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 376,700
  • Cheshire East has 170,000 households
  • Cheshire East has 5 Members of Parliament
  • 2,700km of roads, 1,900km of footways, 40,000 streetlights and 484 bridges
  • Cheshire East is the 3rd largest Unitary Authority in the North West, and the 16th largest in the country



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 and Barclays.


According to the latest Census, Cheshire East can boast:

  • 184,200 of the working population in Cheshire East are economically active.
  • 45.7% or 102,000 have an NVQ Level 4(HND, Degree or Higher Degree) compared to 34.5% in the North West or 38.6% nationally.
  • 131,000 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 1.6% unemployment benefit claimants.

To date, the Connecting Cheshire project which is being rolled out across Cheshire, Halton and Warrington, has reached more than 97,000 premises with faster speeds and has switched-on more than 600 new roadside fibre broadband cabinets. The project has also been successful in driving take-up of the faster speeds by homes and businesses and will soon reach 50 per cent, one of the highest in the country.

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 the council backed  Connecting Cheshire partnership, 19 out of 20 homes and businesses across Cheshire East can now access superfast broadband.


Education, Health and Social Care

A wide range of education services exist within Cheshire East. Cheshire East’s schools continue to perform strongly across all Key Stages and have a very high percentage of schools which are rated good or outstanding by Ofsted – showing our ability to create greater opportunities for young people to lead rewarding lives.

Manchester Metropolitan University (Crewe Campus) and Cheshire College South and West 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 for engineering and design opened in Crewe 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. The visitor economy hit a record high of £921m in a year.

Cheshire East also boasts:

  • 16 libraries along with a mobile library issuing almost three million 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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