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Spaces of demarginalisation: Processes, policy and politics in addressing territorial stigma in Middlehaven, Middlesbrough

HOLMES, HANNAH,BRIONY (2020) Spaces of demarginalisation: Processes, policy and politics in addressing territorial stigma in Middlehaven, Middlesbrough. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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Middlehaven, Middlesbrough, is the site of a major regeneration project led by the local authority. The regeneration project involves attempts to transform the site from a territorially stigmatised space – known locally as ‘Over the Border’ – into a digital and creative hub. Drawing upon current understandings of marginality and the mobilisation of territorial stigma in the justification of regeneration projects, this thesis sets out to consider how demarginalisation is manifested in process and policy in Middlesbrough. Using a mixed-methods approach, this research illustrates how Middlehaven has been stigmatised as 'Over the Border', and how this stigma is maintained through use of the label in local media, documents, and everyday conversation. This thesis argues that the 'Over the Border' stigma has a dual role in the regeneration: The territorial stigma is framed as an obstacle to growth, and thereby used as a justification for demolition of a stigmatised estate in the Middlehaven area via a discourse of necessity and security, while the stigma simultaneously plays a key role in the positioning of the site as a space ripe for urban pioneering owing to the construction of the space as a 'wilderness'. The governance of Middlesbrough in the context of urban regeneration is examined, and it is argued that an entrepreneurial approach which attempts to minimise risk for investors while encouraging calculated risk-taking within the council is central to the regeneration strategy. It is argued that creativity is an important factor in the regeneration of Middlehaven, both in that the project aims foster a hub of creative and digital industry in the area, and also in the approaches to governance of the site. By focusing on the space affected by territorial stigma in Middlehaven, this thesis provides a detailed analysis of the tactics employed to remove the constraints of stigma from space.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:demarginalisation; territorial stigma; regeneration; gentrification; governance; Middlesbrough
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2020
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:07 Apr 2020 10:56

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