HC Deb 11 April 1984 vol 58 cc372-3
6. Mr. Craigen

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland when he is likely to meet the chairman of the Scottish Development Agency to discuss industrial development and environmental improvement in Scotland.

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Scotland (Mr. Allan Stewart)

My right hon. Friend and I are to meet the chairman and board of the agency on 1 June 1984.

Mr. Craigen

Does the Minister agree that, if Glasgow were to be chosen as the location of the 1989 international garden festival, many thousands of jobs could be created in the city and that the prospects for attracting new employment would be greatly enhanced? When the Minister has discussions with the chairman and board of the SDA, will he take up those matters and continue to press the application among his Cabinet colleagues?

Mr. Stewart

I appreciate what the hon. Gentleman says about the importance of the garden festival. A decision will be taken later this year on the possibility of holding a third international garden festival. As the hon. Gentleman says, Glasgow is one of the three sites that are the subject of a feasibility study. I can assure him that, if Glasgow were chosen, the SDA would have a major role.

Mr. McQuarrie

When my hon. Friend meets the chairman of the SDA, will he discuss with him the decision on the feasibility study carried out by the SDA in connection with the town of Fraserburgh, in my constituency, where there is considerable unemployment? It was agreed that a scheme would be brought forward to create employment on a project basis to assist rural areas.

Mr. Stewart

I know that my hon. Friend has a close interest in the Fraserburgh project. We have approved SDA involvement of £0.3 million in that major public-private sector venture. My hon. Friend will appreciate that the details of the venture will be announced by the partners, which include Grampian region and Banff and Buchan district council. It will include a development company, a physical works programme and an enterprise fund. The target for the project will be the creation of more than 650 jobs in Fraserburgh over a three-year period.

Dr. Godman

If it is needed, will the Minister bring to the attention of the SDA the assurance given by Trafalgar House to Ministers at the Department of Trade and Industry that it will co-operate with the Scottish Office and the SDA in developing the land that is superfluous to the requirements of Scott Lithgow?

Mr. Stewart

I shall certainly do so. The SDA is aware of the Trafalgar House statement. As the hon. Gentleman knows, the SDA has been studying the potential for land development in that area.