Situating the North East in the European Space Economy
This chapter discusses the state of the North East economy in the post-war period, the state from which the supposed metamorphosis has begun. The geography of manufacturing industry in the UK in the post-war period is intimately tied up with the politics of nationalisation. The geography of the development of the service sector in the UK in the post-war period demonstrates a spatial division of labour as marked as that in manufacturing. Government policies had a strong influence on the patterning of employment in the service sector. The chapter looks at a number of economic indicators, such as GDP, R&D and employment structure. Just as R&D investment figures fail to capture informal innovation in small firm networks, as evidenced by data for Emilia-Romagna, so they have become increasingly obsolescent with the increased importance of the service economy. Most significant for the evolution of the regional economic base is the presence of a number of locally headquartered export-intensive and multi-national firms.