It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.


Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.


When a community relies on an industry and it fails...What sector keeps your community alive?

page: 1
<<   2 >>

log in


posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 12:57 PM
I was chatting to another member about the devastation of heavy industry in his part of Britain, how it has affected the community, and how they have still not recovered or found a way to diversify. Where once was high paid skilled work there is next to no work now. Whole communities who were proud hard workers now forced to claim welfare benefits to exist.

I'm interested in the tales of people from wherever you are reading this, what was/is your main industry? Is it strong? Did it close, and if so how did you recover, is diversity a decades long process?
Lot's of questions I know, but anything you might feel interested to share in this thread please do.

I'll go first. Our main local industry is tourism. Millions of people come to my corner of England every year from all over the world. Their money keeps all of us fed through the winter because the cash trickles down to everyone as it is spent locally. It's ticked over like this for decades now, poor summer equals poor winter for everyone.
This year has been particularly good and everyone has noticed it. The £GBP has dropped so we've had more foreign tourists than I can remember. I've never seen so many German and French registered cars driving around, spending their Euro's here.
We've had some really poor summers though, and the hit we all take goes through from October to March, bleak times, but the new summer is always the light at the end of the tunnel.

So if you are interested in this social issue, dependency on single industries, what happens when it fails, how to recover etc, please do share your thoughts and experiences, or sourced stats if that is your gig, it is a general discussion about such things which affect all us regular people.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:28 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

Very interesting question/thread - thanks for taking the time to talk about this - it needs to be talked about...!

I live in the Outer Hebrides, an island off the West coast of Scotland. I'm an 'incomer' here and not native. I moved here to be with my partner, who isn't native either.

Yet what we are both aware of and have talked about at great length (note - this isn't something that is really talked about - which it should be!). The tourism industry here is killing the community.

In the last 5 - 6 years it seems to be getting worse. Since tourism has risen here significantly over the last few years, more and more people from all over the world are visiting. But the interesting this is - its not cheap to come up here on holiday - unless you camp it out! Getting here is expensive as is staying here.

We've noticed particularly in the last 3 years the difference in the types of car that now drive around here. They are super duper expensive cars, the latest Audis, Range rovers, BMWs, Mercs etc etc.

So more wealthy people are coming here. Tie this in with an aging/declining population - which means old crofts are being sold after the old crofters die. These are bought by wealthy people. People who don't want to permanently live here.

Its happening in so many villages now - some villages are nearly completely full of holiday houses.

The community is disappearing, the Hebridean way of life and culture are disappearing. Crofting looks to be disappearing now too.

It looks like a type of 'social clearance' in a way, yet many folks don't see it.

Its really really very sad... But what do we do? We are part of the problem...

Already this year in our region of the island, the workforce is not equal to the work load. We don't have enough workers to cover the load. Plus the load is basically cleaning and trying to 'beautify/gentrify' 'appealing to a certain type of person' the place... So its not fun work and you can never 'move up the ladder' as there is no ladder to move up.

Unless you create something that works via tourism - which isn't what my dream job would be...

The economy up here is immensely unstable... If tourism was to drop off significantly then I'm not sure how we'd fair up here...!

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:29 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy
Oh Cornish, the tales I could tell you. I live in an area that had 3 pits, all close. When they shut the devastation to the communities just through the loss of disposable income was immense. Shops shutting, pubs and clubs shutting and in consequence various sports teams folding, football, bowling, cricket, darts and domino teams. All that makeup a vibrant community.
An awful lot of ex miner were forced on "re-education" courses. 6 months at technical college and be told "you are now a carpenter" "you are now a painter and decorator", just to massage the systems figures cos when you are in "training" you aint unemployed. This alone gave serious false hope to hundreds.
Oh yes, I forgot, quite a number were "persuaded" to put their redundancy money into starting up their own businesses. They lost tens of thousands believing the "job shops". Money gone. I could go on and fill this site with hardship tales about friend being put into severe hardship, Friends who worked in the pits , car factories and engineering factories.
Some people on here will disagree with me but it was all down to one person and she actually killed this countries manufacturing base.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:35 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I have no specific examples Corn, however I do have my own suppositions on the issue.

When the main productive engine of a town or city collapses the money generated INTO that community from the rest of the world is cut off. The blood that has kept it thriving is staunched.

This leaves the blood flow (money) in the community thinned and the community begins to atrophy. So, new blood is needed. Transfusions. Some manner of continuing if not increasing the flow of blood in the community.

My observation, which may be incorrect comes from watching what happened after the Vietnam War. The American economy was starting to lurch, so what happened? Large influxes of Southeast Asians were transfused into American communities. Workers working for shorter wages then those already here, meaning that work was getting done but not costing as much as it had before. THis helped the circulation if not the increase of blood.

New businesses being opened, little stores and barbershops etc. All helping pump the blood around the community even though there was still the loss of blood from that failed major industry. In a way it was like an artificial pump, keeping what little blood that was there circulating.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:37 PM
a reply to: crayzeed

And we all know who She was.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:47 PM
a reply to: crayzeed

Don't mention her name...

I'd have said the "Pits" too, and the the Shipyards, and the Steelworks
all of their communities undone, people left with no hope, no future...

And then, yeah, people being conned into a astart up, using redundancy money

Just awful, awfull, awfull

The irony though, given the way the wind is turning
maybe it would be an idea to think about getting into growing weed

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 01:58 PM
Sorry Cornish, I want to add another question to your thread. Could anyone, no matter where you live in the world, name me another country that closed enbloc (I don't mean one or two factories shutting down) it's steel industry, it's coal mines, it's car factories, it's shipbuilding and engineering factories?

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:00 PM
a reply to: Cymru
We don't speak of her lol
Summer success is what shapes the world here though...End of October to March can be bleak!
...especially if everyone else had the same crap summer and is skint.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:01 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

In the small town when I am from in the United States, all of the textile mills and sewing plants closed in the early 90s. This was a direct result of NAFTA (The North American Free Trade Agreement between Mexico, Canada and the U.S.), which was supported by republicans and democrats alike. There were plants for Levi's blue jeans, airplane parts and more. The jobs were good, with benefits, and supported a flourishing local economy.

After the closures, nothing replaced them. The only business that expanded was Walmart, and at the expense of the downtown. Pharmacies, a department store, sporting goods store, etc. all closed due to the one-two punch of NAFTA and Walmart-inzation of the local economy.

Jobs with benefits are just starting to return by way of a new Indian Casino that opened in the town. The pay is low, but the benefits provided by Caesar's Entertainment, the entity that runs the casino, are good. But that's about it.

Irconically, the casino has trouble hiring people because of the drug screening process. There are so many people there hooked on who knows what. And, the county has the highest proportion of opiod overdoeses in the state. There are about 28,000 people who live in the county.

Oh, there are more restaurants opening and boutiques that cater to tourists and retirees in this quaint mountain town. The locals can't take advantage of them, but they do supply a meager number of jobs.

My parents still live there, but I moved away more than 20 years ago. I imagine the story is similar in many small to medium-size towns that relied on a manufacturing economy.

edit on 24-10-2018 by icanteven because: added location.

edit on 24-10-2018 by icanteven because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-10-2018 by icanteven because: (no reason given)

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:04 PM
coming from West Texas, i know all about boom/bust economy.

The only answer is diversity. Its hard in the oil fields because they pay so damn much that no one can compete during a boom. I ran a call center employing mostly the wives and girlfriends of folks who ended up in the oilfield during the boom that we saw back in 2007. The ladies stopped working to account for the long shifts their significant others worked, and my call center closed down due to no employees.

But in a community lacking the boom/bust cycle, the only answer is diversity. And a solid economic development group that actively seeks industry.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:09 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I'm here in the midwest. This isn't necessarily about an industry as much as it is about workers in that industry that had a ripple effect in our entire region.
Back in the late 90's early 2000 there were tons of construction workers, houses being built everywhere. There were probably too many houses being built. I remember vividly that it took just about five months for them to build a house. A good house, nothing fancy, but still very suitable.

Well we all know what happened with the recession. Suddenly all those construction workers needed new jobs. And boy did they get different jobs! Now there is a terrible shortage of them, especially in our area. The pain from time has not healed and many people are still hesitant to get into the trades. This has had an interesting effect on housing.

Nobody wants to build smaller more affordable homes anymore. Houses are taking much much longer now too. I've watched a couple houses around me take a year to a year and a half to complete because of lack of workers! This chain reaction has had a negative impact all over. Young people can't afford housing. There aren't enough apartments, there aren't houses they can afford. That is why many are still living with mom and dad. Houses are completely inflated and we all know what is going to happen with that.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:15 PM
a reply to: crayzeed

In 2008 in the US, there was funding set aside for job training for people displaced by the recession or anyone who was unemployed, really. The deal was a full ride at the community college for a trade plus $5,000 to live on for the year.

A lot of people in the small town I'm from took up the offer. Some were trained. Probably many. I don't have the numbers. But how many welders, plumbers, nurses, hair cutters, etc. does a town need? And, everyone there has heard a story about someone somebody knows who took the money, showed up for the classes but didn't apply themselves, and felt like that got a cool $5,000 from the government.

The people who abused the program became the narrative because people are always looking to scapegoat. I'm sure more people took the opportunity to retrain than who didn't, but they probably moved away to where there was work to be had.

Your post made me think beyond dollars and sense to the culture of the place. There used to be bowling leagues (the bowling alley shuttered 15 years ago), a billards hall, etc. that are now gone. There's nothing to do unless you can afford the nice restaurants for the tourists.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:18 PM
That's tough. Any community can suffer when a sector or even an individual business fails.

In Vegas we've got a big time College, Nellis Air Force Base, Retirement destination and Casino Industry. We hurt in a recession but there's too much going on. There will always be some tourists, nellis will always be busy, a major college will always still be there and there will always be retired folks moving here...more so in a recession because housing is cheaper.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:25 PM
a reply to: JAGStorm

I live in Atlanta, and the rents have gone through the roof. The average price for a one bedroom apartment in the metro area is something like $1,200/month. In the city itself, it's around $1,450. How do people afford that?

It's nothing like what people pay in San Franciso or New York, but still is a lot to swallow.

And, the new houses they're building here, too, are big McMansion-style things -- no small starter family homes, unless you're willing to buy somewhere an hour out of town with a 90 minute commute.

edit on 24-10-2018 by icanteven because: typo

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:31 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy
Well She/It did Spitting Image a power of good ...

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:36 PM
a reply to: Cymru
That was a good read

...but she is never to be named haha!

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:38 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy

I'll play along! Thanks for the opportunity.

The little town I live in, the primary industry was Cedar timber logging. There was a huge mill and even a 34 mile long short-line railroad built to carry the cedar wood to the main rail line in the big city south of us, (city of 17,000).

At the height of the logging boom, the little town grew to a size of 1200 people; had its own newspaper, a movie theatre and it's own power plant installed some time in the 1920's. Times were great because cedar wood is preferred for things like rail road ties and Telegraph poles and such.

Sadly, the cedar was logged out and demand died at about the same time, i.e. after WWII. The railroad was torn out and the town left to its own devices. It now has only 600 residents.

How is it managing to survive? Tourism, primarily the Hunting season. Deer season is upon us and hundreds of intrepid huntsmen will flow into the area to hunt on their "leases". Ranching and Farming is about the only "industry" left out here. There is a good drugs trade, but really only the corrupt local law enforcement profits from that. And there's the "Old Folks" home where the State dumps elderly criminal offenders to keep it open.

Question: watching an episode of Midsommer Murders last night and they flashed a menu board sitting inside the local small town Pub and they offered stuff like "Burgers & Chips......$7.00 (pounds). Really? A cheesburger was &7.50 (pounds)! That's like $15.00 US! How the hell can anyone in the UK afford to eat? Are those prices even real?

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:47 PM
a reply to: CornishCeltGuy
I'm in south-central Ontario, and most of our core industries have fled. What we are doing is using arts and cultural heritage along with out pretty spectacular natural heritage to enhance our tourism industry...attracting day-trippers and weekenders over and above the cottage crowd. Also shooting for a piece of the 'creative economy'. Hi-speed internet to attract net-based businesses. An attractive place to set up shop. Turning the economy around moves at a glacial pace, but after a decade I think we are starting to see some gains.

Toughest part is convincing those controlling the purse strings that no matter what they might pray for...ain't no Honda plant showing up any time soon!

edit on 24-10-2018 by JohnnyCanuck because: Good thread! S&F4U! I'm going to follow along as I'm still involved in certain of thses initiatives.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 02:58 PM
The driver of social change has been technology and the rate of change is becoming exponential. This had led to wildly swinging prices in goods and labor. Planning for the future has become a guessing game that most local governments simply don't have the knowledge or resources to adapt to.

Add in an increasingly global economy and you have a recipe for small town disasters. The larger the area the more diversity is inherent making them more able to change. BFFT has it right - diversify. The biggest thing going for many of these dilapidated communities is their very condition making lower wages and taxes along with incentives for corporations to invest in these places. Their desperation sadly is their greatest asset.

Going forward I think it wise that every community does their best to achieve energy and food security. Limiting your expenses keeps as much money near home as possible. Victory gardens, using wood for heating and using barter are a few things that can be done. With the future so unsure one thing is sure - waiting for the good old days to return will guarantee nothing but misery.

posted on Oct, 24 2018 @ 03:34 PM
Another one ...

Mid to late 80's in the UK,
The armed forces went through a phase of 'rationalisation'
Kids : If your company starts bandying rationalisation around, be very worried
Which simply meant closing down bases

All three branches were affected
Where i grew up, we had at least 3 Naval bases close down
personnel shipped off elsewhere, reaffected, retired

The personnel however, didn't live on the base like in the movies
they lived in specially designated 'zones'
comprising of a typical mix of housing
It could be ...

a group of about 20,15 floor, high-rises,
all arranged in an L or a U
All clustered and intermingled
2 flats per level, no more, good spacious rooms

Could be a whole district of bungalows
with parking space, a front garden
and a wee one at the back too, for the rock plants

Even little squares !!
comprising of a dozen houses or so, 2 up 2 down,
with a bit of a green patch in the middle for the kids
Maybe even a tree, that was verbotten to climb on

We'd colloquially call it 'The Naval Estate' or 'The Estate'

The UK govt had invested Millions in housing for about 20K armed forces personnel

When they moved on to Ayrshire, Porthcall, Plymouth...
All of those houses were left empty to rot and decay

The 'soft' support services like the forces cafeteria
the quick buy shop, the furniture office (!)
all defaced and burned and ... just grim looking

And from there,
with no surprise,
the aftershock was felt outwards
towards neighbouring towns and cities

If you're not servicing Navy personnel
with a relatively high level of disposable income
who else could you turn to ?

Tourists ....

Strangely enough,
all of this happened
in a 5 to 10 year period
Not long after "The Falklands"

edit on 24-10-2018 by Cassi3l because: (no reason given)

new topics

top topics

<<   2 >>

log in