HC Deb 07 December 1988 vol 143 c312
18. Mr. Harris

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster how many applications have so far been received for consultancy projects under the enterprise initiative.

Mr. Forth

My hon. Friend will be pleased to hear that a large and growing number of firms are improving their competitiveness by taking the enterprise initiative. Since January, 15,000 applications have been received for the self-help package of assistance with consultancy projects —2,500 of them in the last six weeks.

Mr. Harris

Does my hon. Friend agree that this scheme has special value for small firms? Can he give any information about the number of applications made by small firms?

Mr. Forth

My hon. Friend is right. The initiative is aimed primarily at small firms. We have been delighted with the take-up. I shall tell my hon. Friend what I probably do not need to tell him: we have already received 288 applications for consultancy projects from Cornwall, and 128 projects have been approved for assisted consultancy. I am sure he will agree that this is encouraging. We hope to see this greater progress maintained.