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Living in Scunthorpe: The Local Area Guide

Scunthorpe is an industrial town and the administrative centre of North Lincolnshire. It is located around a mile from the River Trend, and 25 miles south of Lincoln.

Known as “The Industrial Garden Town” it has had a large and lasting influence on the steel industry, having been the largest steel production centre in the UK and exporting it all over the world. It was the growth of this industry that first brought Scunthorpe to prominence. Before then it had been a very small village. However, the local iron deposits were discovered and the town expanded quickly – from a little over 1,200 in 1851, to over 11,000 in 1901 and nearly 46,000 by 1941. Nearby villages became absorbed as Scunthorpe became the area’s major urban centre.

Steel is still a major employer in Scunthorpe today. It is almost a one-trade town, but other industries such as food production and distribution, technology and waste management have taken a little of the burden away from the original export.

Don’t let the heavy industry of the area make you think Scunthorpe is all chimneys and factories, though. In fact, within the boundaries of the town are some very pretty parks and gardens and outside of the town are beautiful rolling hills, fields and forests.

Scunthorpe is also known for its Association Football team, Scunthorpe United. It plays in League One, which is the third tier of English professional football.


Scunthorpe has a population of around 65,000 according to the 2011 census. It has a mean age of 40.8, higher than the national average which is 39.2. The median age is 42, also higher than the national average.

Education rates are, overall, relatively low. Fewer than 1 in 5 people have achieved Level 4 education or higher, while more than a quarter have no formal qualifications. This may have resulted in higher than average unemployment – 4% of people claim Jobseeker’s Allowance, which is a little higher than the rate for the whole of England (3.3%).

When classified by social grade (that is, the occupation of the main household earner) Scunthorpe also ranks lower than the English average. 15.7% of households are classified as AB, which is significantly lower than the national rate of 22.9%. Furthermore, 24.9% of households are ranked C1 which is less than the 30.9% in England as a whole. That leaves nearly 60% of people in C2 and DE, which is likely a reflection of the industrial nature of the town’s economy.

However, property prices (like much of the North of England) are relatively low and this means that property ownership is high. Around 70% of households are owner occupied (either with a mortgage or owned outright), which compares to around 63% for England. Just 12% of properties are privately rented and only 15.5% are designated as social housing.


Scunthorpe has a large selection of schools. There are about 12 primary schools throughout the area, which feed into 6 state secondary schools which include St Bede’s Catholic Voluntary Academy, the Outwood Academy and St Lawrence Academy. All of the town’s secondary schools finish at age 16, because the region has fully adopted the comprehensive system.

Past the age of 16, pupils tend to go to John Leggott College. It is a large college, and has performed extremely well over the years when inspected.


Since the 19th century Scunthorpe has had a railway station and good connections. Today, it is served by the South TransPennine Line which connects to Leeds in around an hour, and to York in an hour and 10 minutes. Bus routes are also good within and out of the town, and they are largely run by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire.

By car, Scunthorpe is also fairly well linked. The M180 to the north is a primary trunk road, and links to Humberside Airport fairly quickly.

Amenities and Shopping

Scunthorpe has two large shopping centres right in the centre of the town. Almost connected, they are the Parishes Centre and the Foundry Shopping Centre and have a large selection of recognisable retailers and fashionable outlets to offer.

For larger shopping trips, many residents prefer to make a trip to a larger town nearby like Hull, York, Leeds or Sheffield.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure the above information is up to date, some inaccuracies may occur. If you notice any inaccuracies please contact

p>All information was correct at time of publication and is provided in good faith

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