South Wales was one of the primary sites of development of the industrial economy in the UK and has correspondingly been one of the first regions to experience de-industrialisation and the emergence of a post-industrial society.
From the 1980s onwards, the historical industrial base has diminished significantly and various strategies to diversify and renew the economy have failed. Currently, despite nearly two decades of European Union Regional Development Funding, the child poverty rates is 31%. In many of the ex-mining communities, there are high levels of wordlessness and benefit dependencies have become concentrated in specific localities that consistently resist regeneration attempts.
This context has provided an early warning of critical issues emerging in the neo-liberal economic approach that has dominated advanced capitalist societies since the mid 1980s. The Global Financial Crisis has brought attention to rising inequality. Globally, policies focused on the development of competitive cities and the prioritisation of the financial and high technology sectors have had no visible impact on post-industrial communities, which tend to be physically and economically separated from current nodes of economic development.
The presentation will explore these issues and their implications for localities, regions and nations less advanced along this trajectory of negative economic change. Applying material from the “Deep Place” study the presentation will explore opportunities for regeneration that directly engage with marginalised and socially excluded populations to develop new patterns of employment in a more localised economy.
Professor David Adamson OBE currently holds a Chair in Community and Social Policy and is the Director of the Programme for Community Regeneration at the University of South Wales. He is also Chair of the Regeneration Hub, an inter-disciplinary group at Glamorgan, which brings together a number of research Centers and Units engaged with the wider regeneration agenda. He has been an Advisor to the Welsh Assembly Government on issues of regeneration.