The borough was formed on 1 April 1974 by the merger of Huyton-with-Roby Urban District, Kirkby Urban District and Prescot Urban District, along with most of Whiston Rural District and a small part of West Lancashire Rural District, all from the administrative county of Lancashire.

The Albright and Wilson Kirkby factory was set up to supply Sodium tripolyphosphate (STPP) for use in detergents. It was well situated between AW’s other nearby site interest at Widnes and also Liverpool. The site came into operation in April 1953, being constructed on the site of a former Royal Ordnance Factory- yet another military link.