HC Deb 18 April 1983 vol 41 cc15-6
20. Mr. John Townend

asked the Minister for Trade if he will give the amount of the grants to the tourist industry of Yorkshire and Humberside and Wales in both cases for the last three years.

The Under-Secretary of State for Trade (Mr. lain Sproat)

Grants to the tourist industry in England, Scotland and Wales are made under the Development of Tourism Act 1969. They take the form of grants-in-aid to the British Tourist Authority and the national tourist boards and capital grants for selected tourism projects.

With permission, I shall circulate in the Official Report figures for capital grants paid to tourism projects in Wales and in the Yorkshire and Humberside region. I shall also circulate figures showing grants-in-aid to the English tourist board and the Wales tourist board and the annual subventions made by the English tourist board towards the funding of the non-statutory Yorkshire and Humberside regional tourist board.

Mr. Townend

When the figures are circulated, I am sure that the total expenditure for Wales will be seen to be much greater than for Yorkshire and Humberside. Is my hon. Friend aware that, in terms of size and population, the Yorkshire and Humberside region is comparable with Wales? Is he further aware that, in view of the imbalance, there is a feeling in Yorkshire and Humberside that the area is not receiving a fair share of Government aid? Has my hon. Friend any plans to redress the balance?

Mr. Sproat

My hon. Friend is a great fighter for the Yorkshire and Humberside tourist board. I am aware of the facts that he has put to the House, but he would do well to remember that the Yorkshire and Humberside tourist board also benefits from grants from the English tourist board, in addition to other moneys that it receives.

Sir Anthony Meyer

Is my hon. Friend aware that the Wales tourist board provides good value for money in bringing jobs to the Principality — better value for money than the massive sums expended on propping up jobs in obsolescent industries in Wales?

Mr. Sproat

That may be so, but it is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Wales.

The figures are as follows:

Grants paid to tourism projects under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969
Wales Yorkshire and Humberside
1980–81 1,696 1,182
1981–82 1,911 1,047
1982–83 1,515 1,431

Grants-in-aid made to the Wales tourist board and the English tourist board
Wales tourist board English tourist board
1980–81 2,621 7,307
1981–82 3,172 8,667
1982–83 4,047 10,474
English tourist board subventions to the Yorkshire and Humberside tourist board
1980–81 92
1981–82 106
1982–83 113

Note: The Yorkshire and Humberside tourist board is one of the 12 non-statutory regional tourist boards fostered and partly financed by the English tourist board. The English tourist board's subvention represents about 25 per cent. of its annual income; the remainder is derived from local authorities, commercial members and other sources.

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