Although economists have long recognised industrial districts as one of the key features of many economies, it is only recently that attention has been focused on the region as an effective means of generating accurate insights into the larger picture of economic performance. This renewed interest in regional issues has also placed at centre stage the role played by networks as a principal organisational feature of the local business community, providing scholars with a rich topic for investigation and debate. Recent work has shown that universal generalisations concerning the impact of networking on the performance of industrial clusters lack credibility, highlighting the consequent need to compare the role played by business networks in a variety of regions. Using a copious range of research material examining several British regions, this volume poses a series of fundamental questions about the nature of industrial clusters and networks. Particular attention is paid to identifying the basic characteristics of a network, outlining how they evolved in key industrial clusters, and assessing their impact on industrial performance, both regionally and nationally. The durability of such networks is another key thread that runs through the essays, prompting comparison with industrial clusters in Britain and abroad. These are issues which stimulate discussion on a wide range of factors within the disciplines of business, economic and social history.