HC Deb 04 November 1980 vol 991 cc528-9W
Mr. Biggs-Davison

asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what change has been made in the scope of the local enterprise development unit.

Mr. Giles Shaw

Under the terms of a new directive issued by the Department of Commerce to the local enterprise development unit on 29 August 1980, LEDUs responsibilities for the promotion of jobs in the service sector have been more clearly defined and amplified. LEDU is now responsible for the promotion in Northern Ireland of long-term job opportunities in all types of small businesses providing goods or services, but normally excluding those engaged in retailing, tourism and transport activities.

In addition, LEDU has been given authority to offer financial assistance towards the maintenance of employment in any small firm with a reasonable prospect of viability. The assistance, which was previously confined to existing LEDU clients, may include aid towards the carrying out of substantial schemes of re-equipment.