The modern-day Bury Council began in 1974 following the Local Government Act and encompasses six towns – Bury, Radcliffe, Ramsbottom, Prestwich, Tottington and Whitefield – with a population of 186,000 people. It is a metropolitan council responsible for direct provision of services including education and social care, highways and libraries, parks and waste/recycling, and public health. Bury is one of the ten councils in Greater Manchester who will soon be taking on significantly more powers and budgetary responsibility as part of devolution. The council aims to ‘lead, shape and maintain a prosperous, sustainable Bury that is fit for the future’ and having a vibrant cultural economy will play an important part in that. The borough has a wealth of creative talent, cultural diversity, heritage and visitor attractions which will all promote community prosperity.
The history of the East Lancashire Railway is the story of a heroic struggle to keep a dying part of Britain’s heritage alive, a struggle that still goes on today.