Greater Manchester is a
metropolitan county and
combined authority area in
North West England, with a population of 2.8 million; comprising ten
Wigan, and the cities of
Salford. Greater Manchester was created on 1 April 1974, as a result of the
Local Government Act 1972, and designated a functional
city region on 1 April 2011.
Greater Manchester spans 493 square miles (1,277 km2), which roughly covers the territory of the
Greater Manchester Built-up Area, the
second most populous urban area in the UK. Though geographically landlocked, it is connected to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which is still open to shipping in Salford and Trafford. Greater Manchester sits within the historic counties of Lancashire, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire and borders the ceremonial counties of
Cheshire (to the south-west and south),
Derbyshire (to the south-east),
West Yorkshire (to the north-east),
Lancashire (to the north) and
Merseyside (to the west). There is a mix of high-density urban areas, suburbs, semi-rural and rural locations in Greater Manchester, but land use is mostly urban—the product of concentric
industrialisation which occurred mostly during the 19th century when the region flourished as the global centre of the
cotton industry. It has a focused central business district, formed by
Manchester city centre and the adjoining parts of
Salford and Trafford, but Greater Manchester is also a polycentric county with ten metropolitan districts, each of which has at least one major town centre and outlying suburbs.
Greater Manchester is governed by the
Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA), which consists of political leaders from each of the ten metropolitan borough councils, plus a directly elected mayor, with responsibility for economic development, regeneration and transport.
Andy Burnham is the inaugural
Mayor of Greater Manchester, elected in 2017. For the 12 years following 1974, the county had a two-tier system of local government; district councils shared power with the
Greater Manchester County Council. The county council was abolished in 1986 and so its districts (the metropolitan boroughs) effectively became
unitary authority areas. However, the metropolitan county continued to exist in law and as a geographic frame of reference, and as a
ceremonial county, with a
Lord Lieutenant and a
High Sheriff. Several county-wide services were co-ordinated through the
Association of Greater Manchester Authorities between 1985 and 2011. (
Selected biography -
Oasis are an English
rock band that formed in
Manchester in 1991. They have sold more than 50 million records worldwide, have had eight UK number-one singles and have collected 15 NME Awards, 5 Brit Awards and 9 Q awards.
The band initially gained prominence performing on the Manchester club circuit. They were signed to
independent record label
Creation Records and afterwards released their debut album
Definitely Maybe in 1994. The following year, the band recorded
(What's the Story) Morning Glory?, and at the height of their fame, Oasis released their third album,
Be Here Now (1997). It became the fastest-selling album in UK chart history, but lost much of its long-term appeal after the initial hype. The band suffered a notable decline in popularity in America and lost three long-time members between recording and releasing
Standing on the Shoulder of Giants (2000) and
Heathen Chemistry (2002).
Their sixth album
Don't Believe the Truth (2005), despite turbulent recording, became their best-selling and best-received album in a decade. In February 2007, Oasis received the
BRIT Award for outstanding contribution to music.
Dig Out Your Soul, the seventh studio album by the band, is set to be released on October 6, 2008.
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