The redistribution of manufacturing industry in Greater Leicester, 1947-1970.
thesisposted on 19.11.2015, 08:53 by John J. Fagg
The period 1947 to 1970 witnessed the redistribution of manufacturing establishments and jobs from the core to certain parts of the outer suburbs of Greater Leicester. The patterns of entries and exits, moves, and in situ changes in employment all contributed to decentralization. Nevertheless, entries showed a tendency to favour inner area locations, death-rates there were higher than might have been expected on the basis of industrial structure or establishment size, and the majority of moves took place within the core and its immediate environs. These spatial changes were prompted by a number of factors. The concentration of council redevelopment schemes in the inner area led to a high exit-rate there and encouraged many moves. Even so, transfers were more commonly the products of firms' needs to accommodate expansion. In selecting a factory, many industrialists (particularly new entrants into manufacturing) chose the old cheap plants in the core. Inner area locations were also favoured by firms which needed to recruit or retain workers, or to sell goods directly to the public or to local shops. Although a few entrepreneurs sought sites close to their homes, the major factor inducing migration to the outer areas was the availability of property. The operation of planning controls, and the limited amount of developable land supplied for factory building, ensured the rapid occupation of plants on industrial estates located in the outer area. The limited significance of transport and market factors, of the land value gradient, and of the outward migration of labour supply, casts doubt on the validity of earlier theories of manufacturing decentralization within cities. The results obtained in Greater Leicester may therefore reflect the influence of city size, the British planning system, or the different methodology adopted in this study.