Fylde district

This summary offers a snapshot of some of the most important economic, social and environmental factors in Fylde district with links through to the source information. The information has been allocated to one of seven themes:

  1. Children and Young People
  2. People and Communities
  3. Economic Development
  4. Community Safety
  5. Environment and Transport
  6. Health and Wellbeing
  7. Older People 


Fylde is an authority bordering the Lancashire coastline that covers 166 square kilometres, It has 17 wards for which Census 2021 profiles are available. These appear as starter pages showing just the population, but around 30 Census topics can be added. The number of people per km² is similar to the England and Wales average.  From an historic point of view there have been dramatic changes and the pace of future change is liable to increase.  

  1. Children and Young People 

Key stage 4 covers the two years of school education that incorporates GCSEs in maintained schools. A new secondary school GCSE accountability system was implemented in 2016, in which 'Attainment 8' measures achievement in maths and English plus other subjects with less weighting. In 2021/22 the average was 48.1 in Fylde district. This was close to the average of 47.6 for the Lancashire County Council area. The Department for Education achievement and attainment tables have more information on achievement at other levels. 

For young children and parents the county council's Children and Family Wellbeing Service has a search facility for local centres. The three in the district are the Sydney Street Neighbourhood Centre and Fylde and Weeton Children and Family Wellbeing Services.

There are 29 schools in Fylde, of which 25 are primary and three secondary. A full list of schools in Lancashire is available. Ofsted inspection reports and the GOV.UK web page on schools performance are useful sources of local information.

The county council's Young People's Service website has an activity and organisations search facility that lists a wide range of options for young people in each of the 12 districts within the county council area.  

Fylde district is home to two well regarded private schools: Kirkham Grammar School and AKS Lytham (formerly Arnold King Edward and Queen Mary School). 

Business Intelligence and Public Health analysts at Lancashire County Council have produced Child health profiles for districts in Lancashire, including both district and ward elements for Fylde, and bringing together key indicators from Fingertips, the public health data collection from the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID).

  1. People and Communities

Population growth in the authority has over recent years been relatively positive increasing to 83,008 in 2022. One of the first Census outputs made available is an interactive tool that compares the 2021 results with 2011 for local authorities.

Local authority live births and deaths graphs are available that track changes in births and deaths since the 1980s for each authority in Lancashire. The authority has a history of low fertility rates. The graph for Fylde reveals that over the long-term, deaths have constantly exceeded live births in the authority. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic most districts, including Fylde, had more deaths than births in 2020, but in Fylde the margin was wider. The number of deaths in each month of 2021-2023 can be seen in the monthly mortality graph slide on the Lancashire Insight Covid-19 intelligence web page.

Graph of live births, deaths and difference between the two in Fylde from 1981 onwards. In 2022 there were 585 live births and 1,204 deaths

It is estimated that between 2018 and 2043 the population of Fylde will increase by 16% (Lancashire-14 area=7.2%). It is also predicted that the number of households will increase by 24.6% between 2018 and 2043, the greatest percentage rise in the Lancashire-14 area. 

Fylde has higher proportions of its housing stock in the council tax bands E to H, in comparison to the county and national averages. It also has a very high percentage of its dwelling stock in the owner occupied and privately rented sector.

The 2011 census results for people with second addresses show that Fylde had the highest rate in Lancashire (45 per 1,000) of usual residents elsewhere with a second address in the area.

The median house price to earnings ratio in the authority is well above the county average.

In Fylde 12.5% of households were said to be in fuel poverty in 2021, which was lower than the England average of 13.1%. The main factors that determine this are the energy efficiency status of the property, the cost of energy, and household income.

The 2019 Indices of Deprivation revealed that Fylde had a reasonably low overall deprivation ranking, being the 198th most deprived area out of 317 districts and unitary authorities in England.

ONS has produced a set of residential-based area classifications using analysis of the 2011 Census. These are for very small statistical areas, but we have identified the most common groups for the electoral wards. Residents in six of Fylde's wards mostly fit into the 'Ageing Urban Living' group and those in another three wards the 'Rural Tenants' group.

  1. Economic Development

Of the 14 local authorities that form the broader Lancashire area, both Fylde and Ribble Valley have long been viewed as the most affluent. Both contain rural areas that are popular with commuters and towns that have none of the high levels of deprivation seen in other urban areas within the county. British Aerospace has large sites in both authorities that provide high paid jobs that underpin the local economies.

Employee numbers in Fylde increased in the decade to 2008 at a rate above the national and county average. Employment numbers between 2009 and 2017 have been fairly stable around 43,000, 

Our extensive employment records allow us to monitor the changes to employee numbers from 1929 onwards. We have published separate graphs for each of the 14 Lancashire local authorities that reveal changes in total employee numbers and the shift from manufacturing to service sector employment. Methodological changes, and assumptions for missing years, reduce the accuracy of the graphs, but they do give a useful broad indication of changes over time. The long-term jobs graph for Fylde highlights the substantial growth in employment in the authority over the long-term. 

Graph of employee jobs in Fylde from 1929 onwards showing relative share between manufacturing, services and other industries

The source of employee jobs in Fylde is very heavily influenced by BAe and Westinghouse Springfields. It has a much higher proportion of manufacturing jobs than the majority of authorities, mainly as a result of the aerospace industry. In contrast it has one of the lowest proportions of employment in the service sector, however the visitor economy is important in Fylde. The 2011 census results reveal how employment patterns push the workday population figure for Fylde to a much higher figure than the usual resident population. 

The most recent winner of a Queen's Award for Industry was Language Insight, based in Kirkham, winning the Queen’s Award for Outstanding Short Term Growth in overseas sales in 2019.

In October 2011, the government announced the creation of a single Lancashire enterprise zone that covers the two BAe sites in Lancashire at Samlesbury and Warton. Enterprise zones are areas where financial incentives and a simplified planning structure are designed to encourage businesses and create employment. This was followed in November 2015 by the announcement of the Blackpool Airport Enterprise Zone, which straddles the Blackpool/Fylde boundary.

Assisted areas are those places where regional aid can be offered to undertakings, typically businesses, under European Union state aid rules. From 2014 to 2020 there were two wards in Fylde district with assisted area status. One of these, Warton and Westby, also covered the Warton Enterprise Zone. Following the departure of the UK from the European Union, these rules no longer apply, but an alternative form of public subsidy control regime is currently being considered.

The employment rate is above the regional and national average.

In 2023, there were 3,315 active enterprises in Fylde.  Nearly three thousand of these had under 10 employees, another 300 had under 50 employees and only around 10 had more than 250 employees.

The 2011 census revealed strong commuter flows between the three Fylde Coast authorities of Fylde, Wyre and Blackpool. The structure of the local economy leads to a high jobs-density rate for the authority.

The UK government properties database  is a searchable list of all UK government property holdings and land assets. The web page for the North West region lists land and properties by towns including those in Fylde district.  

Only a small number of armed forces personnel are stationed in Lancashire, but Weeton Barracks has the largest number in the county. 

Average earnings in Fylde are well above the GB average when measured by place of work. The high value manufacturing job opportunities in the authority underpin the strong local results. The survey of personal incomes by HM Revenue and customs broadly includes all individuals whose income is higher than the prevailing personal tax allowance and who are therefore liable to tax. The median results are the middle value that best reflects typical income and they show a high result for Fylde in relation to the Lancashire-12 and North West averages.

There is a low level of employment and support allowance claimants. The housing benefit article identifies the numbers of recipients and the effect of the spare room subsidy withdrawal.  

The town centre of Kirkham is destined to benefit from the Future High Streets Fund, launched in 2018, and indirectly from a mix of funding sources which also includes the Future High Streets Fund, but channelled through the High Streets Heritage Action Zones scheme.

  1. Community Safety

The recorded crime article reveals that Fylde has the second lowest crime rate in Lancashire. See the LG Inform Quarterly Report on Crime and Disorder by Local Authority.

For more details on community safety in your neighbourhood, please enter your postcode or ward into the window in the Local area community safety statistics web page.

Alcohol is known to contribute to offending behaviour, particularly violence, anti-social behaviour and criminal damage.  Residents in Fylde are significantly better or not significantly different on all the indicators measure in the LAPE (Local Alcohol Profiles for England)

In 2022, the number of road casualties revealed 70 people killed or seriously injured in the authority. 

Fylde has one of the four prisons in Lancashire, Kirkham Open Prison, within its area.

  1. Environment and Transport

Transport has a key role to play in realising the economic potential of an area by unlocking key locations, such as the existing and new locations referred to in the economy section. Using sustainable transport modes can significantly improve employment opportunities and life chances. In urban areas the reliance on the car presents problems of traffic congestion and reduced air quality. The M55 passes through the authority and offers direct access to the national motorway network however the rural nature of much of the authority, and the proximity to the coast, means that air quality results in Fylde are much better than those recorded in the proximity of many of the core urban centres of Lancashire.

Blackpool Airport occupies a site that straddles the border between Blackpool and Fylde districts. It was formerly known as Squires Gate Airport and has an aviation history dating back to 1909. Commercial passenger services from the airport dramatically ceased in mid-October 2014, but a month later the airport reopened to general aviation traffic that included helicopters flights to offshore rigs. From 1st April 2015, Citywing re-commenced flights to the Isle-of-Man, but went into liquidation in March 2017 ending scheduled flights from the airport.

In March 2015, the government announced plans for a new enterprise zone at Blackpool Airport. The 144-hectare site will build on the existing strength of the local economy, including the oil and gas industry. It is estimated that the enterprise zone plans could deliver more than 176,000 square metres of floor space, which could create more than 1,000 jobs.

The Department for Transport website has an interactive map that lists the traffic flows at hundreds of sites across all of the Lancashire County Council area.

There are seven railway stations in the authority and most are situated on the Blackpool South to Preston line. Kirkham and Wesham is the busiest station in the authority and is the junction for services to Blackpool North or South. Electrification of the Preston to Blackpool North line caused the closure of the Fylde Coast line from 11th November 2017 until 29th January 2018, but services to both stations resumed on April 16th.

Maps are available that reveal the various rural-urban definitions across Lancashire down to the very small census output area level.  

The National Biodiversity Network Gateway acts as a “data warehouse” for biodiversity information, which can be quickly and easily accessed to understand the distribution of particular species in the UK. Much of the local data is supplied by the Lancashire Environment Record Network (LERN), which is hosted by Lancashire County Council. An interactive map on this site shows the extent of the Environmental Record Centre coverage, including the LERN area, and when adding a species using the 'Add to Map' control, records of their sightings are displayed.

Green belts have been an enduring element of national planning policy. They check the unrestricted sprawl of large built-up areas; prevent neighbouring towns from merging into one another; assist in safeguarding the countryside, preserve the character of historic towns and encourage the recycling of derelict and other urban land. Fylde has a relatively low proportion of its land (10.7%) designated as green belt. 

Lancashire County Council supports a various projects in district authorities via a range of grants and funding options.

The Environment Agency samples bathing water quality between May and September to assess performance. In 2022 both St Anne's Pier and St Annes North were only classified as 'sufficient'. Improvements to the sea defences at Fairhaven costing £20 million as part of the Fylde Peninsula Coastal Programme were approved in May 2017.

The Fylde inshore marine conservation zone was designated in 2013 and covers an area off the Fylde Coast and the Ribble Estuary. Part of the Ribble Estuary has been recommended as another marine conservation zone to be designated in 2018.

Total carbon dioxide emissions in Fylde are high when measured by tonnes per person in comparison to the county and national averages.

The rates of household waste sent for reuse, recycling or composting have in general been improving over the years as sharp increases in Landfill Tax have made the traditional form of Landfill disposal much more expensive. The household waste reuse, recycling and composting rate in 2021/22 was a respectable 44.4%.  

  1. Health and Wellbeing

Figures for life expectancy at birth reveal that Fylde has male and female averages that are similar to the national figures. The following graph reveals life expectancy changes in the authority, and for England, by three-year time periods from 1991-93 onwards. 

Graph showing life expectancy at birth for males and females in Fylde from 1991 to 1993 onwards. In 2017 to 2019 the age was 79.7 for males and 83.3 for females

The Fylde Health Profile, published by Public Health England, reveals that the health of people in Fylde is fairly similar to the England average. 

The 2015 health behaviours summary report (PDF 446 KB) and lifestyle survey findings (PDF 876 KB) for Fylde provide further details on lifestyle behaviours such as smoking, drinking, substance use, physical activity, nutrition, excess weight and wellbeing.

In July 2022 Integrated Care Boards replaced the much smaller Clinical Commissioning Groups as clinically-led statutory NHS bodies responsible for the planning and commissioning of health care services for their local area, including the majority of the hospital and community NHS services. Together with their associated Integrated Care Partnerships, which includes representatives from the upper tier local authorities responsible for social care and public health, they form Integrated Care Systems (ICS). The single ICS covering the whole of the Lancashire-14 area is the Healthier Lancashire and South Cumbria ICS. That web page has a link to a glossary of the terms used and there is a further explanation on a Kings Fund web page

The Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust provides important care facilities in the general locality including three main hospitals.

The local government association has produced 'housing, health and wellbeing profiles' for each local authority across the country. The figures go down to the ward level, and the Fylde profile has results from the census, the index of multiple deprivation and other data sources.

Public Health England has produced Cardiovascular disease profiles for each of the former clinical commissioning groups in England, in this case NHS Fylde and Wyre CCG. There are separate reports for heart disease, stroke, diabetes and kidney disease.

  1. Older People 

The authority has over 22,000 pension claimants of which high concentrations are particularly apparent in Lytham and St Annes on Sea.  

It has been well documented over recent years that people are living longer and that the older age-groups will record some dramatic increases over future years, with associated financial implications and demand for health and social care services. By 2043, the population aged 65 or over in Fylde is projected to increase to 33,991.  

Attendance Allowance provides financial help to people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally disabled. Given the size of the elderly population the number in Fylde at just under 3,000 (in August 2023) does not seem to be excessive in comparison to other areas.

Life expectancy as mentioned earlier is increasing but there is no guarantee that the extra years of life will necessarily equate to extra years of healthy life expectancy. However, it is not a foregone conclusion that "extra" years of life expectancy should necessarily lead to additional years with ill health or disability. More suitable community services to enable independent living and more effective practice of preventive lifestyles and medicine has the potential to lengthen disability-free life expectancy, particularly in the case of the prevention and treatment of non-fatal but disabling diseases.

The Lancashire Care Homes Association is an organisation that represents care providers across the broader Lancashire area. The website lists a large number of care and nursing homes, along with domiciliary care agencies in the area. The details are listed by major urban localities across the county.  

Page updated 9 May 2024