A Way Ahead? Empowering Restanza in a Slate Valley

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After 100 years of deindustrialization, the town of Blaenau Ffestiniog in a North Wales slate valley could be condescendingly described as a “left behind “place. Using survey evidence and the Italian concept of “restanza”, this report emphasises that the people of the town and valley are attached to their own place and its social networks so that staying behind or returning after graduate education is a positive choice not the default of the less capable and ambitious. The economic policy question is then reframed in foundational terms: what provision of essentials will empower restanza and enable young adults to stay? Survey evidence shows that affordable housing is just as important as jobs.

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