West Yorkshire

 

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West Yorkshire: 53.884916, -1.702881

West Yorkshire is a metropolitan county within the Yorkshire and the Humber region of England with a population of 2.2 million according to the mid-year estimates for 2011 from the Office for National Statistics. West Yorkshire came into existence as a metropolitan county in 1974 after the passage of the Local Government Act 1972.

West Yorkshire, which is landlocked, consists of five metropolitan boroughs (City of Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, City of Leeds and City of Wakefield) and shares borders with the counties of Derbyshire (to the south), Greater Manchester (to the south west), Lancashire (to the north west), North Yorkshire (to the north and east) and South Yorkshire (to the south east).

West Yorkshire grew up around several industries. Bradford, Halifax and Huddersfield were grown through the development of woollen mills, Leeds' traditional industry was the manufacturing of cloth, while heavier engineering industries facilitated growth in South Leeds. Wakefield, Castleford, Pontefract and South and East Leeds were traditional coal mining areas. The woollen and cloth industries declined throughout the twentieth century, while mining in West Yorkshire declined through the late 1980s and 1990s, leaving only Kellingley Colliery and a few open cast mines today.

Leeds has since attracted investment from financial institutions, to become a recognised financial centre, with many banks, building societies and insurance companies having offices in the city. Two of the big four supermarkets are from West Yorkshire. Morrisons is based in Bradford, while Asda is based in Leeds.

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