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Blackburn is typical of the towns that have been the big winners of Gordon Brown’s Britain. The 19th century “weaving capital of the world” entered the 21st century with an economy and community frayed by factory closures as it joined other mill towns on a downward spiral. Labour has gone a long way towards restoring its fabric – but the transformation has relied on a liberal lining of public sector money.

Four people in Blackburn give their views on the state of the town’s industry.

FT Series: The UK’s new economy

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