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Landscape of industrial decay emerges

Jonathan Guthrie writes in the FT today

“Birmingham was a cradle of the industrial revolution. But neighbourhoods such as Washwood Heath now feel more like its grave. The last of Washwood Heath’s three big factories is on the brink of closure. Unless a buyer rescues LDV, which has 850 staff, the van maker expects to enter administration on Wednesday.

“Economists once theorised that exposure to manufacturing would protect the Midlands and the north from a recession whose epicentre was the City of London. In reality, the downturn has been savage in places such as Washwood Heath. A new landscape of industrial decay is forming. There are expanses of hardcore where demolished works once stood. Buddleia is pushing its destructive shoots from the brickwork of abandoned factory buildings. Palisade fencing has sprung up to keep out vandals and thieves.”

If we had the form of LVT that the Campaign advocates, not only would there be a powerful incentive to bring the land back into use, but also, labour costs would be so much lower, making it easier to re-mobilise spare capacity in the economy.

Link to FT article