HC Deb 25 January 1993 vol 217 c696
4. Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage if he will consider the reintroduction in England of grants under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Key

The section 4 scheme was withdrawn in England in 1989 because of doubts about its effect on overall levels of tourism investment in England, and there is no evidence that the situation has changed. Last November, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced proposals to target the resources that are made available through the English tourist board to the regional tourist boards on those areas where the industry is most in need of support to exploit tourism potential.

Mr. Waterson

In the light of my hon. Friend's answer, I ask him to explain the other measures that he and my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State have in mind to assist the tourism industry in England, and in particular hoteliers and resort towns such as my constituency of Eastbourne.

Mr. Key

Eastbourne is one of this country's premier tourist resorts. Sussex resorts took part in the English tourist board's highly successful resorts initiative in 1992 and Brighton has joined for 1993. The Eastbourne resort prosperity initiative is a prime example of the partnership that we seek to establish throughout the country. Much more than that, it is crucial that this country's tourism industry is acknowledged as one of the most important and prosperous of all our industries, offering massive employment and huge potential for growth over the next decade.