§ Mr. Colvin
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what has been the cost to public funds of the launching of the BAe 146 feeder airliner.
§ Mr. Butcher
Between the original launch of the 146 by Hawker Siddeley Aviation in 1973 and the creation of British Aerospace in 1977, the Government contributed some £8 million towards development costs. As a nationalised corporation, British Aerospace funded the 146 project—which was re-launched in 1978—as part of its overall investment programme. This was financed from internal resources, drawings of public dividend capital and loans from the National Loans Fund. The Government's injection of £100 million new equity into British Aerospace at the time of privatisation was designed to provide the company with a capital base appropriate to the future needs and prospects of its major programmes, including the 146.