§ 1. Mr. Bellingham
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether he will assist in the establishment of a local enterprise agency in King's Lynn.
§ The Under-Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (Mr. David Trippier)
Yes, Sir, but the main support for the establishment of an LEA must come from private sector businesses.
§ Mr. Bellingham
I thank my hon. Friend for that encouraging reply. I shall work hard with my local authority and my local chambers of trade and commerce to ensure that the project gets off the ground. It should play an important part in reducing unemployment in north-west Norfolk. Does my hon. Friend believe that local enterprise agencies have a role to play in setting up management funds under the business expansion scheme?
§ Mr. Trippier
I am grateful to my hon. Friend for his kind remarks about local enterprise agencies and what he intends to do in King's Lynn. We launched the first community-based investment fund last Monday and, as I said in the debate on small firms on Friday 4 November, I am anxious that local enterprise agencies should not confine their activities purely to counselling small firms, important though that is. I should like them to act as marriage bureaux, drawing together investors within the community and attracting them to local firms under the business expansion scheme, as well as forging close links with local education colleges, to improve industry education.