At the May, 2007 local elections, Labour lost ground to the Greens in Lancaster and the MBIs in Morecambe resulting in a no overall control, with all parties represented in a PR administration.



Lancaster and Morecambe have grown into a single conurbation. The former City and Municipal Borough of Lancaster and the Municipal Borough of Morecambe and Heysham along with other authorities merged in 1974 to form the District of Lancaster within the shire county of Lancashire. This was given city status in the United Kingdom and Lancaster City Council is the local governing body for the district. Lancaster is an unparished area and has no separate council.

Potted shrimps from Morecambe Bay, Lancashire cheese, Lancashire sauce, smoked fish… Lancashire’s got more than just hot pot. There are many stalls of locally produced food at the outdoor Charter market on Wednesday and Saturday as well as a hog roast and more exotic fare, such as falafels and, erm, Cornish pasties.

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Lancaster has produced a number of successful bands and musicians since the 1990s, notably the drummer Keith Baxter of 3 Colours Red and folk-metal band Skyclad, who also featured Lancaster guitarist Dave Pugh, the thrash metal band D.A.M. were all from Lancaster, recording two albums for the Noise International label, with Dave Pugh appearing on the second.

In 2005, Lancaster was one of six English towns chosen to be cycling demonstration towns to promote the use of cycling as a means of transport.[30] Considerable improvements to cycling facilities were made throughout the city until the money ran out in 2010.

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Lancaster was once known as the ‘hanging town’ and later earned a reputation for ‘lunatics and linoleum’. All that has changed. The ‘lunatic asylum’ of Moor Hospital, where Alan Bennett’s mother was treated, is now luxury flats. The lino industry is no more. It’s still a great place to ‘hang’ but not literally, thankfully. Now the city of just 46,000 has a more tourist-friendly strapline: ‘Small city big story.’

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Lancaster is home to many golf clubs, including the Ashton Golf Centre, Lansil Golf Club, Forest Hills and Lancaster Golf Club. Lancaster also has a swimming club called 'Lancaster Amateur Swimming and Waterpolo Club' and they compete in a variety of competitions in the North West.They train at Salt Ayre, and at Lancaster University Sports Centre. Lancaster is home to a senior team in Great Britain. Water polo is also popular in the Lancaster area.

J.Atkinson & Co coffee roasters, established in 1837, claims to be the city’s oldest business. New owners are injecting the city with a caffeine buzz. Their two cafes, The Hall and The Music Room are especially popular. Upcycled, vintage and ‘hipster’ - but without silly beards. The Hall won ‘best flat white in the UK’ in 2013.

The traditional emblem for the House of Lancaster is a red rose, the red rose of Lancaster, similar to that of the House of York, which is a white rose. These names derive from the emblems of the Royal Duchies of Lancaster and York in the 15th century. This erupted into a civil war over rival claims to the throne during the Wars of the Roses.

The A6 is one of the main historic north south roads in England. It currently runs from Luton in Bedfordshire to Carlisle in Cumbria. The road passes through Lancaster giving access to nearby towns such as Carnforth, Kendal and Garstang. The Bay Gateway, linking Heysham and the M6 is expected to open in 2016.[29]

43 miles of lock-free canal winds its way through Lancaster and the surrounding farmland. In the 19th century a horse-drawn passenger boat, Waterwitch, made the 30-mile journey from Lancaster to Preston in a speedy three hours. Today visitors can take a diesel-powered pleasure cruise across an impressive Georgian aqueduct over the River Lune. A return trip of 4.2 miles takes nearly two hours.

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On 29 May 2015, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II visited Lancaster Castle, her first visit in more than a decade.[28]

Lancaster was also home to the European headquarters of Reebok. Following their merger with Adidas, Reebok moved to Bolton and Stockport in 2007.[27]

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In the late-1990s and early-first decade of the 21st century, the city council was under the control of the Morecambe Bay Independents (MBIs) who campaigned for an independent Morecambe council. In 2003 their influence waned and Labour became the largest party on the council. They formed a 'trafficlight' coalition with the LibDems and Greens.

Freely available newspapers in Lancaster include The Reporter and, previously, The Lancaster & Morecambe Citizen, which ceased production in January 2009.

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The city's university, Lancaster University, also has its own student radio station, Bailrigg FM, broadcasting on 87.7 FM, an online student-run television station called LA1:TV (formerly[66] and its own student-run newspaper named SCAN.[67]

Every November the city hosts a two daylight and art festival entitled “Light Up Lancaster[54]” which includes one of the biggest fireworks displays in the north west.[55]

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The Lancaster Jazz and Lancaster Music Festivals are both respectively held annually every September and October, based at various venues throughout the city. In 2013 the headline Jazz act was The Neil Cowley Trio who performed at The Dukes, whilst one of the Lancaster Music Festival headline acts was Jay Diggins who performed at The Dalton Rooms.[65]


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The city entertains contestants in the Lancaster International Youth Games, a multi-sport 'Olympic' style event, featuring competitors from Lancaster's twin towns: Rendsburg (Germany), Perpignan (France), Viana do Castelo (Portugal), Aalborg (Denmark), Almere (Netherlands), Lublin (Poland) and Växjö (Sweden).

Opportunities to go abroad during your Lancaster degree include:

Lancaster became a borough in 1193 under King Richard I. Its first charter, dated 12 June 1193, was from John, Count of Mortain, who later became King of England.[18]

The Lancaster Grand Theatre and the Dukes are two of the city's most notable venues for live performances as well as the Yorkshire House, Robert Gillow, The John O’ Gaunt and The Bobin. Throughout the year, various festivals are held in and around the city, such as the Lancaster Music Festival, Lancaster Jazz Festival, The Maritime Festival and Chinese New Year Celebrations in the city centre as part of the Lancaster Chinese New Year Festival.[53]

The Bay is based at St. George's Quay in the city and broadcasts on three separate frequencies: 96.9 FM (Lancaster), 102.3 FM (Windermere) and 103.2 FM (Kendal).

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