The changing face of South Wales

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					The changing face of South

  A quick review and then to
           carry on

Watch as the labels turn green
               Energy      Labour

  Market     Transport     Policy

              Location     Capital
Environmen    and site

• At first coal was used mainly in the iron industry.
    But south Wales coal was of such high quality
    that it became popular all over the world. By the
    middle of the 1800s two major developments in
    transport provided a great boost to the industry.
•   A rail network was built throughout Britain and
    Europe - the steam trains ran on coal and south
    Wales coal was in much demand. The rail network
    made it easier to transport coal to the rest of
    Britain. Railways in far away British colonies such
    as India and in Africa used coal from Wales.
•   Ships switched from sail to steam power. As
    early as 1851 the British navy decided that
    Welsh coal was the best coal for its ships.
    Navies and merchant ships around the world
    used coal from south Wales.
• In the early 1800s canals were used to transport coal
    from the valleys down to the dock. But when rail replaced
    canals the industry really took off. Railways from the
    Rhondda valley and other coal-mining valleys ran fairly
    short distances down to the booming docks at Cardiff,
    Newport and Swansea.
•   Notice how the river valleys naturally provided routes
    down to the coast. By 1870, 50% of the coal was being
    exported overseas.
•   The basic physical geography of south Wales had given
    the region a great advantage over other coal-producing
    areas. The river valleys
    gave transport routes
    and the steep valleys
    made it easy to mine
    down to the coal.

Watch as the labels turn green
               Energy      Labour

  Market     Transport     Policy

              Location     Capital
Environmen    and site

• Coal mining depended on hard,
  physical labour. The industry
  was hungry for workers. The         Labour
  boom in the south Wales coal
  industry attracted people to
  move to the area from other
  parts of Wales and from the
  rest of Britain.
• The Rhondda valleys became
  the centre of the coal industry.
  In 1860 they had a population
  of around 3,000 people.
• This had jumped to 160,000 by
  1910. People migrated from the
  rural parts of Wales, but also in
  great numbers from Ireland,
  Scotland and England.
• The English speakers far
  outnumbered the Welsh
  speakers. The south Wales
  coalfield became a "melting pot"
  of different cultures and

Watch as the labels turn green
               Energy      Labour

  Market     Transport     Policy

              Location     Capital
Environmen    and site

                    After 1914 …
• Confidence in the future of coal was still high in 1914 but
    it was soon shaken. A royal commission on the coal
    industry reported in 1919 that: "The prosperity of south
    Wales is entirely dependent on the export trade in coal."
•   This dependence was very real. The industry relied on
    exporting 70% of its production. The whole area, mining
    settlements and the docks, depended on coal. But
    demand for coal was falling and there were few other
    industries in south Wales. Iron and steel making, and the
    manufacture of other metals, were also in decline
    because other countries had developed their own
•   The 1920s and 1930s were decades of economic
    depression and poverty in the coalfields. There were long
    strikes and bitter disputes between the company owners
    and the miners. The companies wanted to keep up their
    profits but often at the expense of miners' wages and
             This is what happened
• In 1934 unemployment rates of 60% were recorded in
    parts of the south Wales coalfield. People started to
    move away. Between 1931 and 1939, 160,000 people
    migrated from south Wales to look for work in the new
    industries being developed in other parts of Britain.
•   The decline continued after the Second World War up
    until the present day. The coal industry was nationalised
    in 1947 - that means it was taken over by the
    government. To modernise the industry, machines were
    needed instead of manual workers. Many of the coal
    seams in south Wales weren't suited to the use of
    modern mining machinery.
•   Coal was the vital fuel of the 1800s and early 1900s. But
    it is much less important now and has been largely
    replaced by other forms of energy.
Explain the reasons for the decline

                 Impact of closures
• At its peak nearly 300,000 miners had been employed in the coal
    industry. In 1945 there were 125,000 miners working in 135 pits in
    south Wales. By the early 1980s that had shrunk to 22,000, and by
    the early 1990s to below 1,000.
•   Whole communities were devastated when their pit closed. Families
    lost their income and without the miners' wages, shops and
    businesses lost trade. People moved away to look for work, and those
    who stayed found it hard to find a decent job.
•   Ever since the 1930s the government has been trying to attract new
    industry to the valleys. The Welsh Development Agency continues
    this work today. But the valleys offer few attractions as a location
    for modern factories.
•   New companies setting up in Wales over the last 20 years or so have
    chosen locations near the M4, rather than in the narrow, built-up
    former mining settlements such as the Rhondda valley.
•   Today, the visible signs of the coal industry have largely been
    removed. Collieries have been replaced by supermarkets and small
    industrial units; the old slag heaps of waste rocks have been
    landscaped and planted with grass and trees.

                Impact of closures
• But the scars on the community are slow to heal, and most former
  mining communities face a range of social and economic problems.
• Geographers at Cardiff and other universities have recently
  conducted a study of former mining communities in several coalfield
  areas in Wales and England.
• Explore the diagram below to learn what the researchers found out.

Meanwhile the steel industry had moved
                on too

• Can you explain why?
• The local raw materials ran out and they needed
    to be imported from other countries
•   Proximity to ports were needed for bulk
•   Steel works (as against iron works) need a lot of
    water for cooling and other processes
•   New steel works were integrated – a lot of
    different processes on one site – need a lot of

Why was Margam located where it was?

Did we get all these?

        So what happens next?
• The deep mines are all closed, although one
  was kept open for a few years and run by
  the miners themselves – Tower Mine
  closed in January 2008
• There are a few opencast mine in Wales
  still – altogether an environmentally a very
  dubious activity.

It is back in Ffos-y-Fran,
      Merthyr Tydfil         There are
                             under this
                             slide if you

      But this is the exception
• Unemployment is still very high in these
• High tech industry is not attracted
  despite government activity to encourage
• The valleys are too narrow and road and
  rail transport too crammed to encourage
  footloose industry.
• While the old mine workings have been
  cleared of toxic materials, the space is
  just not there for TNCs to expand.
        But over to the East …
• .. Where the land is flatter, and there is
  access to the M4, a motorway along which
  a lot of high tech industry and R&D has
  concentrated. It is these parts that have
  received the inward investment from
• Other advantages include easy access to
  Britoil University and a bit further on to
  Oxford and Reading Universities, good
  train links to London and hence to the
  channel tunnel and also Heathrow Airport.
                                   What is that?

But Wales is trying to re-image itself
with the help of the Welsh Assembly
• They are concentrating on becoming greener
    than other countries - they are investing in
    small green start-up business in the hope that
    something small will grow.
•   The WDA (Welsh Development Agency) had four
    objectives: furthering the economic development
    of Wales, promoting industrial efficiency and
    international competitiveness, developing
    employment and improving the environment.
            Sustainable technology
• Wales is now focusing on sustainable technologies and its
    academic capability is recognised as providing leading
    Research and Development in relation to low carbon
    vehicle technology.
•   Wales' focus on sustainable transport goes beyond
    vehicle technologies to encompass all associated issues
    such as:
•   integrated transport
•   energy storage
•   future fuel/charging infrastructure technologies &
    related transport planning
•   Wales is recognised as a European Leader in Research &
    Development of low-emissions technology.

• Access Wales is a new pilot project
    that offers hi tech and knowledge
    based companies the opportunity to
    test the market before making any
    long term decision about expanding
    into new markets. Access Wales is a
    new service from International
    Business Wales- the trade and
    investment arm of the Welsh
    Assembly Government and
    participating businesses will have
    access to the Assembly
    Government’s fully integrated
    business support service.
•   Qualify for free desk space for up
    to 12 months in a choice of 15 high
    tech innovation centres but a unique
    package of benefits tailored to the
    needs of emerging technology
• This free service includes fast, straightforward access
    to information, advice and support on grants and finance,
    property, innovation support, technology, marketing
    assistance, sourcing suppliers and skills development.
•   In addition companies are also eligible for specialist
    business support from professional consultancy partners
    worth in the region of £10,000.
•   This covers areas such as business strategy, market and
    competitor intelligence, sales consultancy, Intellectual
    Property, recruitment, HR and training, health and safety
    as well as access to local business networks.
•   The 15 innovation centres each specialising in particular
    aspects of hi-tech business such as digital media,
    performance engineering, sustainable technologies, opto-
    electronics, biosciences, IT and software, and
    bioscience. The desk spaces offered come equipped with
    telephones and high speed internet connection and are
    typically located within open-plan shared business units
    with access to shared facilities such as reception
    services, meeting rooms and conference facilities.
End of unit question -Hints and pointers
• When asked to look at a map and then about
    the location of X in relation to Y – use
    information only from the map you are given – if
    the map has a compass point and/or distances –
    use them both!
•   When asked to Compare the locations of the
    two, make sure you use similarities and
    differences in the form:
     Both X and Y are…
     Or
     While X is ….., Y is ….
• Do not fall into the trap of
     X is .. and … and
     Y is … and … and
End of unit question -Hints and pointers
• Explain why (technical term) applies to ….
• A mark will be given for explaining the technical
    term and a mark why it applies
• Blah,blah. Do you agree with this statement?
• Chances are it partly right but mostly not. Make
    sure you explore both when it is correct and
    when it does not apply with examples if you can.
•   Last of all, read the question and make sure you
    only answer what you have been asked for!


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