4.1 Valley lands
The decline in coal mining eventually led to the drying up of the daily flow of coal to Cardiff's docklands.  The separation of Cardiff from its valleys can be said to have happened when the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation was formed in 1987. The concept of 'docklands' was replaced by 'bay lands' which were viewed as 2,700 acres of definct products of civil engineering consisting of waterways, railway sidings, coal hoists and a steelworks. The aim of the new Development Corporation was to develop seven miles of waterfront through 'one of the most exciting development projects in Europe'.
The valley lands from this time were to be developed separately with new civil engineering projects to obliterate as far as possible all evidence of their mining heritage and make them suitable for incoming businesses to provide employment for thousands of families formerly supported by their breadwinners underground.
From 1983 to the end of the century over seven billion pounds was invested to boost the South Wales economy.  To prepare the ground in the northern valleys, ten million pounds was spent on removing the largest coal tip in Europe at Bargoed, and the biggest land reclamation project was initiated at Merthyr Tydfil.  Not many of the new industries that have been attracted are big employers of labour.  The largest single employer in the Valleys is now the long established company Hoover, which employs around 3,000 workers. 
Life after coal in South Wales was given a boost by around 400 foreign companies, mostly European and North American, who have come to the region since the 1980s.  The heyday for this inward investment was in the mid 1990s when the local economy grew at a rate of 5.5%, compared with the UK Average of 3.9%.  Most of these new jobs were in the service industries which employ around 80% of the South Wales work force.