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About the council

Chorley Council is a local authority in central Lancashire that has been working for its communities since the formation of the Borough of Chorley in 1974. As an organisation, we strive to be forward thinking, inclusive, and innovative in order to deliver high quality and accessible services for our customers. Our current responsibilities include:

  • bin collection
  • recycling
  • Council Tax collection
  • housing
  • planning applications.



Covering 203 square kilometers, Chorley is characterised by its large amount of green space, with 30.9% of the population living in rural areas. In addition, Chorley has the 5th largest rural economy in Lancashire, with 37% of local businesses classified as rural.

To Chorley's eastern border lies the West Pennine Moor, which is sparsely populated. This is in contrast to the central spine of the borough, which is more urban. This comprises of Chorley town centre as well as major settlements close to the M6, M61, and A6 that run north to south through the authority, which make Chorley well placed for access to the major cities of North West of England. In the West, the borough merges into the Lancashire plain and is dotted with villages and hamlets.



Chorley's population stands at 119,522 and has been increasing steadily since the 97,000 recorded in 1991. It is estimated that between 2020 and 2043, the population of Chorley will increase by 13.1%.

The composition of the borough has also altered steadily over the years, as there has been an increase of residents from Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) groups and Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning (LGBTQ) and the population is becoming characteristically older. The 3 biggest ethnic groups in the borough are those from White (96.9%), Asian (1.6%), and mixed/multiple (0.9%) ethnic backgrounds. In addition, according to the 2011 census, 2% of the local population was born outside of the EU.

For more information, view our demographic profile in our Equality Scheme (PDF) [949KB] .


Local economy

Historically a mill town, the borough's industriousness has continued to the present as Chorley remains a great place to do business and an economic centre in the region, characterised by its famous market and the recently developed Strawberry Fields Digital Hub.

With major motorway and rail links to Manchester and Preston, including to Liverpool and Manchester Internal Airports, Chorley is an attractive place for people to live, work and visit. This is reflected in the borough's bustling population, which is consistently increasing.

The percentage of those who are economically active in the borough is higher than the North West average, standing at 79.8%. Of these, the biggest employment groups are managerial, professional, and technical occupations, accounting for 42.3% of the working population.

For more information about the local economy, view our NOMIS profile.


Health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing considerations forms a critical part of the decision and policy making process at Chorley Council and we work closely with the Central Lancashire Integrated Care Partnership in order to improve health and care services in the borough.

Life expectancy in the borough is higher than the regional average, with life expectancy for men at 78.6 and women at 82.4. Additionally, the proportion of children who are classified as obese in year 6 remains under both the regional and national averages at 17.9%.

For more information about health and wellbeing, view our Public Health Profile


Our vision

Our vision for the council is to be:

"A proactive community leader, supporting the borough and all its residents, whether in rural or urban areas, to reach their full potential through working in partnership to deliver services that achieve the best outcomes for local people and protect vulnerable people".

We have 4 priorities and series of objectives that establish how we will achieve this vision. These include:

1. Involving residents in improving their local area and equality of access for all

  • residents who take pride in where they live and their achievements
  • residents who are all able to take an active part in their local and wider community
  • easy access to high quality public services, both face to face and online.

2. Clean, safe and healthy homes and communities

  • clean and safe streets
  • reduced health inequalities
  • a wide range of quality recreational activities
  • high quality, affordable and sustainable housing
  • High quality play areas, parks and open spaces in both urban and rural locations.

3. A strong local economy

  • vibrant town centre and villages
  • a string and expanding business sector across the whole of the borough
  • access to high quality employment and education opportunities across the borough.

4. An ambitious council that does more to meet the needs of residents and the local area

  • a council that consults and engages with residents
  • an ambitious council that continually strives to improve
  • cohesive communities in and around our rural and urban areas

For more information on our vision, view our Corporate Strategy.

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