The video shows a broad, sandy beach on England’s North Sea coast, then a stretch of wetlands and a seal. A marina fills the screen, then a white clock tower and a strip of coastline. The video doesn’t fail to impress the town’s councilmen.
“When I saw the new video, I thought for the first time: Wow, I live in such a fantastic place,” said a local politician in Hartlepool in northeast England.
But this is what the video’s idyllic scenes don’t show: The wetlands are a wasteland amid a nuclear power plant, an oil refinery, six enormous cooling towers, abandoned aluminum works and the Tata steel mill, which faces closure. The marina is an abandoned coal-shipping dock, the clocktower houses public toilets, and offshore wind turbines mar the coastline.