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The local area guide to living in Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire, is a town with a population of around 65,000. It is the administrative centre of North Lincolnshire and has historically been an industrial town and is known as “The Industrial Garden Town”. This is particularly true of the steel industry, with Scunthorpe being the UK’s largest steel processing centre.

Scunthorpe was a very small settlement until its iron resources began to be exploited during the Industrial Revolution. In 1851 it has a population of 1,245, by 1901 this was 11,167 and by 1941 it was 45,840. It rapidly absorbed nearby villages and attracted people looking for work from all over North Lincolnshire.

While the town is heavily industrialised, it has plenty of green areas and parks and is surrounded by rich, thick woodland and farmland rolling over low hills. The River Trent is around a mile away, the Humber Estuary around 8 miles away and Lincoln around 25 miles to the north.

The local economy still relies heavily on the steel industry, although other industries such as food production, distribution, waste management and technology do play a part in employing the populace.

Scunthorpe United, the town’s football club, play in the third tier of English football, League One, and enjoys passionate support from the local population.

Information about the local residents

Among the area’s population the mean age is 40.8, which is about 1.5 years over the average for England as a whole. The median age is 42, which is 3 years above that of England.

That population, overall, belongs to lower social grades than the averages for England. When classified by the occupation of the primary earner, only 15.7% of households belong to social grade AB, while for England that rate is 22.9%. 24.9% of people in the region belong to C1, which compares to 30.9% for England, which leaves around 59% of people in the lower social grades of C2 and DE.

Unemployment is relatively high, with 4% of the population claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance – higher than the national rate of 3.3%. This may be related to below average education rates – just 19.5% have achieved Level 4 education or higher, while 26.2% have no qualifications at all.

Despite this, property ownership is relatively high. 33% of households are owner occupied without a mortgage, while 36.5% are with a mortgage. Only 12% are privately rented (which compares to 15.4% for England). A total of 15.5% of households are used as social housing which is also lower than the national rate.

Nearby schools

There are a lot of schools in Scunthorpe for families to choose from. There are around a dozen primary schools, which feed into about half that number of secondary schools. These include Outwood Academy, the St Lawrence Academy (which is Church of England) and St Bede’s Catholic Voluntary Academy.

Scunthorpe, and North Lincolnshire as a whole, are fully comprehensive so schools finish at the age of 16. Past that, pupils tend to go to a college like the John Leggott College, which has a very good reputation for academic performance.

Getting around

Scunthorpe railway station operates on the South TransPennine Line, which takes just over an hour to get to Leeds and around 1 hour 10 minutes to get to York in the north.

For motorists, the town is only a short drive from the M180 to the north, which offers a short drive to Humberside airport.

Busses are run by Stagecoach in Lincolnshire and are widely used by the locals to travel within and out of the town cheaply.

Local shops

There are two major shopping centres in Scunthorpe which are almost joined together. They are the Foundry Shopping Centre and the Parishes Centre, and have a great array of well known retailers as well as some smaller, locally-run specialist stores.

Larger shopping facilities are easily reached in the nearby towns of Lincoln, Hull, Grimsby, Sheffield and Leeds.

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

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