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Key dates

1721 - The Woollen Act
Banned the wearing of cotton calicoes imported from Asia in order to protect domestic woollen industry

1736 - 'Manchester' Cotton Act
Passed following petitions from Manchester and other Lancashire towns. Gave recognition to the British manufacture of cotton

1824 - Weights and Measures Act
Imposed one standard 'imperial' system of weights and measures, replacing the many local systems and variations used in manufacture and industry

1849 - Repealed the old protective Navigation Laws
Promoted 'free trade' principles thereby helping to widen foreign markets for rapidly expanding sectors of British industry, eg, textiles, engineering and mining

1925 - Slough Trading Company Act
Established the first industrial estate in Britain

1929-33 - The Depression worsens
Conditions in Britain's major industries declined

1930 - The Coal Mines Act
Aimed to revive the depressed state of the coal mining industry

1934 - Special Areas Act
A new initiative to stimulate areas with high unemployment rates. 'Trading estates' set up in designated areas under subsequent legislation

1936 - Cotton Spinning Act (and further Acts of 1939 and 1940)
Designed to rescue the cotton industry and rationalise its organisation

1945 - Distribution of Industry Act
Extended the scope of 'special areas' policy. Scheme led to the creation of 200,000 jobs

1946 - Coal Mines Nationalisation Act
Brought the coal mines into national ownership

1960 - Local Employment Act
Gave attention to smaller areas where unemployment was still high

1966 - Industrial Development Act
Broadened the scale of assistance over larger regions

Also within Living Heritage