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Borough of Halton facts for kids

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Borough and Unitary authority
The Silver Jubilee Bridge at dusk
The Silver Jubilee Bridge at dusk
Latin: Industria Navem Implet
("Industry fills the ship")
Halton shown within Cheshire
Halton shown within Cheshire
Sovereign state  United Kingdom
Constituent country  England
Region North West England
City region Liverpool
Ceremonial county  Cheshire
Settled 10th century
Incorporated 1974 (borough)
  1998 (Unitary authority)
Town Hall Runcorn
Administrative HQ Widnes
 • Type Unitary authority
 • Body Halton Borough Council
 • Borough 30.54 sq mi (79.09 km2)
Area rank 242nd
 (2005 est.)
 • Borough 129,410
 • Rank 178th
Time zone UTC+0 (Greenwich Mean Time)
 • Summer (DST) UTC+1 (British Summer Time)
Postcode area
WA4, WA7, WA8, L24
Dialling code 0151 Widnes and Hale Village, 01928 Runcorn, 01925 Daresbury
ISO 3166 code GB-HAL
GSS code E06000006
NUTS 3 code UKD71
ONS code 00ET
Motorways M56
Major railway stations Runcorn (C1)
MPs Derek Twigg (L)
Mike Amesbury (L)
Police area Cheshire
Fire service Cheshire
Ambulance service North West
Runcorn bridges aerial
Halton from the air showing the two road bridges

Halton (pronounced HOL-tən) is a unitary authority district with borough status in Cheshire, North West England. It was created in 1974 as a district of the non-metropolitan county of Cheshire, and became a unitary authority area on 1 April 1998 under Halton Borough Council. Since 2014 it has been a member of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority. The borough consists of the towns of Runcorn and Widnes and the civil parishes of Daresbury, Hale, Halebank, Moore, Preston Brook, and Sandymoor. The district borders Merseyside, Warrington and Cheshire West and Chester.


Although Halton town dates back to the 12th century (and beyond) when land on both sides of the river belonged to the Barony of Halton, the origin of the District Council was the outcome of the local government commission's suggested reforms of England, in 1969, the Redcliffe-Maud Report. This proposed to create metropolitan counties constituted of metropolitan district councils in the most urbanised parts of England. The model was that of the London Boroughs and Greater London Council formed in 1965. Southern Lancashire and northern Cheshire were among these urban areas, and two new metropolitan Counties were to be formed around Liverpool (as Merseyside) and Manchester (as Greater Manchester). However, the towns of Widnes and Runcorn (and the County Borough of Warrington) which lay between these were reluctant to join either. The Commission agreed that Halton and Warrington would become districts within Cheshire, as they would be detached from Lancashire by the two new metropolitan counties controlling the territory to the north.

The district was formally established on 1 April 1974 from Runcorn urban district and part of Runcorn Rural District from Cheshire, and the borough of Widnes and the parish of Hale from the Whiston Rural District in Lancashire. On 1 April 1998 Halton became an independent unitary authority, though it is still served by Cheshire Police and Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service, and forms part of Cheshire for ceremonial purposes, such as the Lord Lieutenancy.

On 1 April 2014 Halton became part of the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, joining the local authorities of Liverpool, Sefton, Wirral, Knowsley and St Helens, the five metropolitan district councils which constitute the county of Merseyside. This effectively reverses the position adopted in the 1970s which created it as an anomaly. As a unitary authority its status is similar to the metropolitan district councils.


Population growth

The population of Halton is 129,410 (2020). The change in population during the 20th century is shown in the following table.

Population growth in the Borough of Halton since 1901
Year Population Change as %
1901 57,755
1911 57,062 -1.2%
1921 61,039 +7.0%
1931 65,309 +7.0%
1941 71,835 +10.0%
1951 79,026 +10.0%
1961 87,168 +10.3%
1971 96,150 +10.3%
1981 121,861 +26.7%
1991 124,915 +2.5%
2001 118,215 -5.4%
2011 125,700 +6.3%


In the 2011 census, Christianity was the main religion in Halton at 75%, well above the national average for England of 59.4%. 18.7% stated that they had "no religion". Those stating their religions as Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Islam or Sikh amounted to 0.8%.


In the 2011 census, 97.8% of Halton residents identified as White and 2% were Non-White. From the 2011 School Census, the main first language apart from English was Polish.


Chemical works, Weston Point - - 998845
Chemical works at Weston Point

Halton is an industrial and logistics hub with a higher proportion of people working in manufacturing (particularly chemicals and advanced manufacturing), wholesale and retail, and transport and storage compared to the average for England.

Employees by industry in 2019
Industry Halton (Employee Jobs) Halton (%) North West (%) Great Britain (%) Halton - Great Britain Difference
H Transportation And Storage 7,000 10.8 5.6 4.9 5.9
C Manufacturing 8,000 12.3 9.3 8.0 4.3
G Wholesale And Retail Trade; Repair of Motor Vehicles And Motorcycles 11,000 16.9 16.3 15.0 1.9
N Administrative And Support Service Activities 7,000 10.8 8.6 8.9 1.9
Q Human Health And Social Work Activities 9,000 13.8 14.2 13.1 0.7
E Water Supply; Sewerage, Waste Management And Remediation Activities 800 1.2 0.7 0.7 0.5
M Professional, Scientific And Technical Activities 6,000 9.2 8.8 8.8 0.4
S Other Service Activities 1,500 2.3 1.9 2.0 0.3
B Mining And Quarrying 300 0.5 0.1 0.2 0.3
F Construction 3,000 4.6 4.6 4.9 -0.3
D Electricity, Gas, Steam And Air Conditioning Supply 75 0.1 0.5 0.4 -0.3
L Real Estate Activities 600 0.9 1.5 1.7 -0.8
R Arts, Entertainment And Recreation 1,000 1.5 2.6 2.5 -1.0
O Public Administration And Defence; Compulsory Social Security 2,000 3.1 4.6 4.4 -1.3
J Information And Communication 1,500 2.3 2.8 4.3 -2.0
K Financial And Insurance Activities 600 0.9 2.8 3.5 -2.6
I Accommodation And Food Service Activities 3,000 4.6 6.9 7.7 -3.1
P Education 3,500 5.4 8.0 8.7 -3.3

The wages of employees in Halton are slightly higher than the average for England and significantly higher than the average for the North West and the Liverpool City Region. Business survival rates are also significantly higher than both the regional and national averages. In 2018, the GVA per head of population in Halton was £26,988 compared to a regional average of £22,244 in North West England.

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