HC Deb 09 February 1981 vol 998 cc269-70W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what financial support he is giving in the West Midlands for the setting up of new industries based on new technology.

Mr. MacGregor

Companies throughout the country including those in the West Midlands, may apply for assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 for major projects which are in the national interest. Capital allowances on industrial buildings, plant and equipment apply in all areas and to all industrial sectors.

Aid for companies involved in the development of new technology is available through a variety of schemes which include the microelectronics industry support programme, the microelectronics applications project and the software products scheme in the microelectronics area. More generally, research and development are supported through the product and process development scheme and the Department of Industry's requirements boards. Information about expenditure on these schemes is not collected on a regional basis and I am, therefore, unable to say what the total financial support in the West Midlands is, nor to give the breakdown of section 8 expenditure in new technology without incurring excessive cost.

The National Research Development Corporation is also concerned to assist firms with new technology products.