HC Deb 06 March 1980 vol 980 cc287-8W
Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade if funds from the European Investment Bank, which are available for assistance to service industries, can be made available for tourism projects.

Mr. Tebbit

Tourism projects meeting the normal criteria are already eligible for direct loan finance from the European Investment Bank.

Mr. Adley

asked the Secretary of State for Trade under what circumstances EEC funds can be made available for tourism projects; if he will list how much has been made available in each of the last five years; and what plans he has to seek to encourage the take-up of further funds.

Mr. Tebbit

The main source of financial assistance from EEC funds for tourism projects, including those concerned with infrastructure, is the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). To be eligible, projects must involve capital expenditure of at least 50,000 European units of account (EUA) —about £33,000—must be located in a national priority area and must be in receipt of funds from public authorities: private sector projects must in addition be economically sound and create or maintain at least 10 jobs. Assistance may also be obtained for tourism projects from the European Coal and Steel Community, the European social fund and the agricultural fund when such projects are part of wider schemes related to the purposes of those funds.

Since 1975 ERDF has approved the following amounts for tourism and tourism infrastructure projects in Great Britain:

1975 Nil
1976 51,337
1977 231,602
1978 2,141,130
1979 6,594,669

We already make full use of EEC funds and will continue to do so.