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could it be 'run down the factories' as in 'reduce the strength or numbers of (resources)' (Oxford Reference Dictionary). This phrase has the advantage that it would allow for the interpretation 'close down' (i.e you run something down to such an extent that it no longer becomes viable).
but maybe it is stronger than that and actually means 'strip' the factories?
Lucy Phillips United Kingdom Local time: 06:13 Native speaker of: English PRO pts in pair: 310