HC Deb 05 July 1971 vol 820 cc899-900
3. Mr. H. Boardman

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if, in view of the decline in employment in the textile and coal industries, and the threatened closure of Irlam Steel Works, he will now provide incentives for new industry in the south Lancashire area.

Mr. Anthony Grant

An extension of assisted area status to South Lancashire could not be justified at present.

Mr. Boardman

Whilst I appreciate that there is not much foot-loose industry at the present time, if the eventual closure of this steel works is confirmed, will the Minister act quickly to encourage alternative industry to go in?

Mr. Grant

We have said that we shall keep assisted areas under constant review, and this will obviously be a factor which we shall take into consideration.

Mr. Gardner

Will my hon. Friend keep a vigilant eye on the North-West of Lancashire and do what he can to encourage new industries to any part where present industries are in danger of failing or dying, especially bearing in mind the needs of areas such as Kirkham where the recent closure of a mill has caused serious unemployment?

Mr. Grant

The answer to my hon. and learned Friend is "Yes, Sir", subject, of course, to the overriding needs of areas worse affected.

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