The policy and academic debate on industrial clusters has developed in a context dominated by industry champions which are not necessarily national. Despite the fact that industrial districts emerged ?rst and indeed were ?rst studied in England by Alfred Marshall over 100 years ago, the spatial dimension of economic activities has been marginal to the economic and policy debate. The suggestion that industrial clusters could be engines of regional growth was only seriously taken on board in the late 1990s by the newly created Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) in England, and by the Scottish and Welsh development agencies. Regional and cluster policies were used to support UK regions over the 1990s; despite some successes, question marks remains over their future given the abolition of RDAs in England from 2012. Favouring a supposedly “localist” rather than regional agenda, the coalition Government is replacing RDAs with smaller-scale Local Enterprise Partnership (LEPs) at the sub-regional level. Time will tell how these LEPs will perform, especially in terms of pursing growth and employment at a time of economic recovery.