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The local area guide to living in Stoke on Trent
Stoke on Trent is the most prominent city in the area of Staffordshire of the north of England and is formed by the boroughs of Burslem, Hanley, Stoke and Longton, as well as the districts of Fenton and Tunstall. These areas are known collectively as ‘the Potteries’, a celebration of the area’s importance as a producer of some of the world’s best ceramics.
The city has a very strong industrial heritage, with coal mining being particularly prominent in the history of the area. During the 1940s there were more than 20,000 people working in the collieries and, though all the mines are now closed – the last being Trentham Superpit in 1994 – the evidence of this proud industrial past can be seen in the slag heaps that are still visible in the city skyline.
The architecture of Stoke on Trent is a mix of simple worker’s cottages and the larger, better appointed houses that were built for factory owners. Iron and steel works used to be major employers in the area, but this industry mostly ceased by the 1970s, and now distribution centres and the service industry are the biggest sources of employment. Though Stoke on Trent might sound like a prime example of the industrialised north, it is actually a very beautiful city, and one third of it is green space. It also enjoys a reputation as being home to the Northern Soul movement that became prominent in the seventies and still has a lively nightclub scene.
Information about the local residents
In the 2011 census, Stoke on Trent had a population of just under 250,000 people, a decline of 3.5% since 1991. The average age of the population was a fairly young, 38.5, and it seems that the city is actually getting younger: the number of people aged 65 and over has decreased by 0.8%, compared to a 10.9% increase seen throughout England and Wales.
There are over 70 primary schools in Stoke on Trent, as well as a large number of secondary schools. These include St Joseph’s College, a grammar school, which was classed as ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted, as well as plenty of non-selective schools with good reputations. The area also has a good selection of schools for pupils with special educational needs, including Abbey Hill School and Performing Arts College, which focuses on needs such as learning difficulties and Autism-Spectrum Disorders, and Aynsley School and Specialist College that offers provision for pupils with behavioural, social and emotional difficulties.
Further educational needs are catered for by Stoke on Trent College and City of Stoke on Trent Sixth Form College, whilst Staffordshire University provides access to higher education sources.
Stone on Trent is within easy reach of both the M1 and M6 motorways, providing easy access to both the north and south of the UK via road. There is a park and ride service within the city, offering an easy way to travel into the city centre. There is also a reliable bus service in and around Stoke on Trent, connecting it to nearby towns and cities. The railway station is located in the Shelton area with good services to London, Birmingham, Oxford and Manchester, as well as smaller, local destinations. The city is within easy reach of Coventry Airport, East Midlands Airport and Birmingham International Airport, which offer services to destinations in Europe and beyond.
The city is a great destination for shopping, with independent and boutique shops rubbing shoulders with well-known high street brands. Sitting in pride of place in the city centre is the Intu Potteries Shopping Centre, which boasts big name brands such as Next, Debenhams, Primark and Starbucks. The Cultural Quarter is a hub of creativity and entertainment venues and has a nice laid back feel with plenty of emphasis on coffee culture. Here you will find a plethora of independent stores and cafes, as well as two theatres, an arts centre, several galleries and the local museum. Nightlife in Stoke on Trent is lively, with plenty of pubs, bars and music venues to keep everyone entertained.
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