We're creating a single website for everything to do with BIS but, while we do that, you'll find information in three places. > Find what you're looking for

 

The Department of Trade and Industry (1983-2007 )

On 11 June 1983 the Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, announced   that the Departments of Industry and Trade would be merged to form the Department of Trade & Industry.  The new Department combined the functions of the previous Department of Industry with the commercial relations and trade functions of the Department of Trade. The Department gained responsibility for radio frequency regulation from the Home Office whilst responsibility for the shipping policy, marine and civil aviation policy and international aviation and the accidents investigation departments were transferred to the Department of Transport.

1984 On 7th August the Department assumed direct control of the Radio Interference Service (RIS) from British Telecom. This service was renamed the Radio Investigation Service (RIS) to reflect its activities more accurately. 
 
1985 On 15th April Mr David Trippier was designated Minister with special coordinating responsibilities for issues relating to reclamation and recycling of waste. Mr Trippier combined this new post with his then current one of Minister for Small Firms. Later in the year these functions were transferred to the Department of Employment. 
 
1986 On Friday 21 March the Board of Trade met as part of the bicentenary celebrations. 
 
1987 In July the Enterprise and Deregulation Unit (EDU) and Inner Cities Unit (ICU) were transferred to the Department from the Department of Employment. 
 
1988 On 12th January Lord Young announced a new role for the DTI in a White Paper entitled "DTI - the Department for Enterprise". The following reorganisation caused the industry divisions to be replaced by market divisions which were organised by sector and covered a wider range of activities.
On 3rd October Companies House achieved Executive Agency status. 
 
1989 On April 18 the National Weights and Measures Laboratory became an Executive Agency followed two days later by Warren Spring Laboratory. The Laboratory of the Government Chemist was launched as an Agency on 30th October. On 31st July the functions of the Business Statistics Office were taken over by the Central Statistical Office ((CSO) now Office of National Statistics (ONS)) as part of a reorganisation of government statistical services. 
 
1990 On 21st February Nicholas Ridley announced a DTI reorganisation following the conclusion of the review started by Lord Young. The DTI's work would be grouped together in new divisions, each responsible for an overall policy theme. The new divisions created included: Business Task Forces; Information Technology; Manufacturing Technology; Telecommunications and Posts; Economics, Market Intelligence and Statistics.

More Executive Agencies were created during the year. The Patent Office took on Executive Agency status on 1st March followed closely by the Insolvency Service on 21st March. Radiocommunications became an Agency on 2nd April and lastly the National Engineering Laboratory on 5th October. 
 
1991 On 14th March the creation of the Joint Directorate was announced. This new unit was drawn from the staff of both the DTI and FCO. From April all export services available through DTI and FCO were marketed under a new brand name 'Overseas Trade Services'.

On 1st October Peter Lilley announced that the Accounts Services Agency would be the first of the DTI's central services to take agency status. Also the Patent Office and Companies House would move to a new trading fund status. 
 
1992 On his appointment to the DTI on 11th April Michael Heseltine chose to revive the title President of the Board of Trade instead of using the now more usual title of Secretary of State.

On 13 April following the General Election it was announced that the Department of Energy would merge with the DTI. The Department would also take responsibility for small firms from the Department of Employment. However the Inner Cities Unit was transferred to the Department of the Environment, work on films and the export licensing of art to the new Department for National Heritage and the Financial Services Division would move to the Treasury the following month.

On 3 July Michael Heseltine announced a major DTI reorganisation which reshaped the Department to relate more closely to sectors of industry. Eleven new divisions were created, seven of which were sectoral divisions. 
 
1993 On 25th January a new hotline called 'Business in Europe' was launched to help UK companies to do business in Europe.

On 10 June the formation was announced of the new National Technology Centre to be created from Warren Spring Laboratory and AEA Technology. Warren Spring Laboratory ceased as a separate entity at the end of the financial year. 
 
1995 On 12th July, John Major undertook a cabinet re-shuffle, Michael Heseltine became Deputy Prime Minister and First Secretary of State. The new President of the Board of Trade and Secretary of State for Trade and Industry was Ian Lang. The Department of Employment was merged with the Department for Education to become Department for Education and Employment (DfEE) The DTI inherited the functions of industrial relations from the Employment Dept: also from the Cabinet Office came the Office of Science and Technology (OST). The Competitiveness Division and Deregulation Unit were transferred from DTI to the Cabinet Office. 
 
1997 After the general election of 1 May, Tony Blair, the new Prime Minister, announced his new cabinet on 6 May, appointing Margaret Beckett as the new President of the Board of Trade, Secretary of State for Trade & Industry. 
 
1998 On 27 July Tony Blair undertook a cabinet re-shuffle and appointed Peter Mandelson as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry. On 23 December Stephen Byers succeeded Peter Mandelson as Secretary of State. 
 
1999 In April, the Overseas Trade Services of the DTI were combined with the overseas posts of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to form British Trade International. British Trade International is headed by a Chief Executive answerable directly to the Secretary of State for Trade & Industry and the Foreign Secretary. 
  
2001  After the general election of 7 June Patricia Hewitt was appointed as Secretary of State for Trade and Industry and Minister for Women. Patricia Hewitt became the DTI's longest serving Secretary of State.
At the same time there were major changes in the responsibilities of the DTI.  These included taking over responsibility for the Regional Development agencies and the construction industry from the former DETR.

Shared responsibility with the FCO for British Trade International was vested in a single Minister of State.  The Department also took over responsibility for Sunday trading and British summertime from the Home Office.

2002 Responsibility for the Women and Equality Unit was transferred from the Cabinet Office.

2004 Responsibility for the Shareholder Executive was transferred from the Cabinet Office.

2005 Following the May General Election the DTI's name was changed to the Department for Productivity, Energy and Industry. But within a week the old name had been reinstated.

2006 In May, following a ministerial reshuffle, responsibility for the Women and Equality Unit and the Women's National Commission were transferred to the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG). The DTI's Social Enterprise Unit and the Home Office's Active Communities Directorate were transferred to the Cabinet Office to form a new Office of the Third Sector.

In June 2007 three new departments were formed from the DTI, DFES and the Better Regulation Executive.  The work of the Office of Science and Innovation was moved to the new Department of Innovation, Universities and Skills.  The rest of DTI and the Better Regulation Executive (BRE) from the Cabinet Office became the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform with John Hutton as its first Secretary of State. The Regional Economic Performance Unit also transferred into BERR from the Department for Communities & Local Government (DCLG).

Previous