Selection of the regional winners forced the judges into a number of fine choices.
Manufacturing is gradually becoming more evenly distributed across the face of Britain, as the emergence of new industries in once rural locations slowly makes up for the long relative decline of the traditional heartlands. A dozen years ago, in 1981, factories in the South East were responsible for just under 28% of UK manufacturing output. By last year their contribution had shrunk to less than a quarter. Scotland's share fell half as fast over the period, to a little over 8% of the total. The North West also declined slightly. Regions less commonly associated with manufacturing which saw their proportions increase included East Anglia and the East Midlands, which were the pincipal winners.