§ Mr. Ioan Evans
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement about the accelerated projects scheme and its success in achieving its aims.
Mr. Alan Williams
The Accelerated Projects Scheme was introduced to promote significant investment by manufacturing industry otherwise deferred through the adverse economic circumstances of the past two years. It was, therefore, short-term in nature, and in view of the improving outlook for investment in 1977 and 1978 no further applications will be accepted. All those in hand will however be processed and it is expected that further considerable benefits will be derived.
So far, 80 projects have been approved, involving £74 million of selective financial assistance. The total project costs will be some £550 million, with a forecast benefit to the balance of payments of more than £200 million in 1978 and exceeding £350 million per annum in 1980. Even though the creation of new employment was not a prime objective of the scheme, some 8,000 new jobs will result, with many more sustained while new plant and buildings generated by the scheme were undertaken. Accordingly, the impact of the scheme will be felt over a wide range of industries and geographical locations.