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Since the onset of de-industrialisation in England, different regeneration policies have been adopted to encourage economic restructuring and improve socio-economic conditions within deprived areas.
Such efforts have not been without criticism, including for their limited impact. Policy change remains ongoing with the Coalition government promoting regeneration through new sub-regional governance structures and a new round of enterprise zones.
This seminar is presented by the European Union Centre at RMIT in conjunction with the Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute and the Centre for Applied Social Research.
The transition towards sub-regional decision-making structures raises important questions about what can be expected from this new geographical scale of action. Perhaps positively, sub-regional structures were determined from the bottom up rather than imposed downwardly, as in the case of the former English regions. This raises the prospect of stronger collaborative approaches centred on area-based identities and place-based assets.
In contrast, however, local political influences remain important and the powers and resources embedded in sub-regional local enterprise partnerships may render them unimportant.
This seminar draws on recent interview-based research within the Black Country sub-region of the West Midlands. The Black Country consists of four local authorities and is recognised as being the first large scale urban industrial landscape.
Dr Steven Henderson, Honorary Fellow, School of Earth Sciences, University of Melbourne