HC Deb 26 January 1978 vol 942 cc719-20W
Mr. Kilroy-Silk

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what is the total value of investment made by the National Enterprise Board in: (a) the Merseyside Special Development Area since the Board's office was established in Liverpool, and (b) the North-East Special Development Area since the Board's office was established in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Mr. Kaufman

The regional offices of the National Enterprise Board were established in Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne to benefit the North and North-West regions as a whole. In both, the National Enterprise Board has set up regional boards which will have executive powers of their own and bring local knowledge to the National Enterprise Board's major investment decisions. Through these and other measures, the National Enterprise Board is playing its part by bringing its resources to bear on the industrial problems of the regions. Its work is vital to jobs and industry. It is the controlling shareholder in British Leyland. At Leyland the Government have given the go-ahead for a new vehicle assembly hall at a cost of £30 million. It is the majority shareholder in Ferranti, which has four plants in the Manchester area and one at Barrow. The National Enterprise Boards owns and controls Fairey Engineering, employing 1,800 at Stockport, as well as other companies in the North formerly in the Fairey group.

The National Enterprise Board controls the Data Recording Instrument Company at Crewe and has a substantial stake in Twinlock, also at Crewe, and an investment in Francis Shaw Ltd. in Manchester. The NEB also assists these regions through its support for Rolls-Royce which has plants at Barnoldswick and Sunderland. Among the Board's other investments in the North and North-West regions, £100,000 has been invested in a company operating exclusively in the Merseyside SDA and about £680,000 in companies operating exclusively in the North-East SDA.