Visitors sometimes say that the Black Country has its fair share of derelict land. But what we see today is, in historical terms, just a trifle.
To understand why the local landscape is the way it is in the 21st century, we have to appreciate that the struggle to regenerate the area has been an epic task, one which has challenged both local people and authorities in the region for more than a hundred years. It is also fair to say that it has been a struggle of national significance. This map from 1964 for example shows both Lancashire and Staffordshire confronting dereliction on a very unusual scale, the case of Staffordshire not assisted by a hefty chunk of disused land in the Black Country.
You might ask if this is anything to be proud of. Maybe not, but it helps to put recent regeneration projects, vitally important as they are, in some kind of perspective. It also means that the regeneration which has taken place in the Black Country has been set against a challenge the scale of which has not been faced in most other places.
Read more about derelict land in the Black Country
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