About the Council

As a Council, we are absolutely determined to help people living in Blackburn and Darwen enjoy a better quality of life and the chance to raise their aspirations. For us that means making things as fair and inclusive as possible so that people have the chances that they deserve. We know that investing in technology is vital. Modernising and helping others make the most of what is available sits at the heart of what we are trying to achieve.


Improving prosperity is what drives our bold approach. Our role is to influence important initiatives and build relationship to bring benefit directly back to residents and we do this right across the region and further.  Even though budgets are tight, we run hundreds of high quality services each and every day and invest in.   We pride ourselves on being honest and understanding. We know there’s no easy answer to our big challenges but just like our residents we are resilient and determined, and we remain upbeat about the potential we have here.


The local authority area sits over two parliamentary constituencies, Rossendale and Darwen in the South and Blackburn in the North.

Following a review of the borough’s electoral arrangements in 2017, there are now 51 Councillors representing 17 new wards. The borough operates a Leader and Executive model of governance.


Aside from the borough council the area is also home to six parish councils. These are:

  • Darwen Town Council
  • Eccleshill and Waterside Parish Council
  • Livesey Parish Council
  • North Turton Parish Council
  • Pleasington Parish Council
  • Tockholes Parish Council
  • Yate and Pickup Bank Parish Council

Blackburn with Darwen Council has recently undergone a restructure, which has resulted in the creation of five directorates:

  • Resources 
  • Children’s Services and Education
  • Adult Services and Health
  • Place 
  • HR, Governance and Engagement

We have a corporate plan which focuses on eight strategic priorities:

  • Supporting young people and raising aspirations
  • Safeguarding and supporting the most vulnerable people
  • Reducing health inequalities and improving health outcomes
  • Connected communities
  • Safe and clean environment
  • Strong economy to enable social mobility
  • Supporting our town centres and businesses
  • Transparent and effective organisation 

Further information: 

Corporate Plan

Download of Departmental and chief officer structure chart


About Blackburn with Darwen

Everyone who lives in Blackburn with Darwen knows just how special our place is.  Making is in the very fabric of our borough and it runs deep through our past, present and ambitious plans for the future.  Manufacturing remains strong and, for that very reason, we are proud to host the award-winning National Festival of Making.


Our surroundings are valued – we have stunning countryside on our doorstep and we recognise the importance of vibrant towns. Opportunities to develop the town or protect old buildings are grasped with both hands. We make it easy for people to invest here.  What makes us really stand out is the way people pull together – our residents, our own staff, voluntary and community groups, businesses and other public sector organisations. Successful partnerships are a clear strength and we make the most the enthusiasm and goodwill.


Community pride can be seen all around us and it’s engrained in everything we do.  Our ‘Your Call’ ethos is all about us working with people to improve things for the better.  Keeping our neighbourhoods looking clean and tidy is a big priority with more than 1,000 volunteers signed-up to litter pick as part of the hugely successful ‘Red Bag Revolution’.


Blackburn with Darwen has compact urban areas predominately but not exclusively located around the towns of Blackburn and Darwen. The area is surrounded by countryside and features a number of small rural villages and hamlets.  It borders Bury and Bolton in the south, Chorley in the west, Hyndburn and Rossendale in the east and the Ribble Valley in the north.


In 2018 the population was 148,900, making it the largest borough in the wider Lancashire area. The majority of the boroughs residents (in the region of 142, 000 people) live in the towns of Blackburn and Darwen with the remaining residents living in the rural villages and hamlets (Hoddlesden, Edgworth, Belmont, Chapel Town and Tockholes) that surround the two major urban centres. Small area population figures can be used to estimate the population size of areas within the borough, with this it is suggested that c. 115,500 people live within Blackburn, c. 27,200 people live within the Darwen Town Council area and c.6,200 people live rurally.


The borough as a whole has a relatively young age profile. It has a higher than average proportion of young people (0-19) compared to the national figure and conversely, a smaller proportion of older people (65 and over). The latest population estimates and projections can also be downloaded online.


As a multicultural borough, the area is home to many people with diverse ethnicities and identities. Census 2011 suggested that within Blackburn with Darwen 66% of people identified themselves as White British, 28% as Asian / Asian British and 0.6% Black/African/Caribbean/Black British.


With over 4,900 businesses, the borough contributes about 9% of the wider Lancashire business base and is home to the largest number of businesses of the Pennine Lancashire authorities. A range of sectors operate in the borough. Five main areas make up over half of businesses in the borough. These are:

  • professional scientific and technical services
  • retail
  • business administration and support services
  • manufacturing
  • construction


In addition to the large public sector local government and health sector employers, there are a number of large private sectors businesses operating from the borough. These include;

  • Crown Paints
  • John Lewis supplier Herbert Parkinson
  • Graham and Brown wall coverings
  • Euro Garages


There are in the region of 70,000 employee jobs in Blackburn with Darwen. Around seven in ten jobs in the borough are found in the main sectors of; health, manufacturing, retail and wholesale, education and business administration and support services.


There’s been ongoing growth and investment projects including finalising the Reel cinema complex, approving the joint venture to market the former Thwaites site and plans for a new sporting facility in Darwen – supporting our economic priorities.


The Darwen Town Deal is a once in a lifetime opportunity with up to £25 million pounds of Government funding available. As part of this work, £750k has now been secured including funding to restore our key landmark Darwen Tower.


Please see: http://www.visitblackburn.co.uk/


This is the link to the covid response plan, key achievements document and some other strategies https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/coronavirus/key-strategies-and-plans 


Facts and Figures here – https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/facts-and-figures


And corporate plan is here – https://www.blackburn.gov.uk/about-council/corporate-plan


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