The centre of northern England's industrial revolution, Blackburn has a great history and its diverse culture makes it an interesting location for visitors. With shopping, a redeveloped centre and great sporting facilities, Blackburn is just 30 miles from Manchester and is one of North England's most popular towns.
Blackburn has many attractions including its own Cathedral, built in the 1920's to replace the parish church on the same site. Just next to the cathedral is Queen Victoria's statue, dating back to 1902. Corporation Park, 50 acres of land and gardens, has lots of facilities and showcases a memorial statue for those who lost their lives in both World War I and II. Blackburn also has a market, which is open 6 days a week and The Mall shopping centre which houses all the usual high street names.
The biggest sporting draw is the football club Blackburn Rovers who play at Elwood Park. The team currently plays in the Championship league after 12 years competition in the premier league. Additionally the Blackburn Hawks are a league 1 playing ice hockey team with a large stadium just outside the city. There are also several leisure centres, including Audley Sports centre with facilities for almost any sport.
Blackburn's industrial past is heavily connected with textile manufacturing, the main industry in the area for around 800 years. However, postindustrial decline saw the factories close during the mid 1900s. Nowadays, the town mainly relies on retail for its economy with the market selling a lot of produce from surrounding farms and suppliers. The town is also home to UK's largest defense and security manufacturer, based at the aerodrome. Additionally the recently refurbished Blackburn business centre is aimed at attracting new business to the area.