Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Location of Industry Factors

Physical Human and Economic
Raw materials The factory needs to be close to these if they are heavy and bulky to transport. Labour A large cheap labour force is required for labour-intensive manufacturing industries. High-tech industries have to locate where suitable skilled workers are available.
Energy supply This is needed to work the machines in a factory. Early industries were near to coalfields. Today, electricity allows more freedom. Market An accessible place to sell the products is essential for many industries:
  • those that produce bulky, heavy goods that are expensive to transport
  • those that produce perishable or fragile goods
  • those that provide services to people

The market is not so important for other industries such as high-tech whose products are light in weight and cheap to transport. Such industries are said to be 'footloose'.

Natural routes River valleys and flat areas were essential in the days before railways and motorways made the movement of materials easier. Transport A good transport network helps reduce costs and make the movement of materials easier.
Site and land Most industries require large accessible areas of cheap, flat land on which to build their factories. Cost of land Greenfield sites in rural areas are usually cheaper than brownfield sites in the city.
Capital This is the money that is invested to start the business. The amount of capital will determine the size and location of the factory.
Government policies Industrial development is encourages in some areas and restricted in others. Industries that locate in depressed ('Development') areas may receive financial incentives from the government and assistance from the EU in the form of low rent and rates.