Blackburn is a large town in Lancashire, England. It lies to the north of the West Pennine Moors on the southern edge of the Ribble Valley, east of Preston, NNW of Manchester|group= n}} Blackburn had a population of 106,537 in 2011, a slight increase since 2001. Blackburn is made up of fifteen wards in the Northeast of the surrounding borough. A former mill town, textiles have been produced in Blackburn since the middle of the 13th century, when wool was woven in peoples houses in the domestic system. Flemish weavers who settled in the area during the 14th century helped to develop the woollen cottage industry. and the most rapid period of growth and development in Blackburns history coincided with the industrialisation and expansion of textile manufacturing. Blackburn was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution and amongst the first industrialised towns in the world. Blackburns textile sector fell into terminal decline from the mid-20th century and subsequently faced similar challenges to other post-industrial northern towns, including deindustrialisation, economic deprivation and housing issues. In recent decades, the town has experienced significant levels of migration, with people of ethnic backgrounds other than white British making up 30.8% of the population, above the regional and national average. Blackburn has had significant investment and redevelopment since 1958 through government funding and the European Regional Development Fund.