Region-Building in the North East: Regional Identity and Regionalist Politics
This chapter looks at the relationship between the type of regionalism and regional identity. It suggests that while regional culture and identity may be factors in promoting both types of regionalism other factors such as political, institutional and economic change at the national and European level are important, as is the perceived self-interest of particular groups and factions. Regional community oriented identity project has focused on the economic regeneration needs of the region. Aspects of the region's image as seen from outside – depressing pit heaps, limited cultural life, poor educational levels, were seen as barriers to inward investment. Within the North East England the influence of this place marketing campaign was felt in several ways: slogans, flagship developments, events, billboards/adverts, and through the media. The political baggage of the Regional Community Identity Project is fairly clear. It is strongly anti Thatcherite. However, it is not necessarily pro-Labour in every respect.