HC Deb 02 December 1987 vol 123 cc929-30
21. Mr. Bowis

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what will be the locations of the first mini urban development corporations; and if he will make a statement.

23. Mr Bevan

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment how many mini urban development corporations he proposes to create; and when he will announce the location of the first.

Mr. Trippier

I refer my hon. Friends to the reply given by my right hon. Friend earlier today to my hon. Friend the Member for Beverley (Mr. Cran).

Mr. Bowis

I thank my hon. Friend for that reply. May I express the hope that the announcement will be made soon and that when it comes it will include many parts of the country—not just inner cities but other urban areas? That should be welcomed by local authorities of all political persuasions throughout the country because of the success of the development corporations to date.

Mr. Trippier

There is no harm in saying that we have looked not just at the inner cities but at the inner urban areas catalogued in the 57 programme authorities that are our principal responsibilities at the Department of the Environment. I confirm what I said last week, that the announcement will be made before the end of the year.

Mr. Bevan

When he considers these matters, will my hon. Friend consider the participation, not just of the communities and the people in them, but of the smaller firms and institutions, in a phoenix-style partnerships?

Mr. Trippier

My hon. Friend's point about phoenix-style partnerships is valid. We have been approached with applications for urban regeneration grant and urban development grant and for a number of our other grant regimes. The URG and UDG have acted in a catalytic role to attract private developers to make applications to the Department for those grant regimes. Certainly I have no doubt that the grants will play an effective part in the existing UDCs and in the mini UDCs yet to be announced.