HC Deb 15 February 1989 vol 147 cc309-10
13. Mr. Stern

To ask the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster if he has any proposals to further the establishment and development of science parks.

Mr. Forth

Science parks are already well established and growing fast in the United Kingdom. There are now nearly 40, with the likelihood of five more this year. Some help is available in the assisted areas for the development of science parks from Government development agencies.

Mr. Stern

Does my hon. Friend agree that one of the advantages of such parks is the symbiosis they create with existing and new high technology industry in the area? Will my hon. Friend join me in welcoming the establishment of Emersons Green science park just outside Bristol, which will not only benefit existing high technology industry but will draw fresh industry to the area?

Mr. Forth

My hon. Friend is correct. Science parks are a success story of considerable magnitude up and down the country. He is right in welcoming the prospect of a science park near his constituency so that people in the area will be able to enjoy the benefits that have been enjoyed by others already associated with science parks.

Mr. David Shaw

Does my hon. Friend have any information on the number of jobs that have been created directly or indirectly by science parks? Can he compare those figures with the position between 1974 and 1979?

Mr. Forth

It is difficult to give my hon. Friend an exact figure, because the nature of employment in science parks is variable and difficult to define. I will endeavour to give my hon. Friend an accurate figure if he will allow me to write to him. It is evident to everybody that the science park venture has helped to combine education institutions and the world of business to bring us the best hope for growth in employment in the future.

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