Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Impact of Changing Energy Sources on a Local Community - Holmewood

CASE STUDY - Holmewood (NE Derbyshire)

With cheap imports the UK's coal industry has been in decline since the first half of the 20th century and in the 1990s many coal pits closed. This decline in the coal industry has had serious social and economic impacts on the mining communities which have relied on the coal industry for employment.

What was the problem in Holmewood?

  • - area grew up around the coal mine - community of miners houses
  • - closure of coal pit in 1970 - resulted in loss of 2299 jobs
  • - problem made worse as the rest of the coal industry in N Derbyshire continued to decline and in 1980s, a third of Holmewood's population was still reliant on coal mining for employment
  • - major unemployment problem (miners had very specialised skills and there were few other suitable jobs available).
Impact of the Closure:

1. Economic Impacts:
  • * 1987 - unemployment rate had reached 18% (much higher than national average of 10%)
  • * led to a spiral of decline (negative multiplier effect)
  • * with a low income, locals had less disposable income
  • * local businesses and shops experienced a loss of trade and many were forced to close

2. Social and Environmental Impacts:
  • * landscape littered with spoil heaps and derelict buildings associated with the coal industry
  • * poor quality housing (much lacking basic amenities) - locals, no money to spend on decorating / * regenerating houses (little disposable income due to unemployment)
  • * increase in crime and vandalism
  • * increased number of young leaving the area
  • * increase in stress-related illness.

Redeveloping the Area

A government Enterprise Zone (EZ) was set up in Holmewood in 1995 to regenerate the area by attracing new industry in. The government gave incentives such as cheap taxes and reduced rates resulting in the creation of an industrial estate and business park. The industrial estate was built at junction 29 of the M1. The redevelopment has been successful in creating new jobs, however employment levels in Holmewood remain below those for the rest of NE Derbyshire and many jobs were taken by those outside of Holmewood.


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