HC Deb 19 November 1996 vol 285 c822
5. Mr. Hendry

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment when he intends to announce which local authorities have been successful in their bids for funding under the pilot capital challenge scheme. [3121]

The Minister for Local Government, Housing and Urban Regeneration (Mr. David Curry)

Before Christmas.

Mr. Hendry

Will my right hon. Friend confirm that one of the key objectives of capital challenge is to assist in the regeneration of some of our historic towns while drawing in investment from the private sector and elsewhere to make that possible? With that in mind, will he give careful consideration to the excellent scheme proposed by High Peak borough council to assist in the regeneration of the historic Georgian and Victorian parts of Buxton to prepare them for the 21st century—a plan which surely deserves success under the excellent capital challenge scheme?

Mr. Curry

I will give careful consideration to that scheme, as I shall all the schemes that have been proposed. My hon. Friend is perfectly right: our intention is to allow local authorities to nominate their own priorities so that the Government choose the authority's priority if it stands up well. My hon. Friend will be interested to know that we have received some 326 bids, and that nearly two thirds of authorities that could bid have done so. He is quite right to say that there is significant leverage. Some £1.5 billion has been bid for, but that money will pull in some £1.2 billion from other public sources and £1.3 billion from the private sector. The scheme is working alongside public and private moneys to help the priorities nominated by local communities.