Blackburn is a city renowned for its entrepreneurial spirit. For many years, it was the centre of textile manufacturing in the UK. There are families with links to and a rich heritage in the fashion sector. In terms of fashion, the residents here have made a considerable effort. If you are moving to the UK soon, this is a city worth considering.
Is Blackburn an excellent place to live? If you are moving to the UK, Blackburn is one of the best towns in which you can live. It was lucky enough to be named the best city to live in 2015. The decision came down after a comparison of wages, the cost of living, and the job market.
Whether you got a job offer in Blackburn, or you are just considering a change of scenery, you will find the answers here.
- What are the safest neighbourhoods in Blackburn?
- How is the art and culture scene?
- Are houses affordable in the town?
Read on to get answers for these questions.
Is Blackburn a good place to Live?
Culturally, you will love what Blackburn has to offer visitors and residents. The town centre provides superb nightlife, and you could spend the entire night moving from one club to the next. All the best bands in the UK and abroad often perform at King George’s Hall. Groups such as the Sex Pistols and David Bowie have played here many times. The town is also a significant centre for northern souls, and it was made famous for its rave culture.
A while back, the town suffered when it lost the textile industry. Things were quite bad back then, and everything almost shut down. It was so bad that even bed space was hard to find. However, the town managed to resurge and become one of the best places to live in the UK.
The town of Blackburn benefited a lot when land prices went down due to the economic downturn. As a result, housing in the city is affordable. However, unlike a decade ago, you can find jobs. About 25% of the population now works in manufacturing. It is double the national average in the UK. As a result, the skill base is growing.
Blackburn‘s road network is outstanding, and the countryside is quite beautiful. It has taken over three decades, but it feels like this is the start of a new era.
Blackburn is home to two colleges. These are the sixth form St. Mary’s College and Blackburn College. There is no university in the town, but there are higher Education courses offered by the East Lancashire Institute of Higher Education. The institute provides degree-level courses for those over 18.
The transportation sector is quite well-developed. The Liverpool and Leeds Canal runs through the town, and there is a railway station. There is also the M65 motorway that passes through the south of Blackburn. Whether you are visiting or staying in the town, there are many fun things to do. For instance, you can visit the Blackburn Empire Theatre or the Turbary Woods Owl and Bird of Prey Sanctuary.
Is Blackburn a good place to Work?
In a jobs report from 2018, the town was named a great place for job hunters to find work. The data means the city is now in the same league with places like Guildford and Gloucester.
The town’s unemployment rate is low. It is only second to Manchester and Bolton in the North East. If you are thinking of moving to Blackburn, you will be happy to learn that low unemployment is projected to go on for the long term. It is a general trend in the UK, where local economies are experiencing good growth. A report also showed that most people working in the town are quite satisfied with their work.
The trend is good since employee satisfaction, and business growth is usually related. Thus, there will be more jobs in the future. In the town, the average base salary is £20,015, which is quite impressive compared to the national average. One reason why Blackburn is such a great place to work is that the mortgage repayment in the city comprise of just 21% of the median salary while the cost of living is low.
If you work in manufacturing, this is the perfect town to live. About 25% of all workers are in this sector, which is much higher than the national average. The town’s major employers are Thwaites Brewery, Blackburn College, BAE Systems, and the East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
Is Blackburn a good place to buy a House?
If you are thinking of moving to Blackburn, buying a home in the town is a worthy investment. The National land registry in the UK shows that the average price of a home in the city rose by 3.7 per cent in 2018; which is much higher than the national average of 2.6 per cent.
One wise investment that you will live to remember is buying a new home. In the North West, new houses have seen an increase of 5.6 per cent in price compared to 3.5 per cent for old ones. The demand is expected to continue for a long time.
In 2018, most property sales in Blackburn were for terraced properties that sold for an average of £89,606. Semi-detached houses sold for an average of £139,882 while detached houses were going for £225,026. The overall average price is £138,235 for a property in the town. It is quite cheaper than other nearby cities in the North West. However, prices in the North West seem to be defying the odds and rising.
If you prefer to rent a house, you look at average of £577 pcm; the median rent is £475 pcm while the average time on the market is 282 days. Whether you wish to rent or buy property in the town, you will never lack an option.
Is Blackburn a good place to Retire?
Blackburn is an excellent place to retire, primarily due to the low mortgage payments. You can expect to pay about 21% of the median salary in the region, which is quite small. The low payments will ensure you have enough left on your retirement package to live comfortably.
The average cost for a nursing care home in the North West is £766 and £522 for a residential care home. It is well below the national average and will allow you to live in comfort in your sunset years. You can expect to pay about £30,000 per year, which is way below the over £40,000 you might expect to pay in London.
Besides that, the population density is much lower in this town, which means there is more peace and calm. Coupled with the falling unemployment and a good economy, this is a perfect place where you can spend your retirement peacefully. The town has been renowned for many years for its excellent hospitality, and you expect to find smiling faces wherever you choose to live.
It is also worth noting that one of the biggest employers in the town is a hospital, which means you can expect high-quality medical care. The construction sector here has picked up very well as well. As a result, there are numerous new and modern houses under construction. Such contemporary homes will allow you to move into a home that will save you money on energy bills due to advanced construction techniques. Additionally, it will ensure that you do not have to worry about any unforeseen repairs that may force you to use up more of your pension than you have to.
Is Blackburn a good place to Visit?
If you are looking for the percent town to visit over the weekend or a place to go on a honeymoon, this is the perfect town. One of the best places to visit for the arts and culture is the King George’s Hall, which has three venues where everything from pantomime to pop is obtainable. There is also Darwen Library Theatre a short drive away that is a community art centre, which various touring productions often visits.
One of the most magnificent buildings here is the Blackburn Cathedral. This Anglican Cathedral is a green oasis of peace. At the site of the cathedral, there has been a church in some form for the past 1000 years.
Another place worth visiting is Turton tower. This English country house is accessible in Turton on the edge of the West Pennine Moors. The Tudor Orrell family built this country house as a defense for their land, but later on, it became a luxury home.
One thing that Blackburn does not disappoint in is open public spaces. You will find Some of England’s most beautiful parks here. Most of them can trace their origin back to the Victorian era. One impressive park in the town is Witton Country Park, which sits on 480 acres of mixed grassland and woodland. It is the perfect place for family walks. There are new leisure facilities such as the Mountain Bike Trails and even a dedicated cycle centre where you can borrow bikes for the whole family for free.
If you are looking for some memorable family fun, consider visiting the Funtazia Soft Play Centre. It is the biggest soft play centre is all of Lancashire. The facility can accommodate everyone from 6 to 17 years of age.
About the author: Marta Kovachek is the author of this article. She graduated from the University of Chicago with a master’s degree in Economics. Marta enjoys writing about the current economic situation and loves helping our readers to find their next "destination". From places to live to complex social and economic topics, we always enjoy Marta's work. Please contact us in case of any questions.