HC Deb 19 February 1997 vol 290 c924
20. Sir David Knox

To ask the President of the Board of Trade what is the value of grants allocated to recipients in England from the European regional development fund since its inception. [15042]

Mr. Greg Knight

Of the £7.1 billion, in 1996 prices, allocated to England for the period up to 1999, £5.3 billion has already been earmarked for recipients.

Sir David Knox

Does my right hon. Friend agree that those are considerable sums? Does he further agree that they play an important part in strengthening the British economy? Are the British people fully aware of the size of those grants and, if not, what steps is he taking to publicise them?

Mr. Knight

May I, first, say to my hon. Friend that when I was in his constituency recently I was impressed by the buoyant mood of business men there. As he knows, his constituency qualifies under the part of the fund for the midlands uplands programme. I welcome the fact that some of that money will go to his constituency.

The availability of those funds is fairly widely publicised, and from time to time we consult local authorities and others to see whether further measures need to be taken.