HC Deb 30 March 1979 vol 965 cc384-5W
Mr. Wrigglesworth

asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement on the grants to be given to regional promotional organisations in England in the forthcoming financial year.

Mr. Alan Williams

I propose to make substantial increases to the English regional promotional organisations for the year 1979–80. The amounts are still to be finally agreed but will be within the following maxima:

North of England Development Council 365,000
North West Industrial Development Association 265,000
Yorkshire & Humberside Development Association 68,000
Devon and Cornwall Development Bureau 45,000

The maxima quoted will be available provided that agreement is reached with the Department in each case on a number of matters now under discussion with the regional organisations concerned.

I shall be seeking the agreement of the development organisations to the following objectives. In the case of the Northern region, where I have taken fully into account the recommendations of the Labour Party's document "Let's pull together for a better North", we want increased promotional effort designed to attract additional industry to areas hard hit by steel closures and the contraction in shipbuilding.

In the case of the North-West, the whole of the addition to the grant above the figure for 1978–79 is to be devoted to a special campaign intended to attract new industry to the Merseyside special development area. For Yorkshire and Humberside, special attention in an increased promotional campaign is to be given to Hull and Grimsby. In the case of Devon and Cornwall, an additional promotional effort will be mounted, including special attention to the Falmouth special development area.

I wish also to secure in each case a much closer working arrangement than hitherto between the regional promotional organisations and the Department of Industry, both centrally and with the Department's regional offices. One possibility I am exploring with them is the

1974–75 1975–76 1976–77 1977–78 1978–79
Approvals 16 8 12 4 12
Refusals Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Yorkshire and Humberside—
Approvals 157 122 149 139 112
Refusals Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
East Midlands—
Approvals 128 109 166 170 124
Refusals 5 Nil 1 Nil Nil
Approvals 359 276 307 407 382
Refusals 32 8 5 8 5
Approvals 93 61 60 89 82
Refusals 1 3 1 Nil Nil
West Midlands—
Approvals 114 159 169 177 133
Refusals 10 4 Nil Nil Nil
Approvals 160 126 145 148 166
Refusals Nil Nil Nil Nil Nil
Note: IDCs are not required in development areas or special development areas. These include the whole of the Northern region, most of Wales and parts of the South-West, North-West and Yorkshire and Humberside regions.

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