the government's policy on clusters. He said:
'While the creation and growth of clusters is market driven, the
government has a role to play in encouraging them, most obviously
growth and to ensure that regulation does not constitute an
unnecessary barrier to their development.'
'We have done a great deal since the competitiveness white paper last
year, but I am delighted to announce that we are taking work on this
important policy area to a new level.'
'With colleagues throughout Whitehall I will be looking at potential
areas for action. Today, I can announce two fundamental steps in the
process to ensure that this work is properly targeted:
'First, the DTI will be commissioning a full mapping study of cluster
activity in the UK. I will shortly be issuing an invitation to tender
for this work;
'Second, we will be setting up a steering committee which I will
chair, to draw on expertise from the private sector and key players
in the regions.'
1 Ministers have agreed that the government should make a further
assessment of the scope for action on clusters policy. One aspect of
this - the intention to issue revised planning guidance and a new
good practice guide to help planners and business co-operate in
planning for cluster growth - was announced by the deputy prime
minster following the pre-budget report. Today's announcement sets
out two of the mechanisms by which the government will be taking this
2 Among the key principles which will govern the government's approach to clusters policy are:
The government's key role is to create the conditions which encourage the formation and growth of clusters and enable and nurture progress, and in particular to remove any unnecessary impediments and obstacles;
We must join up diverse activity by different departments and agencies and avoid unnecessary duplication;
3 Full details of the membership of the steering group and its terms of reference will be made available in due course.