“Six towns make up the City of Stoke on Trent; Hanley is the largest of the 6 towns.
In 2006 Stoke on Trent council and a number of other councils throughout the UK was handed a ‘Regeneration’ grant by the European commission to help regenerate run down and poor areas in the inner cities.
I live in Hanley, about a 5-minute walk from the town centre. My area was chosen for regeneration.
Residents within the area were offered the market value of their houses plus relocation fees to move as vast number of these houses were to be demolished to make way for new houses to be built..
Many did not want to leave the area, leaving family, friends and neighbours, so properties were demolished around them leaving the odd house standing….. This went on for years.
Finally when they did agree to sell and move the money from Europe had run out and the houses then stood empty, leaving derelict empty property.
This is when I started to document photographically what was happening in my area, and how where I lived and grew up in started to become a dumping ground for ‘fly tipping’, looking like a War Zone.
The area looked far, far worse than the terraced housing streets ever did with people living in them before, and this was supposed to of breathed new life into this area.
To make matters worse the housing market crashed and derelict land stood empty and still is, for many years.
Taking these pictures in a project around my area I could only feel how badly Stoke council got this wrong and hindered any investment into the city with its main town looking so run down.
At present time Hanley town centre has a dismal atmosphere. Rows of shops stand empty and unused. The council promise new investment for restaurants and cinemas, but people cannot spend if they do not have the money.