Facts about Garforth
It sits in the Garforth and Swillington ward of Leeds City Council and the Elmet and Rothwell parliamentary constituency. As of 2011, the population of Garforth was 14,957, having decreased since the last census. It is 6.5 miles (10.5 km) east of Central Leeds, 16 miles (26 km) south-west of York and 10 miles (16 km) north of Wakefield. It is mostly an Un-Parished area, like much of Greater Leeds.
Garforth owes its size to expansion in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries during which the local land-owning Gascoigne family ran several coalmines in the area. The surrounding settlements of Micklefield, Kippax, Swillington, Methley and Allerton Bywater Great and Little Preston are all villages that prospered and grew as a result of the coal industry. Nowadays manufacturing and motor-vehicle repair account for more than a third of the workforce in the area.
More recent expansion can also be traced to a combination of overall economic success in Leeds, and that Garforth is served by transport links. The A1 and M1 are minutes away, and both have recently been linked by an extension of the M1 which passes to the west and north of the village, with two nearby access points at Junctions 46 and 47. The M1 extension led to rapid development of commercial, light industrial and residential sites clustered around Junctions 46 and 47. The village rail link to Kippax and Castleford was closed under the Beeching Axe of the 1960s.