Secondary Activities Industrial Change in the UK Since the mid 1970’s the UK, in common with other industrialised countries, has seen massive changes in its manufacturing industry. Some industries have undergone major decline, whereas others have grown. Many of the areas of growth have been stimulated by investment from overseas. Economic Activity
Manufacturing industry has declined in its relative importance in both terms of:
Contribution to the national economy.
Mid 1970’s = over 7 million people employed in manufacturing.
2002 = less than 4 million.
This progressive decline has been called deindustrialisation .
Main aspects of manufacturing change UK manufacturing has declined. This has caused job losses and severe economic problems for communities once based on traditional manufacturing industries Massive investments from overseas, and technological developments from research and development institutions, have contributed to industrial revival. Manufacturing industry now employs fewer workers than the growing service-based industries. Industrial revival, from both private and public investment, has had an uneven impact, with some areas still suffering the social and economic effects of industrial closures.
Main aspects of manufacturing change Areas of the UK not traditionally linked with manufacturing have gained jobs more rapidly than urban areas. Sensitivity towards the environment, both locally and nationally, is a major influence on decision making. The use of high technology in manufacturing processes has created its own requirements for industrial location, and has had a significant effect on working practices within industry
The main manufacturing industries that have declined in the last 30 years are those which were established in the 19 th century. Growth was based on the use of coal and imported raw materials, such as iron ore and cotton. A key aspect of their development was the ability to export finished products to other countries, particularly Britain’s former colonies. For these reasons the main industrial areas were either on major coalfields or at coastal ports on deep water estuaries. These industries have been given a variety of collective names, including ‘smokestack’ because of their link to coal, and ‘sunset’ because of their decline in importance. Decline in traditional manufacturing
Examples of traditional manufacturing industries Textiles – woollen cloth in West Yorkshire (Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield) and cotton cloth in Lancashire. Steel in Sheffield, Middlesborough and south Wales Shipbuilding in Newcastle, Sunderland, Belfast and Glasgow. Chemicals in the Northeast (Middlesborough) and the Northwest (Widnes and Runcorn)
Examples of traditional manufacturing industries The car industry and component suppliers in older locations, e.g. Birmingham and other parts of the West Midlands, and Luton. Clothing, food processing, and other port industries in the East End of London Pottery and other household goods in the area around Stoke