SECONDARY school students from across Blackburn with Darwen are set to benefit from a national programme aimed at supporting design education.

The V&A Museum in London is teaming up with Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery to help revive art and design education in secondary schools.

The community will also benefit as Blackburn Museum will receive some loans from the V&A including some of their textile pieces.

The scheme is being piloted in Blackburn and Coventry.

The museum is to work with a different secondary school each term for the next three years with Darwen Aldridge Community Academy the first to sign up.

The V&A’s DesignLab Nation will encourage young people to make their own contemporary responses to historical processes, and to gain an understanding of how collections from the past can inform new ideas.

Skills will also be shared between partners throughout the programme with more than 1,000 students, 250 teachers and regional museum staff involved in the projects.

Creative Quarter, the V&A’s annual careers’ festival for school pupils, will also provide an opportunity each autumn to showcase the DesignLab Nation programme.

Rebecca Johnson, arts and heritage manager at Blackburn Museum, said: "It is a three year project and we will work with lots of different schools.

"DACA is the first and pupils came to London on Friday to spend time looking at the exhibitions.

"I think they really enjoyed it. It was a taste of what the project will be in the future.

"The aim is to support the design and technology curriculum but also to work with museums so that young people can come and be inspired by the exhibits.

"They will then take the ideas back to their lessons.

"It is about the practical aspect as well as they will be making their own designs. It will be different for each school depending on how it fits its curriculum."

Tristram Hunt, Director of the V&A, said: “At a time when the creative industries are one of the UK’s greatest national and economic assets, we want to inspire and support students and teachers as the new Design and Technology GSCE arrives this autumn.

"The V&A has a responsibility to protect and promote design education for the future. By bringing together local industry, museums and schools, DesignLab Nation will ensure that the V&A delivers on our founding purpose, to educate and and inspire the artists, innovators, designers and creatives of tomorrow."