HC Deb 15 June 1981 vol 6 cc722-3
12. Mr. Hooson

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what progress has been made in developing the enterprise zone concept in Wales; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Nicholas Edwards

The Lower Swansea Valley enterprise zone designation order came into effect on Thursday 11 June—the first zone to be established in the United Kingdom.

Mr. Hooson

I congratulate my right hon. Friend on Wales being the first base for one of the new enterprise zones. How many inquiries have been received from businesses that are interested in establishing themselves in the zone?

Mr. Edwards

Congratulations should go also to the local authority concerned, which has given its wholehearted backing to the project. I am glad to say that 38 firms have agreed terms with Swansea so far and that nearly 300 inquiries have been received.

Mr. Anderson

When the right hon. Gentleman comes to monitor the success or otherwise of the zone, will he consider not only the number of jobs created within the zone, but the effect on the immediate hinterland.

Mr. Edwards

Of course I shall. I have always said that it is an experimental scheme. I shall have to see exactly how it operates in practice. I think that the Swansea authority shares my confidence that the zone will benefit the area.

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