HC Deb 09 December 1974 vol 883 cc1-2W
20. Mr. Ridley

asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much public money has now been given to the Fisher Bendix plant near Liverpool.

Mr. Heffer

It is not customary to provide information about past assistance, but exceptionally, and with the con- sent of the parties concerned, I can say that grants have totalled £0.48 million, and loans, now repaid, have totalled £3.2 million. As already announced, a grant of up to £3.9 million has been offered to the workers' co-operative on a once-for-all basis.

The detailed information is as follows—

The factory was built in 1960 by the Board of Trade. The first occupants were Fisher and Ludlow Ltd. to which the following assistance was provided under the Local Employment Act:

  1. (a) a loan of £1.8 million, now repaid, covering the cost of purchasing the factory;
  2. (b) a loan of £600,000, now repaid, towards the cost of equipping the factory;
  3. (c) a grant of £150,000 towards the initial expense of setting up in a development area.

A further Local Employment Act loan of £800,000, now repaid, was made in 1969 to Parkinson Cowan Ltd., the parent company of Fisher Bendix, which at that time owned the factory. Investment grants and regional development grants totalling some £190,000 have been paid to successive occupants of the factory.

A grant of up to £3.9 million has been offered to the workers' co-operative. A grant of £137,500 was paid to the Receiver towards losses incurred by him in operating the business as a going concern. The cost of the feasibility study by consultants was £10,500.