Cosmetics and crisis? An enterprise zone for Lanarkshire

Danson, Michael W. and Lloyd, Michael Gregory (1992) Cosmetics and crisis? An enterprise zone for Lanarkshire. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 17 (3). pp. 65-69. ISSN 0306-7866

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The announcement by British Steel of the forthcoming closure of its Ravenscraig steel works has generated a great deal of media interest and political controversy. The closure of Ravenscraig and the related closure of the plant and ore terminal at Hunterston will result in the loss of at least 1200 direct jobs, a number of further indirect job losses and knock-on effects on the industrial infrastructure of the local economy. In itself the imminent closure represents a catastrophe for the locality but it is important to acknowledge that it is not an isolated incident. It follows other industrial contractions in the region including Gartcosh, Linwood and Bathgate. The accumulated effects of the industrial restructuring, therefore, pose a considerable challenge to government, development bodies and local authorities.  This paper considers whether an enterprise zone is an appropriate response by government to the problems inLanarkshire caused by the Ravenscraig closure. To this end the paper briefly reviews the experience of the established enterprise zones in Scotland and considers the broader policy and institutional context into which an enterprise zone designation in Lanarkshire would fit.