Coalfield Regeneration: an initial appraisal of the Task Force Approach in East Durham

Paul Greenhalgh, Andrew McCafferty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Coalfields have a unique combination of concentrated unemployment, physical isolation,poor infrastructure and severe health problems. The contraction of the coal industry has been so rapid that mainstream government programmes have failed to readjustto offer an adequate level of support (Coalfields Task Force 1998).In October 1997 the Deputy Prime Minister set up the Coalfield Task Force to identify and develop a specific and comprehensive programme of action to assist communities which had been affected by pit closures (DETR 1998a). The Government’s response to their report has been to announce £354m of additional money over three years to fund a comprehensive programme of action to combat the deprivation faced by the coalfield communities (DETR 1998a). The Government is to implement a number of the Task Force recommendations including the creation of a Coalfield Regeneration Trust to support community initiatives, a Coalfield Enterprise Fund to support small firms and a Partnership Fund to encourage private/public joint ventures (DETR 1998a). This paper studies the performance of the East Durham Task Force which has been recognised as a model of coalfield regeneration partnership. Interviews were completed with Task Force members, local government officers and English Partnerships staff in order to build an impression of regeneration activity in East Durham and identify the benefits accruing from the Task Force approach.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-56
JournalLand Contamination and Reclamation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1999


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