§ Mr. David Mitchell
[pursuant to his reply, 10 December 1979]: Details of Government assistance are normally confidential and published only with the company's agreement. However, following a recommendation of the Expenditure Committee, it has been our practice since 1974 to publish in "Trade and Industry" details of assistance offered to companies under section 7 of the Industry Act 1972.
In the period 31 November 1974 to 31 November 1979, Meccano Ltd. has been offered two section 7 grants. A grant of £37,000 was offered to the company in June 1975 in respect of an expansion project, of which £19,000 was paid. No further payments were made from this offer due to difficulties with the project. A further grant of £787,500 was offered to the company in March 1978 for a modernisation and job preservation project, of which £210,000 was paid. With the company's agreement, I can also disclose that payments of regional development grant amounting to £708,000 were made to Meccano Ltd. in the period since 1 October 1974 to 1 October 1979. In addition, I understand the company has received temporary employment subsidy amounting to £966,890 in the period 5 March 1977 to 5 August 1978.