Diane Hawkins, The Lord-Lieutenant, welcomes you to the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy’s website

Mrs Diane Hawkins the Lord-Lieutenant in uniform outside Manchester Cathedral
Mrs Diane Hawkins JP LLB, the Lord-Lieutenant

Welcome to the website of the Greater Manchester Lieutenancy. I hope that you will find it helpful and informative of my role and work as Lord-Lieutenant and the contribution made by the Vice Lord-Lieutenant and my Deputy Lieutenants in the day-to-day life of the County.

All of us living and working in Greater Manchester are proud of its heritage as the birthplace of the first industrial revolution and the introduction of the famous “Spinning Jenny and Mule” and the “Water Frame” which transformed the production of cotton and brought wealth and prosperity to this area.

In 1948 Manchester, and its university, were at the forefront of the new technological age with the invention of the world’s first electronic computer that heralded a further industrial revolution, the impact of which is felt throughout the world. The Manchester Baby, also called the Small-Scale Experimental Machine was not intended to be a practical computing engine but was instead designed as a testbed for the Williams tube, the first truly random-access memory.

Greater Manchester is a metropolitan county and combined authority area in North West England, with a population of 2.8 Million. The county was created on 1 April 1974, by the Local Government Act 1972 and was formed of parts of the historic counties of Cheshire, Lancashire and the West Riding of Yorkshire. It spans 493 square miles and although geographically landlocked, it is connected to the sea by the Manchester Ship Canal which is still open to shipping in Salford and Trafford.

Today Greater Manchester continues to be at the forefront of regeneration, creativity, innovation and education. There are over 105,000 students in higher education across the County’s universities and HE providers – University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, Salford University, Bolton University, The Royal Northern College of Music, University Campus Oldham and University Academy 92.

The visual and performing arts have driven much of the major regeneration projects. Throughout the County there are over 30 museums, galleries and significant venues for the performing arts including such world-class facilities at the Bridgewater Hall, the Lowry and the Whitworth Art Gallery. The Manchester International Festival is recognised as the foremost creative arts festival in Great Britain. Media City is the home to both the BBC and Granada television, which has stimulated the growth of the creative industries.

Greater Manchester is linked to the world by its international airport which enables it to hold world-class sporting events such as cycling, swimming, cricket, squash and international football events. It is the home of two world-famous Premier league football clubs Manchester United and Manchester City, as well as others in the higher levels of the football league system such as Bolton Wanderers, Wigan Athletic, Rochdale FC, Salford City and Stockport County and Oldham Athletic. Lancashire Cricket Club is in the county as are Rugby Super League clubs of Leigh Leopards, Wigan Warriors and Salford Red Devils as well as Sale Sharks from Rugby Union.

It is a county that celebrates its wide social, cultural and faith diversity. For over 150 years the County has welcomed new communities and these communities have provided much of the cultural and economic wealth which has created and shaped this vibrant and prosperous county.

Greater Manchester plays a major part in the transfer of power by a central government to local or regional administrations through the Government’s devolution policy. The ten Greater Manchester Councils and the elected Mayor of Greater Manchester form The Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) who work with other local services, businesses, communities and other partners to improve the city-region.