Catalogue description Records created or inherited by the Department of Industry, 1974-1983, and successors

Details of PV
Reference: PV
Title: Records created or inherited by the Department of Industry, 1974-1983, and successors

Records created or inherited by the Department of Industry and its successors concerning the general development and promotion of industrial policy. The records particularly focus on the co-ordination of industrial and related policies across government; the designation of Assisted Areas and allocation of Regional Selective Assistance grants; the administration of the Department's network of regional offices; the sponsorship of manufacturing industries; responsibility for the Post Office Corporation and government shareholdings in industrial enterprises; and the Department's research and development programmes.

Date: 1968-1992
Related material:

For records of related and successor departments see:

Department of Trade and Industry FV

Department of Trade and Industry (second) NK

Department of Trade PJ

Held by: The National Archives, Kew
Legal status: Public Record(s)
Language: English

Department of Industry, 1974-1983

Department of Trade and Industry, 1970-1974

Department of Trade and Industry, 1983-2007

Physical description: 18 series
Access conditions: Subject to 30 year closure unless otherwise stated
Immediate source of acquisition:

Department of Trade and Industry

Administrative / biographical background:

When the Department of Trade and Industry was broken up in 1974, three new departments emerged: the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection, the Department of Trade and the Department of Industry. The latter assumed responsibility for industrial policy both nationally and regionally, for sponsorship of individual manufacturing industries and for industrial research and development.

The Department was responsible for the formulation and promotion of industrial policy as well as more general input into the wider economic, fiscal, financial, social and environmental policies being pursued by other government departments and by the EEC. It was concerned with inward investment, regional development, the designation and promotion of Assisted Areas, the provision of Regional Selective Assistance under the 1972 Industry Act and financial assistance under the 1972 Local Employment Act. The Department also provided industries with technical and other support services.

A network of ten regional offices (eight in England and one each in Scotland and Wales was maintained), each of which represented the Department locally in its dealings with industry, local authorities, the regional offices of other government departments, and other local organisations. These regional offices administered selective assistance grants and were responsible for regional industrial development and export promotion. Accordingly, the offices also carried out a number of functions on behalf of the Departments of Trade, Prices and Consumer Protection, and Energy.

Following the abolition of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in the 1974 departmental reorganisation, the Department of Industry was allocated responsibility for the Post Office Corporation. The Secretary of State for Industry consequently held the statutory title of Minister of Posts and Telecommunications for a short interim period. The Department was also responsible for the British Steel Corporation, and for the Government's shareholdings in Rolls Royce Ltd., Short Brothers, and Harland and Wolff Ltd.

The Government's sponsorship of space, civil aircraft and aero-engine research was administered through the Department, as was policy and financial responsibility for the National Space Technology Programme and Concorde. A wide range of other manufacturing industries were also sponsored by the Department: these included iron and steel, shipbuilding, motor vehicles, computer systems and electronics, mechanical and electrical engineering, chemicals and textiles, minerals, metals, paper and timber.

The Department was responsible for determining and commissioning an industrial research and development programme, and for the allocation of funding to organisations such as universities to carry out this research. The work of six national research establishments also fell within the Department's purview: the National Physical Laboratory, the National Engineering Laboratory, the Warren Spring Laboratory, the Laboratory of the Government Chemist, the Pesticide Residue Analysis Information Service and the Computer-aided Design Centre.

The Department also provided its own accountancy, legal, statistical, information and parliamentary services, all of which were utilised as common services by the Department of Trade and the Department of Prices and Consumer Protection.

In 1983 the Department was dissolved when its functions were combined with those of the Department of Trade to form a new Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).

Have you found an error with this catalogue description?

Help with your research