Title: Coalfields and their neighbouring cities: economic regeneration, labour markets and governance 
Resource Type: document --> technical publication --> report 
Country: United Kingdom 
Year: 2007 
Author 1/Producer: Joseph Rowntree Foundation 
Other Authors/Producers: Tony Gore, Steve Fothergill, Emma Hollywood, Colin Lindsay, Kevin Morgan, Ryan Powell and Stevie Upton 
Author / Producer Type: Non-governmental organisations 
Publisher: JRF 
Publisher City: York, UK 
Report / download web link (=direct link): http://www.jrf.org.uk/knowledge/findings/housing/2046.asp  
EUGRIS Keyword(s): Brownfields
Contaminated land-->Wider impacts / sustainability-->Economic
Contaminated land-->Wider impacts / sustainability-->Social
 
Short description: This study assesses how far the regeneration of coalfield areas relies upon their links with neighbouring cities. It draws on national statistical analysis of labour market adjustment in the British coalfields, and case studies in three contrasting areas – the Lothian coalfield and Edinburgh in Scotland, South Yorkshire and Sheffield in England, and the Central Valleys and Cardiff in Wales. 
Long description: The study, by researchers from Sheffield Hallam, Napier and Cardiff Universities, found that: Relationships between coalfields and their adjacent cities vary according to geographical and political context. The three study areas display key differences: Commuting and population movements between the Lothian coalfield and Edinburgh have grown, fostering greater integration and mutual prosperity. A growing number of Central Valleys residents commute into Cardiff, whilst the local economy in the Valleys remains weak, with a large proportion of the working-age population economically inactive. The South Yorkshire coalfield has some connections with Sheffield but also has a much wider network of economic links, and displays strong growth in the coalfield itself. Geographical and social factors affect the willingness of unemployed job-seekers in the coalfields to consider employment in neighbouring cities. Those living closer to the city (as in the Lothian coalfield) are more likely to include it in their job search. Some people, especially those living in more distant places with poor public transport links, find it difficult to travel far unless they have their own transport. Job-seekers’ social networks play an important role in shaping attitudes to potential work locations. Most of these networks are locally based, meaning that the contacts of many unemployed people can only provide limited experience and knowledge of other areas. The strength of economic links between coalfields and their neighbouring cities contrasts with the level of collaboration between official bodies operating within the three areas. The formal institutional links covering the Lothian coalfield and Edinburgh are the weakest, yet the labour market links are strongest. In contrast, South Yorkshire has the best-developed network of collaborative structures, but the weakest economic relationship between coalfield and city. This suggests that the coalfields’ economic fortunes may depend less on governance arrangements than on underlying economic dynamics. 
Submitted By: Professor Paul Bardos WhoDoesWhat?      Last update: 27/03/2007