‘The MIT of the north’: how the government plans to transform ex-mining towns

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In 1984, police and striking miners fought at the coking plant at Orgreave, South Yorkshire, in one of the most violent and pivotal clashes in British industrial history. Today, Orgreave is the site of another battle, one that may determine the fate of the government’s plan to build an “MIT of the north”.

Check out my latest piece for The Guardian in full below – or by clicking the link here.

This is the first time that the conflict over the future of Sheffield University’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) and the true nature of the ‘MIT of the North’ has been reported in the national media. It also includes the first interview with Professor Keith Ridgway since his departure from the AMRC and the first time – I believe – Sheffield University has commented directly on the clash.

The ‘MIT of the North’ story was also one of the hardest pieces I have had to write due to the number of interviews I had to do, the twists and turn of the story (even as I was writing it), and the need to map accurately the conflict that is at the heart of the tale. I couldn’t have done it without the support of my editor.


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