§ Mr. Ashley
asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) how many of the schemes listed in his Department's publication "How to make your business grow" provide Government cash; how many provide advice; and what is the number of north Staffordshire businesses that have taken advantage of each category of schemes since May 1979;
(2) what has been the cost in each year since 1979, of the schemes listed in his Department's publication "How to make your business grow"; and what proportion of it has been spent in north Staffordshire.
§ Mr. MacGregor
[pursuant to his reply, 10 May 1983, c. 240]: Of the schemes summarised in the booklet "How to make your business grow", 58 concern financial assistance and 19 relate to advisory services. There are many difficulties in making cost estimates of the sort requested: of definition, of — in some schemes —distinguishing between large and small firm beneficiaries, of deciding how to allocate "costs" in loan guarantee and some taxation measures, of lack of existing information in some cases, and so on.
It is not therefore possible to give figures either of total cost or cost for each year since 1979, nor are figures available on a travel-to-work area basis for either take-up rates or spending under the schemes.
A study which I have commissioned is now under way and I hope that it will be possible eventually to give some estimates and analysis. But the total will not be available on a travel-to-work area basis, though figures for some schemes may be.