THE SCOTTISH INDUSTRIAL ESTATES

DOIhttp://doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-9485.1961.tb00148.x
AuthorD. I. Trotman‐Dickenson
Publication Date01 Feb 1961
THE SCOTTISH INDUSTRIAL ESTATES
THE establishment of industrial estates
in
the 1930's
as
part of
the
government's policy for the creation
of
employment and the diversi-
fication
of
industry was
a
novel undertaking. Comparatively little in-
formation has been published on the results of this policy.
The object of this article
is
to present the findings
of
an enquiry
into the experiment in Scotland. The types of firms, their reasons for
coming to the Scottish industrial estates, their experience and opinions
about the estates were investigated. The managements
of
nearly one-
third
of
the tenant
firms
were interviewed and the information they
gave was supplemented by data provided by government departments.
Scottish Industrial Estates Ltd., which established the first estate
in Scotland and developed the subsequent ones, was incorporated
in
1937.l Its capital was provided under the Special Areas (Develop-
ment and Improvement) Act 1934,
as
was also the capital of three
similar companies in England and Wales. The purpose of the com-
panies was to provide factories on a rental basis in order to attract
light industries
to
South-west Scotland, North-east England, West
Cumberland and South Wales. These were generally referred to
as
the
'
distressed areas
'
for some years before the government scheduled
them
in
1934 as
'
Special Areas
'
in need of help.
The Scottish Special Area was situated in the south-west of Scot-
land but Glasgow
was
excluded for reasons
of
prestige-or
so
it
was
believed at the time. Unemployment in the area reached a peak in
1932 when in towns such as Clydebank, Port Glasgow and Mother-
well over half the insured population was out of work.
An
investi-
gation sponsored by the government into local conditions showed a
permanent surplus of male workers estimated at
60,000.2
The Indus-
trial Transference Board did not succeed in finding work for
unemployed workers elsewhere.
The
government therefore sought to
bring work to them by encouraging
firms
in the light industries to
go to
the
Special Areas. The main inducements offered were the
facilities of the industrial estates.
There were four industrial estates in the south-west
of
Scotland
by 1939, After the war, although heavy unemployment was no longer
1
The name has been changed to Industrial Estates Management Corpora-
tion
for Scotland.
in
Certain
Areas.
Cmd.
4728.
1934.
2
Ministry
of
Labour,
Reports
of
Znvestigutions into Zndustrial Conditions
45

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