Royal Borough of Greenwich

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Royal Borough of Greenwich
Royal borough
Coat of arms of Royal Borough of Greenwich
Coat of arms
Official logo of Royal Borough of Greenwich
Council logo
Motto: We Govern by Serving
Greenwich shown within Greater London
Greenwich shown within Greater London
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Constituent country England
Region London
Ceremonial county Greater London
Status Royal borough
Admin HQ Woolwich
Created 1 April 1965
 • Type London borough council
 • Body Greenwich London Borough Council
 • Leadership Leader & Cabinet (Labour)
 • Mayor Councillor Mick Hayes
 • MPs Teresa Pearce (Labour)
Clive Efford (Labour)
Matthew Pennycook (Labour)
 • London Assembly Len Duvall (Labour) AM for Greenwich and Lewisham
 • EU Parliament London
 • Total 18.28 sq mi (47.35 km2)
Area rank 273rd (of 326)
Population (mid-2014 est.)
 • Total 268,678
 • Rank 50th (of 326)
 • Density 15,000/sq mi (5,700/km2)
 • Ethnicity[1] 52.3% White British

1.7% White Irish
0.2% White Gypsy or Irish Traveller
8.3% Other White
1.6% White & Black Caribbean
1.1% White & Black African
0.9% White & Asian
1.3% Other Mixed
3.1% Indian
1% Pakistani
0.6% Bangladeshi
2% Chinese
5% Other Asian
13.8% Black African
3.2% Black Caribbean
2.1% Other Black
0.4% Arab

1.4% Other
 • ONS code 00AL
Time zone GMT (UTC0)
 • Summer (DST) BST (UTC+1)
Postcodes SE, DA, BR
Area code(s) 020
Police force Metropolitan Police

The Royal Borough of Greenwich (Listeni/ˈɡrɛnɪ/, /ˈɡrɪnɪ/, /ˈɡrɪnɪ/ or /ˈɡrɛnɪ/)[2][3] is a London borough in south-east London, England. Taking its name from the historic town of Greenwich, the London Borough of Greenwich was formed in 1965 by the amalgamation of the former area of the Metropolitan Borough of Greenwich with part of the Metropolitan Borough of Woolwich to the east. The local council is Greenwich London Borough Council which meets in Woolwich Town Hall. The council's offices are also based in Woolwich, the main urban centre in the borough.

Greenwich is world famous as the traditional location of the Prime Meridian, on which all Coordinated Universal Time is based. The Prime Meridian running through Greenwich and the Greenwich Observatory is where the designation Greenwich Mean Time, or GMT began, and on which all world times are based. In 2012, Greenwich was listed as a top ten global destination by Frommer's – the only UK destination to be listed.

Greenwich was one of six host boroughs for the 2012 London Olympics and events were held at the Royal Artillery Barracks (shooting), Greenwich Park (equestrianism) and The O2 – the former Millennium Dome (gymnastics and basketball).

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, Greenwich became a Royal Borough on 3 February 2012, due in part to its historic links with the Royal Family, and to its UNESCO World Heritage Site status as home of the Prime Meridian.[4][5][6]


It was formed in 1965 by merging the former areas of the metropolitan boroughs of Greenwich and most of Woolwich (with the exception of North Woolwich, north of the river, which became part of the London Borough of Newham).

The name 'Charlton' was briefly considered for the borough.[7] Greenwich once applied for city status, but was turned down. If the application had been accepted the borough would have been known as the City of Greenwich, similarly to the City of Westminster.

To mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II, on 3 February 2012 Greenwich became the fourth Royal Borough, an honour additional to its historic links with the Royal Family, and its status as home of the Prime Meridian and as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.


The borough lies along the south bank of the River Thames between Deptford and Thamesmead. It has an area of 5,044 hectares. Because of the bends of the river, its waterfront is as long as 8.5 miles. Travelling south away from the waterfront, the ground rises: Shooters Hill in the east and the high ground of Blackheath in the west bookend the borough, Eltham to the south of these hills falls away slightly.

Greenwich is bounded by the London Boroughs of Bexley to the east, Bromley to the south, Lewisham to the west and across the River Thames to the north lie Tower Hamlets, Newham and Barking and Dagenham.


The borough's population in 2011 was 254,557.[8] 52.3% of the community defined themselves as white British. The largest minority groups represented were of Black and Asian heritage.


File:Greenwich P.JPG
Greenwich and Observatory

Central Greenwich Town contains a UNESCO World Heritage Site centred on Christopher Wren's Royal Naval College and the Old Royal Observatory.

Civic affairs


The 2013/14 Mayor is Cllr Angela Cornforth.

Shaped like an astrolabe, the 18ct gold badge on the Mayor's chain embodies the ‘time-ball’ on the principal building of the old Greenwich Royal Observatory, the meridian line and lines of latitude and longitude. The ‘time-ball’ is set with small rubies.


The Executive is composed of ten Labour members, led by Cllr Chris Roberts (Glyndon ward) who has been Leader of the Council since 2001.

Coat of arms

Arms were originally granted to the London Borough by letters patent dated 1 October 1965.[9] Although much of the 1965 design has been retained, the arms have been altered in 2012 by the addition of a representation of the Thames. In addition a crest and supporters were added to the arms.[10]


The Royal Borough of Greenwich is twinned with:


Greenwich London Borough Council

Map showing the borders of London Borough of Greenwich and its 17 wards

Greenwich London Borough Council comprises 51 councillors. The Labour Party currently has an overall majority on the council, holding 43 seats, with the Conservatives holding 8. Labour has had a majority on the council since 1971.

Westminster Parliament

The borough contains the constituencies of:

Since the 2010 General Election, all three are represented by Labour MPs.



Further education

Greenwich Community College is the main publicly funded provider of further education in the borough offering a range of academic and vocational courses and qualifications. Anglian College London is a private college offering further and higher education courses to students from around London and overseas. In September 2013, The Royal Borough of Greenwich Equestrian Centre – a partnership between Hadlow College and the Royal Borough of Greenwich – opened. At present it offers Level 1 and Level 2 qualifications in horse care as well as a range of part-time qualifications and a BSc (Hons) degree in Equine Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation. In September 2010 Ravensbourne opened its new campus at Greenwich Peninsula.[11]


The University of Greenwich main campus is located in the distinctive buildings of the former Royal Naval College. There is a further campus of the university at Avery Hill in Eltham, and also, outside the borough, in Medway. The Faculty of Music of Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, (formerly known as Trinity College of Music) is also housed in the buildings of the former Greenwich Hospital.

Sport within the borough

Greenwich has many sports centres and these are run by Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL). The largest football club in the borough is Charlton Athletic F.C. a professional football club playing in the Football League Championship. There are two Non-League football clubs Bridon Ropes F.C. and Meridian F.C. who both play in Woolwich at Meridian Sports & Social Club. There are also several Swimming clubs and Rugby clubs. The Council owns and runs one outdoor swimming pool, the Charlton Lido.

Greenwich was one of the five host boroughs for the 2012 Summer Olympics and hosted 34 events in nine sports at three venues across the borough.[12] Greenwich Park hosted equestrian events and modern pentathlon, the Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich hosted shooting events, and The O2 arena hosted gymnastics and basketball finals.


River crossings

There are foot tunnels under the River Thames between Greenwich and Island Gardens in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets and between Woolwich and North Woolwich in the London Borough of Newham. The Woolwich Ferry takes vehicle traffic and links the North Circular Road to the South Circular Road which runs through the borough. A new cable car linking Greenwich Peninsula to the Royal Docks opened 28 June 2012.[13]

River transport

The Thames Clipper commuter ferry service runs from Woolwich to Canary Wharf and the City.

Railway stations

All stations are served by Southeastern.

Crossrail stations are currently under construction at Woolwich and Abbey Wood.

Tube/DLR stations

Travel to work

In March 2011, the main forms of transport that residents used to travel to work were: driving a car or van, 17.5% of all residents aged 16–74; train, 10.2%; bus, minibus or coach, 10.2%; underground, metro, light rail, tram, 9.7%; on foot, 4.1%; work mainly at or from home, 2.5%; bicycle, 1.5%.[14]



Increasingly, tourism is becoming an important factor in Greenwich economy. In 2015, 18,5 million people are expected to visit the borough for a day or longer, generating over £ 1,2 billion. This figure is expected to increase by more than 25% in 2018. Part of the tourism boom are the construction of a 452-room InterContinental Hotel near the O2 (opening in 2015) and London's first cruise ship terminal at Enderby Wharf (2017). Apart from the museums and historic buildings at Greenwich Town and Greenwich Park, the main tourist attractions are: the Cutty Sark, The O2 Arena, Emirates Air Line (cable car), Eltham Palace (over 100,000 visitors expected in 2015), Charlton House, the Thames Barrier and, increasingly Royal Arsenal in Woolwich.[15]


Parks and open spaces

The borough contains the Greenwich Royal Park. A small part of the Metropolitan Green Belt is within the borough.


The Greenwich borough is predominantly Christian (2001 Census). The Christian Church is represented by various denominations, among which are Church of England, Roman Catholic, Methodist, Baptist, Evangelical, Brethren, Pentecostal, Quakers, etc. Non-Trinitarian groups also exist. Besides these there are various other religious minorities including Sikhs, Muslims, Hindus and Jews.

In the 2001 Census, 29% of Greenwich described themselves as non-religious, or did not state their faith.[16]

See also


  1. 2011 Census: Ethnic group, local authorities in England and Wales, Office for National Statistics (2012). See Classification of ethnicity in the United Kingdom for the full descriptions used in the 2011 Census.
  2. "Greenwich". Oxford English Dictionary (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. September 2005.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  3. Roach, Peter; Setter, Jane; Esling, John, eds. (2011). Cambridge English Pronouncing Dictionary (David Jones) (18th ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. "Greenwich to become Royal Borough". Greenwich London Borough Council. 5 January 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Greenwich to become Royal Borough on 3 February". Greenwich Council. 9 January 2012. Retrieved 14 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. Letters Patent dated 3 February 2012 The London Gazette: no. 60205. p. 13300. 11 July 2012.
  7. "Names for Nine New Boroughs of London" The Times, 14 September 1963
  9. Briggs, Geoffrey (1971). Civic and Corporate Heraldry: A Dictionary of Impersonal Arms of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. London: Heraldry Today. pp. 184–185. ISBN 0-900455-21-7.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "The borough's coat of arms and crest". Greenwich Council. Retrieved 16 January 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. Ravensbourne moves to Greenwich Peninsula
  13. "Thames cable car in London opens for passengers". Retrieved 28 June 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "2011 Census: QS701EW Method of travel to work, local authorities in England and Wales". Office for National Statistics. Retrieved 23 November 2013.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles> Percentages are of all residents aged 16–74 including those not in employment. Respondents could only pick one mode, specified as the journey’s longest part by distance.
  15. Greenwich Time, No. 367, 29 Sept 2015, pp. 1, 4 (online text)

External links

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