HC Deb 12 December 2001 vol 376 cc834-5
Q5. Mr. Eric Joyce (Falkirk, West)

Whether he intends to visit the Falkirk wheel.

The Prime Minister

I have no immediate plans to do so—my apologies. [Interruption.]

Mr. Speaker

Order. I must hear about the Falkirk wheel.

The Prime Minister

I have now found the right place, Mr. Speaker.

I understand that this innovative project in Falkirk will be officially opened next year by Her Majesty the Queen. However, at present I have no immediate plans to visit it.

Mr. Joyce

May I thank my right hon. Friend for his recognition of the project? Does he recognise that the full economic benefit of it will be felt in central Scotland only if the related agencies that are helping British Waterways identify ways of generating real jobs along the canal and at the wheel site over the coming years?

The Prime Minister

As a result of the partnership between the public and private sectors, the millennium link will improve enormously the quality of services in the local area. More than that—my hon. Friend is right—it will bring jobs into the area as well. That is yet another example of how, with some help with money from the public sector or the lottery, plus the involvement of the private sector, we can provide jobs and decent investment for the future.

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