“The capital to finance the Industrial Revolution in India instead went into financing the Industrial Revolution in Britain. Rajani Palme Dutt – Marxist historian.


The material prosperity of Britain after WWII left India as an economically poor consumer of British Textiles products. The Government of British India adopted a protective trade policy that was beneficial to the United Kingdom but caused great damage to the Indian economy. India fell victim to competition, innovation and imperialism. Wide-scale unemployment caused Indians to seek abroad. Britain’s burgeoning industry offered economic prosperity, personal freedom and the promise of economic stability became the impetus for thousands to leave their homelands. Britain welcomed the abundance of cheap labour from its former colony and earned it’s title, “Workshop of The World”. What remains, is the legacy of an industry that was once the pride of Britain.

What remains of Leicester’s industrial past is undergoing a rapid process of change. The landscape combines old and new, low-income housing, burnt, derelict factories and vacant office blocks that are remnants of the British service industry. This is Leicestershire’s wasteland. Within this lies an opportunity for a solution to the housing crisis – “affordable housing”, now largely inhabited by the latest wave of migrants.

The cold, stark landscape represents life, death and re-birth of a city. This is a process of regeneration. It is the transition of a working class community. The landscape is still as the remaining factories wait to be demolished.