§ Dr. Mawhinney
asked the Minister for Trade how much money in total he has made available to firms in Peterborough in the form of (a) loans and (b) grants since May 1979.
§ Mr. Peter Rees
Companies using the export assistance services which are under the guidance of the British Overseas Trade Board may obtain financial assistance towards the cost of exhibiting at overseas trade fairs, carrying out market research abroad, visiting overseas markets as a member of a trade mission, and—under the market entry guarantee scheme—undertaking properly planned marketing programmes for the development of new export markets. Selective assistance is also available from the overseas project fund towards the pre-contractual expenses of large package or turnkey projects and towards the cost of certain types of feasibility and consultancy studies. Assistance is largely in the form of grants or reductions in costs although under the market entry guarantee scheme there is a premium of 3 per cent. of the funding and recovery in successful cases from a levy on sales receipts, and assistance from the overseas projects fund is repayable on success.
Many thousands of companies have been assisted under these arrangements since May 1979, and the cost of collecting statistics of funding provided to firms in individual cities would not be justified.
No loans or grants have been made to firms in Peterborough by other parts of my Department since May 1979.