§ Mr. Michael McGuire
asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will give details of the statutory powers he has to deal with areas of high unemployment.
§ Mr. Gregor Mackenzie
Under the Industry Act 1972, as amended by the Industry Act 1975, I am able to make regional development grants and to provide financial assistance for the provision, maintenance or safeguarding of employment in the assisted areas. Section 5 of the Local Employment Act 1972 enables me to acquire land and to build industrial premises in the assisted areas. The industrial development certificate control which operates to the advantage of the assisted areas is exercised under the 721W powers of the Town and Country Planning Act 1971, Sections 66–72.
As part of the new system of planning agreements, Section 21 of the Industry Act 1975 enables me to give certain guarantees relating to the level of financial assistance available to firms under the Industry Act 1972 for identified projects in the assisted areas. Under Section 3 of the Industry Act 1975 I am able to direct the National Enterprise Board to exercise the powers of financial assistance in the assisted areas conferred on me by Section 7 of the Industry Act 1972.