Blackwood is a small town in the South Wales Valleys on the River Sirhowy in what is now part of Caerphilly (county borough) but historically part of the county of Monmouthshire.
Its unusually wide main street — built to accommodate a tramway that formerly ran through the town centre — has led to it becoming a popular retail centre for the surrounding region.
The destruction of the coal mining industry under the Conservative Government of Margaret Thatcher (1979-1990) and the UK miners' strike (1984-1985) had a devastating effect on the local economy, though in recent years the area has reinvented itself and now houses a growing number of light industrial and high-tech firms.
Good transport links has made Blackwood a favoured home for a growing number of commuters who work in the cities of Newport and Cardiff, giving the town a renewed prosperity.
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