Blackburn is a small industrial town in West Lothian, twenty four miles to the east of Glasgow and twenty miles to the west of Edinburgh. Originally developed as a cotton manufacturing town, by the mid-19th Century it had also become a centre for coal mining. A small population expanded rapidly during the 60's reaching around 9000 by 1965, primarily as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan. The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986, then one of West Lothian's major employers, brought decline to the area, although the reopening of the railway station at Bathgate and the nearby M8 corridor that provides easy access to Scotland's two principal cities still attracts commuters to live in Blackburn. The most recent census puts the current population of the town at around 5000.
At Junior level, the community has been represented by eight clubs since Blackburn Thistle in the 1887-88 season. Blackburn Rovers followed between 1899 and 1901, Blackburn United 1905 to 1906, Blackburn FC in the 1912-13 season, Blackburn Rovers from 1921 to 1926, Blackburn Athletic from 1932 to 1937, New Blackburn Athletic from 1962 to 1974 and, finally, the present Blackburn United side since 1978.
Right: Blackburn House is a category A listed mid-eighteenth century country house which has recently been acquired by the Glasgow based Caledonian Arthouse organisation after a £4m restoration, an acquisition that has seen it rebranded and operated as Blackburn Arthouse. The Arthouse is intended to host creative sector companies - from film and television production, to design, theatre, music, recording, photography, publishing and much more.