The Metropolitan Borough of Tameside, which was created in 1974, takes its name from the River Tame, the traditional boundary between Lancashire and Cheshire. It is just to the east of Manchester and comprises five former boroughs and four urban district councils.
Something for everyone
Tameside quite literally has something for everyone. It not only borders Manchester, with which it has excellent road, rail and tram links, but also wide expanses of countryside ideal for walking and other leisure pursuits.
The Peak District National Park is easily accessible, and the borough lies at the junction of three canals: the Peak Forest, Ashton, and Huddersfield Narrow which meet at Portland Basin where there is an award-winning heritage centre.
The borough has its eyes fixed firmly on the future and is undergoing a huge transformation through the Vision Tameside project which should be completed by 2018.
Vision Tameside – a partnership between Tameside Council and Tameside College – is an ambitious redevelopment strategy to bring greater economic prosperity and transform learning and skills.
It will deliver an exciting future for Tameside by attracting new businesses and creating jobs and opportunities for residents. Central to the project is a transformational three-phase development of the Tameside College campus.
The college plans to build three new Advanced Learning Centres, based in Ashton Town Centre and at the Beaufort Road site offering young people in Tameside ‘state of the art’ facilities that equip them for the challenges of a changing economy requiring a highly skilled workforce.
This once in a lifetime opportunity for Tameside brings together the latest transport infrastructure, the fastest broadband connection in Greater Manchester and outstanding teaching and learning facilities in state of the art accommodation that doesn’t just transform the lives of young people but raises the aspirations and opportunities available to the whole Tameside community.
Tameside’s schools have also undergone massive investment. Over the last decade, virtually every school has been rebuilt or remodelled. Exam results are consistently better than the national average.
Leisure and retail
Ashton’s old public baths, which lay derelict for many years, has been reborn as a high-tech business incubator with help from the European Regional Development Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
Work at the mid-Victorian building, which closed as a swimming baths in 1975, has involved cleaning, repairs and the replacement of external stonework. The new office space is housed inside a free-standing timber-clad pod within the former main pool.
The Ashton Arcades shopping centre opened in 1995. It covers 13,000 square metres (140,000 sq ft) on two floors with more than 40 shops. In 2006, IKEA opened its first town centre-store in Ashton.
Other shopping areas include the Snipe Retail Park in Audenshaw and the Crown Point Mall in Denton.
Ashton’s multi award-winning market, which dates back to medieval times, is undergoing a major refurbishment. The market hall was rebuilt and reopened in 2008 and the outside market is being completely revamped.
There is a monthly farmers’ market in Ashton as well as an artisan market in Stalybridge and a craft market in Hyde.
Sports provision is another area undergoing major investment. A new pool and wellness centre is to be built in Denton, Hyde is getting a pool to add to its popular leisure pool, and there are many top-class playing surfaces including a Fifa two-star pitch recently laid at Ewen Fields, Hyde. Cyclists have the benefit of various trails and hubs.
The Museum of the Manchester Regiment is housed in Ashton-under-Lyne's town hall. The museum displays relics related to the Manchester Regiment including five Victoria Crosses awarded to members of the regiment. Park Bridge Heritage Centre in the Medlock Valley is a museum dedicated to the history of the settlement of Park Bridge and its industry. Broad Mills Heritage Site, in Broadbottom, preserves the remains of an early 19th-century textile works. Art galleries in the borough include Astley Cheetham Art Gallery in Stalybridge and Central Art Gallery in Ashton-under-Lyne.
Tameside has eight designated Local Nature Reserves which are Knott Hill, Hollinwood Branch Canal, Great Wood, Haughton Dale, Hulmes and Hardy Woods, Castle Clough and Cowbury Dale, Hurst Clough and Rocher Vale.