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Living in Cheshire East

Cheshire East is the third largest unitary authority in the North West next to Manchester and Liverpool. The larger towns in Cheshire East are: Alsager, Congleton, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Middlewich, Nantwich, Poynton, Sandbach and Wilmslow.

Cheshire East in numbers

  • Cheshire East has an area of 1,116 km2
  • Cheshire East has a population of 372,700
  • Cheshire East has 170,000 households
  • Cheshire East has 5 Members of Parliament
  • 2,674km of roads, 2,060km of footways, 38,000 streetlights and 484 bridges



The Cheshire East economy continues to perform well and has established itself as one of the UK’s major business hot spots with thriving business sectors, excellent jobs and business opportunities, together with a highly skilled and talented workforce.

Cheshire East compares very favourably with Manchester and boasts the strongest economy in the region with more than 10% of the UK’s leading 200 companies including Bentley Motors, AstraZeneca, Waters Corporation, Siemens, Airbags International and Oliver Valves.


According to the latest Census, Cheshire East can boast:

  • 184,500 of the working population in Cheshire East are economically active.
  • 42.4% or 96,000 have an NVQ Level 4(HND, Degree or Higher Degree) compared to 31% in the North West or 35.2% nationally.
  • 142,500 people are employed in the service sector (financial, public administration, education and health, retail, hospitality/catering, information and communication) as well as construction and manufacturing
  • Only 1.2% unemployment benefit claimants, the lowest in 10 years.

Best in the North West…again!

For the second year in a row, Cheshire East heads the list of the best places to live in the North West. The survey, now in its ninth year, is an indicator of life expectancy, family income, employment rate, exam performance, even sunshine and rainfall. The borough is ranked 100th out of the top 250 boroughs across the country, moving up from 105th last year.

Transport and Communications

Cheshire East benefits from excellent, extensive transport links and is served directly by the M6 and M56 motorways and a regular mainline train service from Crewe.

Current rail travel times from Crewe:

  • Manchester 38 mins
  • Birmingham 55 mins
  • London 1hr 34 mins
  • Liverpool 20 mins
  • Cardiff 2hrs 35 mins
  • Edinburgh 3hrs 15 mins
  • Brussels 4hrs 24 mins
  • Newcastle 3hrs 12 mins
  • Paris 4hrs 18 mins


Added to the already impressive transport infrastructure, two of the fastest growing airports in Europe, Manchester International Airport and Liverpool John Lennon Airport are both within 50 minutes journey time from Crewe.

Through Connected Cheshire high speed fibre broadband is being rolled out across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington with 96% coverage anticipated by the end of 2015


Education, Health and Social Care

A full range of education services exist within Cheshire East. Cheshire East’s schools are ranked in the top 3 in England (93.6% of schools are rated good or outstanding) – showing our ability to create greater opportunities for young people to lead rewarding lives. Manchester Metropolitan University (Crewe Campus) and South Cheshire College provide an extensive range of full and part time courses. Reaseheath is a leading specialist land-based college offering further education, apprenticeships and higher education courses. A brand new University Technical College in Crewe is due to open in 2016.

We also have the fewest NEET’s (young people not in education or employment or training) in the North West and last year we offered nearly 4,000 young people a sixth form or college place or a job with training – 99% of all school leavers.

Leisure and Recreation

At Cheshire East we are developing innovative ways to help our residents live well and for longer across the borough. Cheshire East is in easy travelling distance of several areas of outstanding natural beauty appreciated by many local walkers and climbers including Tegg’s Nose Country Park, Macclesfield.

Cheshire East also boasts:

  • 16 libraries issuing almost 3M books a year
  • 15 leisure centres and swimming pools
  • Tatton Park was voted Best Large Visitor Attraction in the Country attracts more than 800,000 visitors annually
  • Nationally recognised Lyceum Theatre in Crewe
  • Extensive access to open spaces and canal network

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