The commuter zone for Greater Manchester
The north-west is booming with over 50% of the FTSE 100 companies being based there. Bury is a Greater Manchester Metropolitan Borough, and lies on the River Irwell. Bury is, 5.5 miles east of Bolton, 5.9 miles west-southwest of Rochdale and 8 miles north-northwest of the city of Manchester. The town is linked to the M66 motorway.
There have been many changes in Bury since the war when a number of the mills were demolished. The last 30 years have seen the town developing into an important commuter town for neighbouring Manchester.
Bury is surrounded by several smaller towns, which together form the borough. Bury is the largest town. It is regionally notable for its open-air market (Bury Market). The town’s popularity has been increased since the introduction of the Manchester Metrolink tram system in 1992, which terminates in the town.
Bury had a population 185,060 at the census in 2011, an increase of 2.4% since the previous census of 2001.
The housing market in Bury is currently buoyant with prices being a little over half a percent cheaper than Manchester. During the last year, sold prices were 3% up on the previous year and 7% up on 2007.
In recent years large scale housing development has taken place around Brandlesholme, Chesham, Elton, Limefield, Redvales, Sunnybank and Unsworth. Bury also benefited from other facilities in early 2010. Which included The Rock a £350 million town centre regeneration project, which was created in partnership with Bury Metropolitan Council.
It contains 1.5 million sq. ft of space anchored by Vue & AMF Bowl, M&S and Debenhams.
It also houses restaurants, a new medical centre and office accommodation close to Bury Town Hall. Bury has now risen over 100 places in the CACI town centre rankings.
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Economy & Employment
As with much of Greater Manchester, much of the local economy is provided by the service sector and retail.
- blood banks
- ambulance services
- health centres, chiropodists
- and other services not provided by GPs or hospitals
High tech manufacturing is also a major employer. In recent years growth in:
- new media
- ICT digital
has seen the greatest increase in numbers of employees.
Due to its excellent connectivity, a significant number of residents from Bury commute to other areas of Greater Manchester.
JD Sports was founded in Bury in 1981 by John Wardle and David Makin’s. By 1983 they opened a store in Manchester’s Arndale Centre and in 1989 the first London store was opened on Oxford Street. The company was listed on the London Stock Exchange in 1996.
The Pentland Group bought Wardle and Makin’s shares for £44.6M in 2005. Since then they have acquired more than 6 sports and street-wear clothing companies for over £60 million and they saw a turnover of £1,330.6 million in 2014.
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New homes, a supermarket and landscaped public space by the river are part of a £10m plan in Bury.
Seven acres of land around the River Irwell’s edge has been landscaped and provides public open space. Which includes a footpath and wildlife corridor to help improve the ecology and create new habitats. It is also able to be used for recreational activities, including angling.
Bellway Homes have started to build 114 houses and a further seven acres is under offer to Persimmon, who plan to build 125 houses. The plans are for two, four bedroom homes, in a combination of mews, semi-detached and detached styles.
The Economic Strategy, 2010 – 2018, reflects Team Bury’s desire to make the borough a great place in which to live, work, visit and study. It aims to foster a vibrant and dynamic Bury. Building on the entrepreneurial culture to enable residents to take advantage of a well-connected knowledge-based economy.
Air: Manchester Airport is the nearest to serve Bury being around 30 minutes by road.
Rail: Bury has not had a conventional heavy rail link to the national network since 1991 when the national Railway ceased. The lines are now operated by Metrolink (Tram).
Road: Bury is just 8 miles from Manchester city centre with direct links to and from the M60, M62 and M66 providing easy access to the rest of Greater Manchester and the north-west.
Bus: First Greater Manchester and Rossendalebus operate most bus services around Bury, connecting with destinations within Greater Manchester, Rossendale, Accrington and Burnley. The bus station is connected to the Bury Interchange Metrolink station, to provide a vast complex of inter-modal transport.
Tram: Metrolink trams have operated the line since April 1992. There is generally a service every 6 minutes from Bury to Manchester City centre, which takes only 23 minutes. Every other tram continues onto Altrincham. Trams to Eccles are provided from Manchester Piccadilly Station.
Cycle: The Bury Interchange houses a cycle hub to park your bike up during the day. The station is located in the centre of Bury, right next to Bury Market, the Millgate Shopping Centre, The Rock and the main square.
Bury has 63 primary schools, 13 secondary schools, 5 independent schools, 3 special schools and 3 colleges.
Notable schools include:
Holy Cross College, is a Catholic sixth form college on Manchester Road in Bury. The college regularly ranks as one of the top ten sixth forms in the country. The college has been ranked ‘Outstanding’ in its most recent inspection by Ofsted.
Further and Higher Education:
Bury College provides qualifications for school leavers pursuing A Levels, vocational qualifications and apprenticeships. In addition, it provides a range of courses for adults which include university qualifications run in partnership with the University of Bolton. These courses provide local higher education, with a focus on employability skills. The college also has 900 students going onto becoming undergraduates each year.
The employer arm of the college, Bury College Business Solutions, supports over 1000 employers annually across a wide range of workforce training courses. Ranging from nationally recognised qualifications to individually tailored training programmes. It supports over 1450 apprentices. In 2007 it was awarded a set of grade 1’s in all areas (the highest grades possible) by Ofsted.
Shops & Leisure
Shopping & Dining: The Mill Gate Shopping Centre was built in the late 1990s. Another large shopping area is located around an area named,The Rock. The main street is populated mainly by independent shops and food outlets. At the top end of the street, however, is a modern shopping area. It has:
- multi-screen cinema
- bowling alley
- department stores including M&S, Debenhams, Boots, Clarks etc.
Bury offers an excellent choice of restaurants ranging from award-winning stylish dining at The Waggon. As well as dining at high-end restaurants such as, Eagle & Child, Leckenby’s and The Black Bull. Sample a wide range of International cuisine in the borough, including Lancashire Tapas, Italian, Indian, Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese.
Culture & Museums: The art museum on Moss Street is home to such works by, Constable, Landseer and Turner. The Fusilier Museum is home to the collection of the Lancashire Fusiliers. Commemorating over three hundred years of the regiment’s history. The museum occupies the former School of Arts and Crafts on Broad Street.
In 2011 Bury Transport Museum won a National Railway Heritage Award. The museum is part of the East Lancashire Railway and has a fine collection of vintage vehicles and interactive displays. It is housed in the Grade II listed, 1848 Castlecroft Goods Warehouse.
Green Space: Just on the doorstep, you will find plenty of green space including Prestwich Clough and Heaton Park, Europe’s largest municipal park.