In the 1980s, shortly after the country initiated reform and opening-up, Yingang villagers started to run manufacturing businesses. The village soon emerged as one of the richest in Wanzhi district, which had been Wuhu county until earlier this year. But as the firms developed, pollution became a problem. By 2015, the local government had closed firms which failed to tackle the pollution problem and relocated others to the city's modernized industrial development areas. A local art school proposal to build the area of vacant plants into a hub of art-related start-ups was supported by the government. To date, 126 firms have been attracted to or founded in the area, now named Yingang Art Creation Town. Many of the start-ups have been reshaping the local villages' economy. The government and villagers have also made great efforts to improve the local environment.