"During the boom years, the hope was that injections of money from the national treasury, the European Union and the National Lottery could spruce up post-industrial towns and attract new businesses, easing people off welfare into work," observes The Economist. "This made tough towns somewhat better to live in, and helped soften rough reputations. But it did little to reverse long-standing economic decline."
"In America, cities that decline must redefine themselves, says Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, a Washington-based think-tank. Like a man who has lost weight, they have to get new clothes that fit—shrinking their boundaries and ambitions. Britain’s failing towns struggle on indefinitely in their old industrial shape and size."