HC Deb 03 November 1959 vol 612 cc837-8
16. Mr. Chetwynd

asked the President of the Board of Trade how many Government-financed factories are empty and under-occupied in the North-East Development Area, giving separate figures for Stockton-on-Tees.

Mr. Maudling

Nine factories are empty, of which two are on the North Tees Estate at Stockton. I have no information on the extent to which factories are under-occupied.

Mr. Chetwynd

Is it not a very serious state of affairs that nine factories in a Development Area are empty, that many have been empty for a very long time and that, in spite of the efforts of the trading estates company to get tenants, nothing seems to be done? What steps is the Minister taking to find tenants for these factories?

Mr. Maudling

We are doing all that we can. This shows the difficulty of any policy of this kind under any Administration. However hard we try to find tenants for factories or to get firms to go to the areas, very great practical difficulties will be involved.