§ Mrs. Renée Short
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what new schemes his west midlands regional office is at present considering involving new technology and new products; and what grants have already been made by his Department to help west midlands firms in these areas.
§ Mr. Butcher
The Government have already introduced generally a comprehensive range of schemes to encourage the use of new technology some of them such as the small engineering firms investment scheme being of particular applicability to areas such as the west midlands. The purpose of the Department's initiative in the region is not to introduce new schemes specific to it, but to ensure that firms there take the maximum advantage of what is already available. The criteria of some schemes such as the manufacturing advisory service have been revised in the region to meet the particular needs of firms there. I will write to the hon. Member about the grants which have been made as soon as possible.