Wyre district

This summary offers a snapshot of some of the most important economic, social and environmental factors in Wyre district with links through to the source information, plus a 'State of Wyre' report produced by Wyre Council. 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


Wyre is an authority that covers 283 square kilometres, has 24 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 county and national averages. From an historic point of view there have been dramatic changes. 

  1. Children and Young People

For young children and parents the county council's Children and Family Wellbeing Service has a search facility for local centres. The five in the district are the Flakefleet, Fleetwood, Kemp Street, Rural Wyre and Thornton Children And Family Wellbeing Services.

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. The average score for 2021/22 was 47.8 in Wyre district. This was a little above the average for the Lancashire County Council area of 47.6.

The Department for Education achievement and attainment tables have more information on achievement at other levels. 

There are 49 schools in Wyre, of which 38 are primary and seven secondary. A full list of schools in Lancashire is available. Ofsted inspection reports and the GOV.UK web page on schools performance for Wyre and Preston North and Lancaster and Fleetwood parliamentary constituencies are useful sources of local information. Fleetwood is also home to the highly regarded independent Rossall School

Located in the authority is the specialist Fleetwood Nautical Campus and also Myerscough College a centre of excellence for land-based courses such as agriculture and horticulture.

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.

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 Wyre, and bringing together key indicators from Fingertips, the public health data collection from the Office for Health Improvement & Disparities (OHID).

  1. People and Communities

The 2022 mid-year population estimate total for the authority was 114,809. There is a Census 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 graph for Wyre shows that the number of deaths has, over the long-term, consistently been higher than live births in the authority. Because of the Covid-19 pandemic most districts, including Wyre, had more deaths than births in 2020, so in the case of Wyre the margin was more pronounced. The number of deaths in each month of 2021, 2022 and 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 Wyre from 1981 onwards. In 2022 there were 804 live births and 1,628 deaths

It is estimated that between 2018 and 2043 the population of Wyre will increase by 10.3%, which is above the 7.2% predicted for the Lancashire-14 area, and is equal to the England figure. The number of households is projected to grow by 17.7% between 2018 and 2043, which is greater than the Lancashire-14 percentage rise (12.3%), and the predicted increase for England (16.2%).

The median house prices to earnings in the authority is higher than a number of other Lancashire authorities. 

Wyre has around 53,300 dwellings, 92.5% are owner occupied or private rented. On the whole, larger proportions of its housing stock are in the higher council tax bands in comparison to the county average and a low proportion in tax band A. The net additional dwellings usually exceed 200 per annum in the borough.

A total of 12.6% of Wyre households were in fuel poverty in 2020, which was under the England average of 13.2%. 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 Multiple Deprivation revealed that Wyre was ranked the 147th most deprived authority out of 317 district and unitary authorities in England, when measured by the rank of average LSOA rank.  

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 eight of Wyre's wards largely belong to the 'Semi-Detached Suburbia' group while the 'Farming Communities' and 'Ageing Urban Living' groups dominate in four wards each.

  1. Economic Development

Gross value added is an indicator of economic activity within an area, and figures are now available for the north Lancashire area that includes both Wyre and Lancaster districts. In 2017, the two districts generated a gross value added figure that was just 67.7% of the UK average. This was also well below the 80.3% average for the Lancashire-14 area. In contrast,  the gross disposable household results for 2016, revealed that the Lancaster and Wyre area had a per head of population figures that was 84.2% of the UK average. This was 3rd highest out of the six sub-localities within the Lancashire-14 area. Together, Wyre and Lancaster districts do not form a significant locality of wealth generation through industrial and commercial activity, but the area exists within a much wider economic context. Many residents have average income levels generated from earnings, investments and welfare benefits (including pensions) that compare favourably with other localities in Lancashire. 

The 2017 count of employees and working owners in Wyre stood at around 31,000. The authority saw a very large reduction in employment between 2009 and 2017 (-9.1%) that was well in excess of the county and national averages. Many of these jobs were in the Civil Service. The structure of the local economy means that Wyre has a very low jobs-density rate.

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 graph for Wyre is displayed below and reveals the long-term trend of rising employment in the authority. 

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

In 2023 there were 4,035 active enterprises in Wyre. Of these 90% employed fewer than ten workers. Only around ten enterprises had over 250 employees.

The most recent company in Wyre to win a Queen's Award for Enterprise was Cheese Matters in 2022.

In November 2015, the government announced the creation of the Hillhouse Enterprise Zone.

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 Wyre had six wards with assisted area status. Following the departure of the UK from the European Union, these rules no longer apply, but a Subsidy control bill is currently going through Parliament.

In the service sector, the Ministry of Defence has a number of civilian workers in the authority. The NHS Pensions is also an important local employer as is the Service Personnel and Veterans Agency at Norcross. 

There are strong commuting flows between the three Fylde Coast authorities, of Fylde, Wyre and Blackpool. The area also shows strengthening links with central Lancashire, with Preston in particular attracting workers from Fylde and Wyre. 

Average weekly earnings in Wyre in 2019 were low when measured by place of residence, and were the lowest in Lancashire when measured by place of work. The authority does however record positive benefits from net commuter flows. 

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 result for Wyre that is well below the Lancashire-12 average. 

The authority does not have an excessive number of employment and support allowance claimants The housing benefit article indicates the number of local recipients and the effects of the spare room subsidy withdrawal. 

The town centre of Fleetwood 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 Wyre has a crime rate that is well below the average for the Lancashire-14 area. 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 the authority are significantly worse than the national average for the all but one of alcohol related indicators, according to the LAPE (Local Alcohol Profiles for England).

The latest 2021 figure for the number of people killed or seriously injured in road traffic collisions in Wyre was 60.

  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. There is generally good air quality across a large part of the authority but a couple of noticeable points with higher emissions of the three air pollutants we document are amongst the chemical works on the Wyre estuary and at Calder Vale, where the old Lappet Mill continues operation.

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.   

The 11-mile tram link from south Blackpool (Starr Gate) to Fleetwood reopened in April 2012 after being closed for a major upgrade. The large-scale investment represents a major transport improvement for visitors and residents along the Fylde Coast. The tram system passes through Cleveleys and terminates at Fleetwood. Passenger numbers were over recent years adversely affected by the economic downturn and closures for upgrades, but the new investment led to significant passenger number increases from the 2012/13 financial year onwards.   

The district has only one railway station, Poulton-le-Fylde, which is primarily served by Northern. Electrification of the line to Blackpool North prevented any rail services from running between November 2017 and April 2018.

The Poulton and Wyre Railway Society has a base at the former Thornton-Cleveleys station on the closed railway line between Poulton-le-Fylde and Fleetwood.

Fleetwood Marina is a member of the Trans-Europe network of marinas. As such, it offers reciprocal visitor discounts to members who cruise between the wide network of international marine destinations. 

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. Wyre has a very small percentage of its land (2.7%) designated as green belt

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.

The Duchy of Lancaster is a unique portfolio of land, property and assets held in trust for the Sovereign in His or Her role as Duke of Lancaster. Lands and properties are administered in five separate units known as Surveys. The Lancashire Survey consists of a selection of agricultural estates located between Preston and Lancaster, thereby comprising a significant amount of rural land in Wyre district.

The Environment Agency samples bathing water quality between May and September to assess performance, and there are overall yearly results for beaches at Fleetwood and Cleveleys.  

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

Carbon dioxide is the principal greenhouse gas believed to be contributing to global warming. Total carbon dioxide emissions in the authority, when measured by tonnes per resident, are above the national and county averages. There are relatively high levels of sulphur dioxide emissions in Wyre compared to other Lancashire authorities, but these are low levels by national comparisons.

The household waste reuse, recycling and composting rates 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. In 2019/20 the rate for Wyre was 45.7%, which was much improved on 2018/19 and better than England as a whole.

  1. Health and Wellbeing

Figures for life expectancy at birth reveal that Wyre had male and female averages that were usually below 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. 

Life expectancy at birth, Wyre graph

The Wyre Health Profile, published by Public Health England, reveals the health of people in the area is mixed compared to the England average. 

The 2015 health behaviours summary report (PDF 449 KB) and lifestyle survey findings (PDF 843 KB) for Wyre 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 some outpatient treatments from Fleetwood Hospital.

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 Wyre 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 group 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

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 Wyre is projected to reach 43,832, the largest number of any Lancashire authority. 

State Pension caseload numbers also reflect this large elderly population, in August 2021 there were around 29,400 recipients of State Pension in Wyre, the highest caseload for any authority in Lancashire - including the 2 unitary authorities. Areas around Knott-end-on-Sea and to the north of Garstang have particularly high proportions of older residents. Pension Credit is for pensioners at the lower end of the income scale and the caseload in the authority is relatively high reflecting both the high number of older people in Wyre and deprivation concentrated in some areas. 

Attendance Allowance provides financial help to people aged 65 or over who are physically or mentally disabled. In November 2021 the caseload was 4,230, the highest figure for any local authority in Lancashire.

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 4 April 2024