HC Deb 17 June 1964 vol 696 cc1264-5
12. Mr. N. McLean

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what is the total cost of the pulp and paper mill project at Fort William; and what amount is now being advanced by the Government through local authority investment on houses, schools and roads.

Mr. Noble

I am informed that the estimated total cost of the project is of the order of £20 million, including working capital. Identifiable Government expenditure on roads, housing and schools is estimated at about £3 million.

Mr. McLean

In view of the importance of this project to the whole of north and north-west Scotland, will my right hon. Friend make sure that the necessary funds are available from the Government for the development of ancillary services, especially for roads and access to the pulp mill and roads to get the timber out of the forests, since these at present are not adequate for the scale on which this factory will function?

Mr. Noble

Officers from my Department have been keeping in very close touch both with the authorities of the pulp mill and with the local authorities in order, as best they can, to make certain that these and other ancillary services are adequate by the time the mill opens.

Mr. Ross

Would it not be fair to the local authorities which have to provide these services to allow them as cheap a rate of interest as he is making available to the authority building the pulp mill?

Mr. Noble

The local authority in whose area the mill is being built will have very considerably better assets as a result of this project.

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