The Promised Land
"The Promised Land always lies on the other side of a wilderness". Henry Ellis.
In 2002 the UK Labour Government introduced a controversial housing regeneration program. It was to target parts of the Northwest, the Midlands, the North East and Yorkshire.
Housing market renewal Pathfinders schemes aimed to renew failing housing markets, reconnect them to regional markets, improve neighborhoods and encourage people to move into the areas. This radical high risk approach to addressing the problems of neighborhoods was met with fierce opposition in many of the areas targeted, by those people who potentially were the most at risk if the schemes failed to deliver on their goals.
The UK Government invested £1.2 billion in Pathfinders between 2002-08 and added further £1 billion to the program for 2008-11. Some areas of regeneration were moderately successful but as the Coalition Government announced in February 2011 that funding would end for the Pathfinder regeneration program in March 2011, it has left many areas worse off, with boarded up abandoned houses and wastelands where there were once communities.
I visited targeted communities in the North West and the Midlands from 2007-2012, and was increasingly met by a haunting and all pervading sense of the forced withdrawal and loss that had been witnessed by those areas. I sought to document the forlorn identities of the rapidly disappearing communities, to gather a sense of the displaced and contemplate the individual circumstances that proceeds each image.
Copyright Vicky Martin ©
Fine Art Photography