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Blackburn and Darwen has a whole range of cultural venues and activities on offer.

What's on in Blackburn with Darwen

There's an up to date list of events happening in Blackburn with Darwen on the Visit Blackburn website.

Library & Information Service

Blackburn with Darwen Council is responsible for delivering the borough's Library and Information Service including free access to computers, the Internet and wi-fi . It is a service for everyone and supplies books, newspapers and audio-visual materials to support study, work and leisure activities.  It offers a 24/7 virtual service including access to free e-books and to Cotton Town, an on-line archive which complements the community history resources stored in the two town libraries of Blackburn and Darwen. Libraries are a rich repository of local and national information.

The five libraries in the borough are:

These are supplemented with the virtual library at

Library buildings are the venues for a wide range of cultural and social activities from rhyme times and children's craft sessions to coffee mornings and art classes. Click here to access the monthly newsletter and find out more about forthcoming events.

Other noteworthy services include:

An "At Home" delivery service

For residents unable to visit their local library due to disability or age there are fortnightly doorstep deliveries of books and spoken word items chosen to the profile of each customer. E-books are also available, please click here for more info.

Provision for those with sensory impairment

Large print books

Audio-visual media e.g.  spoken word CDs, DVDs.  Loans are free to registered blind and partially sighted borrowers and for those with learning difficulties.

Talking magazines, on CD, for people who are registered blind or partially sighted and available at Blackburn and Darwen libraries

Free loan of a Max electronic magnifier which allows print to be magnified onto a television screen.

Nintendo DS Brain training Consoles: - Free loan to library members aged 50+. Proof of address and library ticket required.

Energy Monitoring Equipment: - Free loan to library members enabling people to monitor their household electricity consumption.


Promotions to support health and well-being

Reading Well: Books on Prescription is a national scheme.  It gives free access to trusted books on mental health issues including dementia. All books in the collection are approved by health professionals.  Click here to find out more.

A shortcut to the NHS Choices website is available on all public access computers within BwD libraries. This includes an e- link Referral Service which enables access to the online hospital appointments booking system.

Click here to view "living books", featuring members of the Community Living Rooms which are based at Blackburn, Darwen, Mill Hill and Livesey libraries and offer arts-based social sessions.  Membership is free and topics covered include art, sewing, handicrafts, singing and gardening.

Free use of computers - Internet, e-mail, Office software and scanners

High visibility keyboards are available on request in all public libraries.  There is a charge for printing facilities.

IT courses and drop-in sessions

Here is a sample of the taster sessions available in all Blackburn with Darwen libraries:

  • Microsoft Word 2010
  • Introducing the Internet
  • Mouse and keyboard skills
  • Ancestry
  • Setting up an E-mail account

At Blackburn Library there are:

  • Basic IT drop-ins, every Tuesday  11.00am - 1.00pm
  • IT skills for jobs drop-ins, every Wednesday 10.00am - 12 Noon.

Darwen Library hosts a Job Club every Thursday, 1.30pm - 3.00pm

Additional services

A laminating service is available at Blackburn Central Library.  Al libraries have photocopying and fax machine facilities.

A public lift offers access to all floors at Blackburn Library and disabled access toilets are available at Mill Hill, Roman Road and Darwen libraries.

Click here for access to information on local history and heritage or click here to visit the Cotton Town website which includes articles, photographs and other information about the history of Blackburn, Darwen and surrounding areas.


Museums and galleries

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council is responsible for two museums in the borough:

Blackburn Museum - has modern displays of Hart's treasures, the history of Blackburn, the Egyptian Mummy, South Asian culture, fine and decorative art and the Bowdler collection of world beetles, among other sights.

Turton Tower - Set against the beautiful West Pennine Moors, Turton Tower lies nestled amongst ancient trees, with rolling lawns framed by high stone walls. Today the house still captures the spirit of the Tudor and Victorian ages and displays one of the finest collections of period furniture and paintings in the region.

Local history and heritage

The community history collections are all about the history of Blackburn with Darwen.  Anyone with an interest in the area can access a wide range of material on all aspects of our cultural heritage.  Resources include cemetery and burial records, street and surname indexes, electoral registers and the war graves register.  These are also useful for anyone researching their family history. For more information click here.

Arts services

The Arts Services manages and co-ordinates arts activities for and in Blackburn with Darwen. 'Arts' covers a wide range of activity for visual and performing arts and including programmes of events at Darwen Library Theatre, public art in town centres and community based creativity. The Arts Service manager is always willing to offer advice and support to groups and individuals on all aspects of artistic and creative activity.  For more information click here.  For more information click here.

Halls and entertainment

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council has excellent entertainment venues with a wide-ranging and varied events programme to suit the needs of all audiences

King George's Hall - Offers a dazzling selection of entertainment, from opera to pantomime. For the business user, we provide first rate conference facilities, within easy reach of both the M65 and M6. We have rooms available to suit groups of all sizes. Blakey's Café Bar provides both a quality restaurant and a lively night spot, the best place to round off an evening out.

Darwen Library Theatre  - One of the most popular and successful theatre's in the North West it provides a wide mix of drama, music and entertainment including some well known names and productions by local groups. The theatre is accessible, friendly and informal with a comfortable bar and top class facilities.

Visitor Centres

There are two countryside visitor centres in Blackburn with Darwen, both in beautiful surroundings and with free admission.


Parks and countryside

Discover Blackburn with Darwen's parks and countryside.  Click the links below for more information, including the latest events guide which features guided walks, events and family activities, such as history walks, tree planting, bird talks and walks, pond dipping and much more .  Many of these activities are free of charge.

Parks and countryside information



Blackburn with Darwen Tourist Information Centre

Find out what's on in Blackburn with Darwen including information about local accommodation and travel, coach holidays and day trips bookings, theatre and event tickets. They also have information about local attractions such as King George's Hall, Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery, Turton Tower, Blackburn Cathedral and much more.  Click here to go to the Visit Blackburn website.

Useful contacts

Blackburn Central Library
Address: Town Hall Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 1AG
Phone: (01254) 661221
Fax: (01254) 690539

Darwen Library
Address: Knott Street, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 3BU
Phone: (01254) 706021
Fax: (01254) 707177

Livesey Library
Address: Cherry Tree Lane, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 5NX
Phone: (01254) 209442

Mill Hill Library
Address: Mill Hill Comunity Centre, New Chapel Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 4DT
Phone: (01254) 266380

Roman Road Neighbourhood Learning Centre and Library
Address: Fishmoor Drive, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB2 3UY
Phone: (01254) 682347

Blackburn Museum
Address: Museum Street, Blackburn, Lancashire, BB1 7AJ
Phone: (01254) 667130
Fax: (01254) 685541

Turton Tower
Address: Chapeltown Road, Turton Nr Bolton, Lancashire,
Phone: (01204) 852203
Fax: (01204) 853759

King George’s Hall
Address: Northgate, Blackburn, BB2 1AA
Phone: (01254) 582579
Fax: (01254) 667277

Darwen Library Theatre
Address: Knott Street, Darwen, Lancashire, BB3 3BU
Phone: (01254) 706006
Fax: (01254) 774684

Blackburn Visitor Centre
Address: Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, Blackburn, BB2 1AG
Phone: (01254) 688040

Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council (Libraries and Information Service)
Address: Blackburn Central Library, Town Hall Street, Blackburn, BB2 1AG
Phone: (01254) 661221
Fax: (01254) 678898

Going to the library, museum, visiting the park or watching a show at a theatre can help you keep active and engage in local cultural activities which can help you to enhance your social life.