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Last Updated: Tuesday, 25 March 2008, 12:03 GMT
Study into jute industry decline
Jute Mill
Jute was one of the cornerstones of the local economy
The long decline of Dundee's jute industry and the reasons for it will be examined in a new research project at the University of Dundee.

Academics have been awarded 128,000 to study why production fell and the impact it has had on the city.

The research team will interview those involved in the industry and study archive material.

The jute sector was a major part of Dundee's economy through the Victorian age and into the 20th Century.

However, the industry then went into a long decline through the rest of the 1900s, with the last jute mill closing in 1998.

'Global cities'

Professor Jim Tomlinson said: "Jute is a pioneer of the decline of old local industry - others like shipbuilding and coal in other parts of Britain came later.

"Dundee was one of the most globalised cities in the world in the early 1900s, certainly more so than it is now.

"The city was at the hub of global trading in jute, importing from India and exporting around the world.

"That faded with the decline of the local jute industry as it faced a number of pressures."

Dr Carlo Morelli, from the department of economic studies, added: "Another focus of our study will be the impact on women's lives.

"It is a highly unusual feature of the industry that the jute workforce was largely made up of women."

The money has been awarded by the Leverhulme Trust, which provides funding for research and education projects.



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