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Hednesford
Hednesford shown within Staffordshire
Population 17,343 (2011 Census)
OS grid reference SK000126
District
  • Cannock Chase
Shire county
Region
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town CANNOCK
Postcode district WS12
Dialling code 01543
Police Staffordshire
Fire Staffordshire
Ambulance West Midlands
EU Parliament West Midlands
UK Parliament
  • Cannock Chase
List of places
UK
England
StaffordshireCoordinates: 52°42′41″N 2°00′02″W / 52.7115°N 2.0006°W / 52.7115; -2.0006

Hednesford (pronounced /ˈhɛnzfərd/) is a small town and civil parish in Staffordshire, England, within Cannock Chase District. It adjoins Cannock Chase to the north, and the town of Cannock to the south.

The town comprises three district council electoral wards whose populations in the 2011 census totalled 17,343. It also comprises the civil parish of Hednesford and part of the civil parish of Brindley Heath.

History

Hednesford was an important coal mining community for over a century. This is commemorated in the town centre, where a Miner's Lamp has been erected, surrounded by a wall with individual bricks giving the names of former miners. The oldest sections of the town surround the hilltop areas of the existing town; however, the lower part of the town became the focal point as the community grew with the mining industry.

Between 1914 and 1918 two huge army training camps were built in the area and over a quarter of a million British and Commonwealth troops passed through destined for the Western Front. In 1938 a Royal Air Force training camp was established to train technicians in maintenance and repair of airframes and engines. No. 6 School of Technical training became better known as RAF Hednesford. The camp was later used for resettlement of Hungarian refugees fleeing from the Russian invasion of Budapest, in 1956. The site is now a part of Cannock Chase Country Park.

The urban area of Hednesford now spreads across a swathe of the northern fringe of Cannock, from Pye Green across to Heath Hayes, and is the southern gateway to Cannock Chase AONB. Economically Hednesford has suffered since the 1980s as more people travel to the larger towns and cities nearby and due to the absence of redevelopment it retains a traditional street scene with many sole traders operating speciality shops. However, the area around Anglesey Square has been landscaped to provide a pleasant public space with a public clock as a central feature. A £50 million regeneration of the town centre has taken place, with an 80,000sq ft Tesco being the centre piece. Also, a new drill hall for the local Army Cadet Detachment, shops and bingo hall have been constructed. The Tesco site is known as Victoria Shopping Park and the Bingo/Aldi site as Chase Gateway. Currently, a £2.2 million grant, from Heritage Lottery Fund Grant, is being used to fund a massive refurbishment of Hednesford Park.

Demography

Town

In the decade to 2011 the number of dwellings in the town rose by 7.8% to 7,482. Of the town's 7,277 households in the 2011 census, 25.9% were one-person households including 10.7% where that person was 65 or over. 69.3% were one family with no others (8.2% all pensioners, 39.5% married or same-sex civil partnership couples, 12.6% cohabiting couples and 9.1% lone parents). 29.9% of households had dependent children including 3.4% with no adults in employment. 72.4% of households owned their homes outright or with a mortgage or loan.

Of the town's 14,206 residents in the 2011 census aged 16 and over, 30.6% were single (never married), 51.3% married, 0.15% in a registered same-sex civil partnership, 2.4% separated, 9.0% divorced and 6.5% widowed. 26.0% had no formal qualifications and 50.0% had level 2+ qualifications (meaning 5+ GCSEs (grades A*-C) or 1+ 'A' levels/ AS levels (A-E) or equivalent minimum).

77.3% of the 6,597 men aged 16 to 74 were economically active, including 50.2% working full-time, 5.4% working part-time and 14.6% self-employed. The male unemployment rate (of those economically active) was 6.6% (See also Male unemployment). 67.2% of the 6,515 women aged 16 to 74 were economically active, including 31.9% working full-time, 25.4% working part-time and 3.5% self-employed. The female unemployment rate (of those economically active) was 4.7%.

Of people in employment aged 16 to 74, 14.3% worked in basic industries (ONS categories A, B, and D-F including 12.2% in construction), 13.9% in manufacturing, and 71.8% in service industries (ONS categories G-U including 19.6% in wholesale and retail trade and vehicle repair, 11.9% in health and social work, 8.0% in education, 6.0% in public administration, 5.9% in transport and storage, 4.5% in administrative and support service activities, and 4.0% in accommodation and catering). While 16.9% of households did not have access to a car or van, 84.6% of people in employment travelled to work by car or van.

79.1% of residents described their health as good or very good. The proportion who described themselves as White British was 96.9%, with all white ethnic groups making up 97.9% of the population. The ethnic make-up of the rest of the population was 0.88% mixed/multiple ethnic groups, 0.56% Indian/Pakistani/Bangladeshi, 0.18% Chinese, 0.15% other Asian, 0.28% Black and 0.046% other. 2.2% of Hednesford's residents were born outside the United Kingdom.

The responses to the voluntary question "What is your religion?" were 'No religion' (23.3%), Christian (69.8%), Buddhist (0.18%), Hindu (0.17%), Jewish (0.006%), Muslim (0.21%), Sikh (0.21%) and other religion (0.26%). 5.9% gave no answer.

Civil parish

The civil parish of Hednesford constitutes 96.8% of the population of the town. In the 2011 census it had 16,789 residents, 7,239 dwellings, and 7,058 households.

Transport

Hednesford railway station re-opened in April 1989 by British Rail. It is on the Chase Line.


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