Relocation can lead to ghost towns. Image credit

ZIMSEC O Level Geography Notes: Industrial studies: Industrial Relocation

  • This is a situation where an industry which had been established in one area has to shift and locate in a new different area.
  • This may even involve trans-border location.
  • The industry has to stop functioning and close down all operations in its original location and move elsewhere.
  • Causes of relocation are numerous but the main ones include:
    1. Government policy.
    2. Environmental pressures on pollution in old established industrial areas.
    3. Local authority by-laws.
    4. Exhaustion of raw materials at original location and their discovery elsewhere and use of imported raw materials.
    5. Changes in market demand and transport.
    6. Changes in production technology.
  • The UK iron and steel industry has changed location from in-land, small-scale, unintegrated coal or iron-ore field based locations of the 1880s to present day coastal, modern, integrated, import-oriented locations of South Wales and North East England because of these reasons.
  • Industrial relocation has very negative effects to the source regions from which industries are moving away from. These include the following:
    1. Unemployment increases as industries move out leaving behind the labour force.
    2. There is general out-migration of the economically active population as jobs are no longer available.
    3. As a result of these two effects, living standards will fall.
    4. Increase in crime and prostitution is witnessed as people struggle for survival.
    5. Abandonment sets in as buildings crack and collapse; paint peels off; sewage pipes burst, water supply becomes erratic; as well as electricity provision and roads develop unattended potholes: there is general neglect of housing and infrastructure leading to the development of ghost towns and depressed regions.
    6. Economic performance declines as shops close down and migrate out.
  • While sources regions of the industries suffer, all too often, the destination areas become the beneficiaries which experience positive physical and economic effects which include:
    1. Exploitation of resources which are lying idle.
    2. Employment creation for the local population.
    3. Development of infrastructural services such as roads, rails, power, telecommunications, health, education and recreation, insurance and banking.
    4. General raising of living standards.

    To access more topics go to the O Level Geography Notes page