Throughout the 20th and 21st century, the community has seen a large growth in industry, population and farming, due to the establishment of Leyland Motors, housing developments and the surrounding usable arable land.
The name of the town is of old Anglo-Saxon origin, meaning “untilled land”.
Leyland was home to Leyland Motors once the 5th largest producer of trucks and buses in the world. A whole series of buses familiar to people all over the UK came from this factory. The single deck Leyland Lion, Tiger, Panther, Leopard. The double deck Titan PD series. Not to forget the Atlantean a Leyland design that radically changed the shape of buses all over the world. There were trucks as well the Beaver, Comet, Octopus and Hippo. The last Leyland bodied buses were made in 1955.
The company started in a back yard in Leyland, Lancashire, and grew through its fine products, business sense and gradual consolidation. At its peak the name Leyland covered almost all the remaining British owned vehicle manufacturing companies from Alvis to Wolseley alphabetically making cars, buses, lorries, not to forget Fire Engines.
James Sumner The founder of what eventually became Leyland Motors in Leyland, Lancashire. James was born in 1860 in Leyland and enjoyed building steam powered engines for vehicles and bicycles. His father ran a blacksmith in Leyland which James inherited in 1892. He wasn’t keen on the blacksmith business and he created a steam lawnmower which secured a first prize and silver medal at the Royal Lancashire Agricultural Show. James Sumner died in 1924.