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About Blackburn

Blackburn

 

 

Blackburn Lancashire Townscape.jpg
View south–southeast across central Blackburn

 

 


Blackburn is a large town in Lancashire, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors on the southern edge of the Ribble Valley, 9 miles (14 km) east of Preston, 20.9 miles (34 km) NNW of Manchester. and is 9 miles (14 km) north of the Greater Manchester border. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen, with which it forms the unitary authority ofBlackburn with Darwen; Blackburn is its administrative centre. At the time of the UK Government's 2001 census, Blackburn had a population of 105,085, whilst the wider borough of Blackburn with Darwen had a population of 140,700.

A former mill town, textiles have been produced in Blackburn since the middle of the 13th century, when wool was woven in people's houses in the domestic system. Flemish weavers who settled in the area during the 14th century helped to develop the woollen cottage industry. James Hargreaves, inventor of the spinning jenny, was a weaver in Blackburn. The most rapid period of growth and development in Blackburn's history coincided with the industrialisation and expansion of textile manufacturing. Blackburn was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution, and amongst the first industrialised towns in the world.

Blackburn's textile sector fell into terminal decline from the mid-20th century and subsequently faced similar challenges to other post-industrial northern towns, including deindustrialisation, economic deprivation and housing issues. Since the 1950s the town has experienced significant levels of migration, particularly from India and Pakistan, and consequently has the third highest proportion of Muslims (c.25%)[citation needed] in England and Wales and the highest in the United Kingdom outside London. Blackburn has had significant investment and redevelopment since 1958 through government funding and the European Regional Development Fund.

 

 

 

 

History

 

 

 
Blackburn's old clock tower in 1906 with time ballat the top of its mast

 

Blackburn was recorded in the Domesday Book as Blacheborne in 1086. The origins of the name are uncertain. It has been suggested that it may be a combination of an Old English word for bleach, together with a form of the word "burn", meaning stream, and may be associated with a bleaching process. Alternatively, the name of the town may simply mean "black burn", or "black stream".

Blackburn is located where a Roman military road crossed the river Blakewater. The road linked Bremetennacum Veteranorum (Ribchester) andMamucium (a major Roman fort that occupied Castlefield in Manchester). The route of the road passed east of Blackburn Cathedral and probably crossed the river in the Salford neighbourhood just east of the town centre.[n 2] It is not clear whether the road predated the settlement.

 

 

 

Economy

 

 

The town centre is currently subject to a new multi-million pound investment, and Blackburn with Darwen Council have already made some refurbishments and renovations of key public places, notably the Church Street area with its Grade II listed  art deco Waterloo Pavilions complemented by street furniture and sculptures. The Mall Blackburn (formerly known as Blackburn Shopping Centre) is the main shopping centre in Blackburn with over 130 shops and 400 further outlets close by Blackburn Market opened in a new site under the shopping centre in June 2011 and now opens six days a week (Monday to Saturday) . The previous market was based on the other side of Ainsworth Street. It first opened on this site in 1964, where there was a 3-day market (Wednesday, Friday, Saturday) and the Market Hall (Monday-Saturday). The town centre was expanded by construction of the Grimshaw Park retail development (including Blackburn Arena) in the 1990s. The adjacent Townsmoor Retail Park and Peel Leisure and Retail Park are more recent developments.

One of the town's most well-known shops, the shoe store Tommy Ball's, closed in May 2008 after going into administration. The town's oldest store, Mercer & Sons, also closed after a decline in sales blamed on the credit crunch. It opened in 1840 and was originally an ironmonger but the public store converted to selling toys, household goods and hardware. However in January 2009 the directors of the company announced that the shop would close following a 30-day statutory consultation, unless they change their mind or a buyer is found. The markets continue to offer a wide range of local produce—Lancashire cheeses, tripe, Bowland beef and lamb can all be found. Walsh's Sarsaparilla stall decided not to move into the new market development. The market moved into the Mall shopping centre in 2011, and now opens six days a week.

Major employers in Blackburn include: Blackburn College, Thwaites Brewery, BAE Systems (Samlesbury Aerodrome site, located at Samlesbury, northwest of Blackburn); Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council; and the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust (based at the Royal Blackburn Hospital).


 

 

Transport

 

 

The Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs through Blackburn from Feniscowles in the SW to Whitebirk in the NE, skirting the town centre to the east of Blackburn railway station. This important early industrial artery arrived in the town in 1810 and became the chief focus for industrial growth in the 19th century, with raw cotton imported via Liverpool. While it suffered neglect in the wake of the area's industrial decline, the Blackburn stretch has benefited from a number of regeneration projects since the 1990s. British Waterways residential moorings are to be found at Finnington Lane Bridge on the western edge of the borough.

 

 

 

 

 

The M65 motorway passes to the south of Blackburn. It runs from Colne, about 17 miles (27.4 km) north-east of Blackburn, to a point close to the village of Lostock Hall near Preston, about 12 miles (19.3 km) to the west. Junction six of the motorway is located at the eastern edge of Blackburn, near the Intack area; junctions five and four are located to the south, near the village of Guide and the Lower Darwen area respectively; and junction three is located at the south-western edge of the town, close to the Feniscowlesarea. The M65 links Blackburn to the national motorway network, connecting to junction nine of the M61and junction 29 of the M6.

Other major roads in and around Blackburn include the A666 and the A677. The A666 runs from the A59near the village of Langho, approximately 3.7 miles (6.0 km) to the north-west of Blackburn. It passes through the town centre and continues south through the towns of Darwen and Bolton then south-west to the town of Pendlebury, near Manchester, where the road joins the A6 at Irlams o' th' Height. The A677 runs from the east part of Blackburn, about 1.5 miles (2.4 km) from the centre. It passes through the centre of the town and continues to the western outskirts. It then heads north-west to the village of Mellor Brook before continuing west again towards the city of Preston. It joins the A59 about 5.5 miles (8.9 km) west of Blackburn, approximately halfway between Blackburn and Preston. Barbara Castle Way (named after the former Blackburn MP) runs from Montague Street to Eanam Roundabout, passing close to the town centre, the road is also called "The Orbital Route" even though it does not go around the town.

Blackburn's newly redeveloped railway station is in the town centre, and is served by Northern Rail. The nearest railway station on the West Coast Main Line is in Preston. Blackburn's Boulevard bus station is situated outside the railway station. Blackpool International Airport, about 23 miles (37 km) to the west, is Blackburn's nearest airport. Manchester Airport, the busiest airport in the UK outside London, is about 28 miles (45 km) to the southeast of the town.


 

 

Education

 

 

Secondary education in Blackburn is provided by seven state schools. Private schools in the town include Westholme School, Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School and a few Islamic schools. The town also has a few special schools. The two further education colleges in the town are Blackburn College and the sixth-form St. Mary's College. The town does not have a university, however some higher education courses are provided by the East Lancashire Institute of Higher Education, part of Blackburn College.

Over £25 million is currently being invested in education initiatives in Blackburn with Darwen, including new schools, city learning centres and children's centres. Over 11,000 adults are in some form of educational programme. Blackburn with Darwen council has twice had Beacon Status for education in the "Fostering School Improvement" and "Transforming the School Workforce" categories. 51.3% of pupils achieve grades A*-C in Blackburn with Darwen compared with 56.5% nationally. The average GCE/VCE A/AS and Equivalent Point Score per Student is 649.7 compared with 716.7 nationally.

In 2005, Tauheedul Islam Girls' High School became the first Muslim state school in the North West. It had previously been an independent school. The school has been a success in school league tables, with 82% of pupils gaining five or more GCSEs at grade C or above in 2007, compared to the national average of 46.7%.Although the town's ethnic minority population is below 25%, in some schools the vast majority of pupils are from the ethnic minority population, whilst other schools are almost entirely white. This segregation has been identified as a problem for racial integration within the town.

Independent school sector is represented in the town by Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (QEGS) and Westholme School. East Lancashire Institute of Higher Education (ELIHE) is for degree students over the age of 18. St Thomas's and Sunnyhurst Pupil Referral Unit educates children who are unable to attend mainstream school for health reasons or other difficulties.


 

 

 

 

 Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blackburn


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