care agencies in the area. The details are listed by major urban localities across the county.

There has been a growing tendency towards housing developments that are exclusively for people who are either retired or are approaching retirement. The presence of these sites can have an impact on concentrations of older people in particular areas. Buckshaw Village housing and commercial development to the south of Chorley includes the Oakbridge Retirement Village.