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GCSE Geography > Industry Case Study - South Wales Iron and Steel

The bullet points below show the main points needed to answer a question similar to that shown. The example of the South Wales Iron and Steel Industry has been used.


"Industries locate for many different reasons. Choose a secondary manufacturing industry that you have studied. Explain how different factors have affected their choice as to where to locate the industry and how these factors have changed over time."


Factors affecting choice:

  • Need to be near resources - coal / iron ore / limestone (these were found in the large valleys of South Wales)
  • The factories need open flat land
  • Local water sources for cooling / powering machinery.
  • Flat land also needed for transportation by rail
  • Factories were often built near large populations, or large populations clustered around the factories due to the large workforce needed and lack of good transport
How these factors have changed:
  • Over time raw materials ran out and factories began locating near the coast - raw materials were imported
  • Large ports grew up at points of the coast where there is deep water directly offshore (e.g. Port Talbot)
  • Even more flat land is now needed for some large "integrated steelworks"
  • Factories have moved away from built up areas because people can commute more easily

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