HC Deb 09 January 1974 vol 867 cc4-5W
Mr. Beaney

asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what was (1) the capital expenditure on land and buildings required in order to move Companies House to Cardiff, (2) the cost of putting the existing files on microfiche, (3) the estimated annual cost of the new system with facilities in London and Cardiff, compared with facilities in London alone as at present, and (4) the number of staff likely to be employed in London and Cardiff, given separately, under the new system, and the number currently employed.

Sir G. Howe

The estimated cost of the buildings to house the Companies Registration Office at Cardiff is £3.5 million of which about £1 million had already been spent at 30th November 1973. The estimated value of the land which was already in Crown ownership when it was decided to disperse is £200,000.

My reply to my hon. Friend the Member for Derbyshire, South-East (Mr. Rost) on 14th November stated that the estimated cost of putting the existing files on microfiche was £800,000. This measure has been planned for some time to improve the service to the public, independently of the decision to transfer work to Cardiff.

As stated in the Department's Annual Report "Companies in 1972", the total cost of the facilities at Companies Registration Office in London during 1972 was approximately £1.9 million. This covers cost of staff, common services and accommodation. Comparable figures for the new facilities are not available.

865 staff are currently employed; this is below the complement required for current work and by 1976 the increased demands which will be made on the Companies Registration Office are expected to require a staff of approximately 1,100. Separate figures for Cardiff and London cannot be given until my consultations on the facilities which should remain in London have been completed.