The Significance of Identifying Industrial clusters The Case of Scotland
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Industrial clustering policy is now an integral part of economic development planning in most advanced economies. However, there have been concerns in some quarters over the ability of an industrial cluster-based development strategy to deliver its promised economic benefits and this has been increasingly been blamed on the failure by governments to identify industrial clusters. In a study published in 2001, the DTI identified clusters across the UK based on the comparative scale and significance of industrial sectors. The study identified thirteen industrial clusters in Scotland. However the clusters identified are not a homogeneous set and they seem to vary in terms of their geographic concentration within Scotland. This paper examines the spatial distribution of industries within Scotland, thereby identifying more localised clusters. The study follows as closely as possible the DTI methodology which was used to identify such concentrations of economic activity with particular attention directed towards the thirteen clusters identified by the DTI. The paper concludes with some remarks of the general problem of identifying the existence of industrial clusters.