HC Deb 15 June 1981 vol 6 c722
11. Mr. Delwyn Williams

asked the Secretary of State for Wales what steps the Government have taken to promote tourism in Mid-Wales.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

The Government continue to support the Wales Tourist Board, whose promotional and marketing work fully recognises the potential of Mid-Wales. In addition, the Welsh Office has secured aid from the European regional development fund for tourism infrastructure projects in the area.

Mr. Williams

Is my hon. Friend aware that Mid-Wales is the most beautiful part of the United Kingdom? Does he realise that that statement was a commercial for the holiday season? More seriously, will he accept that grants for the tourist industry can only help the service industry and alleviate such unemployment as exists in the region?

Mr. Roberts

As my hon. Friend knows, I spent part of the weekend in Mid-Wales. Its natural beauty was enhanced by the presence of the Conservative Party conference. Tourism provides much employment in Mid-Wales, and over the past two years the area has received £300,000 in grants under the tourism development scheme, and £200,000 in loans.

Mr. Hudson Davies

As the assistance that the Wales Tourist Board has been able to give to Mid-Wales and to the whole of Wales has been provided under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969, will my hon. Friend give an undertaking that if and when the Government publish their review of regional status and any part of Wales loses its assisted area status he will devise a means whereby the board can continue to give section 4 assistance? Will he ensure that it will not be disqualified from doing so by any reduction in assisted status?

Mr. Roberts

I assure the hon. Gentleman that that issue is under consideration.