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Coalfields regeneration tells a story of social change and the attempts made by communities to reconstruct their lives in the context of destructive economic and competitive processes. While the report focuses on British coalfields, which have been particularly affected by these changes, it has a broader provenance. There are lessons to be learned for regeneration strategies in other areas (urban and rural) that have experienced such changes, especially when they, too, were formerly mono-industrial places, dependent on a single economic activity for their economic well-being.The former coalfields of Britain are among the poorest places in Europe and are beset with problems of high unemployment, poverty, social exclusion, disaffection and petty crime. The problems of these places are exacerbated by their former reliance on one industry which has all but disappeared, and by the absence of small and medium-sized enterprises and long-term foreign direct investment to provide replacement employment and a social focus for the communities that live there.Based on in-depth and personal studies of communities in two coalfields, the report:situates the socioeconomic changes in these places within a context of general coalfield decline in Britain;assesses current regeneration strategies and organisations;looks at best practice for community development;discusses policy implications.Coalfields regeneration argues that the extent to which local initiatives can begin to regenerate positive change will ultimately depend on policies made elsewhere and that existing top-down approaches have not led to successful regeneration of the coalfields. It concludes that the persistent problems characteristic of former coalfield areas would be better tackled by regeneration initiatives that focus on the needs of communities rather than on national policy directives.Coalfields regeneration is invaluable reading for all those involved in community development and regeneration policy making and anyone interested in area regeneration strategies and socially excluded communities.
|Publisher:||Policy Press at the Univ of Bristol|
|Product dimensions:||8.27(w) x 11.81(h) x (d)|
About the Author
Katy Bennett, Department of Sociology and Social Policy, University of Durham, Huw Beynon, School of Social Sciences, Cardiff University and Ray Hudson, Department of Geography, Science Laboratories, University of Durham