Skelmersdale, town (1991 pop. 42,611), Lancashire, NW England. Skelmersdale was designated one of the new towns in 1961 to alleviate overpopulation in Liverpool and the N Merseyside area. Its population is expected to grow to 80,000. Coal mining was once of great importance in the region; today, light industry is predominant. Modern housing is extensive within the town. Named Skjalmar's Dale by Scandinavians in the 10th cent., the area is mentioned in the Domesday Book.