Why does a company find that it needs to close a factory? And how does it decide exactly which of its factories to close?
Such decisions have a major impact on regional economies. For much of the post-war period multi-plant companies enjoyed unprecedented expansion, but for more than a decade now they have been involved in major restructuring, leading to the closure of factories and to redundancy for thousands of workers. As a result, some localities have been plunged into recession from which they have not recovered.
This book places branch closures within the context of wider debates about the nature of industrial change in the last part of the century, including the impact of new technology and working practices, the internationalisation of production and deindustrialisation. It also considers appropriate policies for assisting the economic development of lagging regions, including the role of possible new branch factories and the sorts of initiatives needed to retain and up-grade the jobs in existing branches.
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