HC Deb 14 February 1983 vol 37 c10
12. Mr. Campbell-Savours

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many industrial location inquiries have been directed to his Department's northern regional office, north-western regional office and the Invest in Britain Bureau, respectively, over the past 12 months.

Mr. Norman Lamont

In 1982 the Department's north-east regional office handled 187 location inquiries, and the north-west 254. Over the same 12-month period, the Invest in Britain Bureau handled some 440 inquiries from foreign-owned companies where there was a likelihood of an eventual investment decision.

Mr. Campbell-Savours

Will the Secretary of State or the Minister carry out the fullest possible investigation into the arrangements for handling industrial locational inquiries originating from the United States of America? Is the Minister aware that the Northern Ireland Office can sift through those applications prior to their being forwarded to the north-west regional office of the Department of Industry or the northern region? That happens because most of our officials in the consulate and embassy in the United States of America are funded out of the Northern Ireland Vote and not the Department of Industry's Vote. Will the Minister make the necessary changes?

Mr. Lamont

I shall look into the hon. Gentleman's point. If he wants to give me further information, no doubt he will.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

From the figures that the Minister gave in his original answer, can he tell us how much development took place as a result of each of the inquiries processed?

Mr. Lamont

All that I can tell the hon. Gentleman is that under section 7, £16 million-worth of assistance has been offered, which is expected to preserve over 4,500 jobs in the north-west and to create nearly another 4,000 jobs. In Cumbria, £1½ million is being spent, which will preserve over 300 jobs and create almost 200 jobs.