HC Deb 15 December 1987 vol 124 c917
15. Mr. Gerald Bowden

To ask the Secretary of State for Employment what contribution the tourist industry is making to reducing unemployment in the inner cities.

Mr. Lee

The tourism industry is making a significant contribution to employment in inner-city areas. More jobs are expected to be created when the tourism potential of inner cities and urban areas is further realised as a result of Government policies, the English Tourist Board's initiatives and investment by the public and private sectors.

Mr. Bowden

Does my hon. Friend agree that not only the English Tourist Board, but local authorities and other agencies have a significant part to play in increasing tourism and encouraging employment? Is he aware of the imaginative initiatives that have been taken by Southwark chamber of commerce to encourage tourism south of the river in the inner London borough of Southwark? Will he confirm that 22 per cent. of the urban development grant is spent on tourist initiatives?

Mr. Lee

Yes, I can confirm that. In fact, about 23 per cent. of total English urban development grants are used on tourism projects. As my hon. Friend has suggested, tourism is very much a partnership industry between Government and the public and private sectors, with local authorities also having a role to play. As far as Southwark is concerned, I am delighted by the progress that is being