The main industries in Great Britain today are banking, finance, steel, oil and gas (the petrochemical and chemical industries), automobile and aircraft industries, the ship-building sector, and tourism. In Britain there are many factories and mines.
The oldest industries in Britain are fishing, shipbuilding, and trade.
British industries were developed during the Industrial Revolution which started with the invention of the steam engine by James Watt in 1775. During this period, coal mining was developed as well as ore mining, concentrated around Birmingham and Coventry. This area was the first industrial site in Britain, and was called the Black Country.
In the 18th century, a lot of inventions were made in the fields of science and technology.
Since the 19th century, after Industrial Revolution, Great Britain was called “the workshop of the world”. In the beginning of 20th century, however, the USA, Germany, and France overtook Britain’s industry.
Since the Second World War, Britain has been a pioneer of industrial development. Some aspects of this development include the production of radars, television sets, jet planes, and nuclear power stations.
Great Britain has many natural sources for its industrial development. There are a lot of raw materials: black coal, iron ore, and oil and natural gas mined in the North Sea (the second largest place for their mining in Europe).
The main industrial area in GB is the London area, where there are many centers of manufacturing and mining.
The second industrial area is the Midland area around Birmingham which produces metal goods, electrical and engineering goods, and vehicles.
The third is Yorkshire, where the woolen industry is located in Leeds. Sheffield is known for its steel industry while Hull is one of the most important fishing ports in the world. In areas of Manchester and Lancashire, the center of the cotton goods industry is located.
The fourth industrial center is South Wales, where there is a coal mining area. Many factories have been built there that produce plastics, chemicals, and textiles.
The fifth area is Durham and Northumberland, where we can find the iron and steel industry.
The sixth area is Glasgow, also a location of the iron and steel industry. The seventh industrial area is Belfast in Northern Ireland, which is known for its shipbuilding industry.