The influence of size, siting, age, and physical characteristics of factory premises on the survival and death of footwear manufacturing establishments in the East Midlands, UK
The propensity of factories in the footwear industry of the East Midlands to survive as active units of production over the period 1957 to 1979 is shown to be associated with at least some of the attributes of size, location, type, and age of the premises occupied. A number of possible causes of establishment or 'case' loss are suggested but the analysis is hampered by the problem of unravelling a complex web of interrelationships between the attributes used. In the second part of the paper an attempt is made to simplify the complex web using methods from numerical taxonomy. The strategy adopted is to use an objective classification method to define types of factories on the basis of shared common attributes and then to determine which of the resulting types have suffered the greatest losses. It is shown that relative employment loss has been greatest in old multistorey premises of medium size, particularly when located in the inner city. It is also argued that the premises most unsuitable for the accommodation of modern technological developments in production have been most at risk.
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