§ Lord Bruce-Gardyne
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Why 31st January 1984 was set as the cut-off point after which applicants for selective assistance would not be entitled to claim regional development grants at existing locations and rates once these have been withdrawn, and by what legislative authority this date was chosen; whether any time limit will be set for the payment of regional development grants to any company which is a beneficiary of this aspect of the transitional arrangements; what schemes other than that currently under negotiation with the Nissan Company are expected to benefit specifically from this aspect of the transitional arrangements; and whether they intend that the start of the new regional development grant scheme will be deferred until an offer of selective assistance has been made to and accepted by the Nissan Company.
§ Lord Cockfield
The cut-off date of 31st January 1984 was chosen in order to avoid undermining investment by companies already in receipt of an offer of selective assistance based on existing incentives before that date; and, in addition, to enable companies with which the department was having substantive discussions to submit formal applications for selective assistance. Since selective assistance is negotiated on the basis of the minimum necessary to enable a project to go ahead, and since levels of regional development grants are taken into account in determining the minimum necessary, the Government considered it reasonable to complete current negotiations with companies on the basis of existing rates of regional development grants and the existing Assisted Areas map. Legislative authority for the payment of regional development grant at current rates and on the basis of the current Assisted Areas map to projects for which an application for selective assistance had been received by 3Ist January 1984 is being sought in the Co-operative Development Agency and Industrial Development Bill. It is not proposed to set any time limit for the payment of regional development grant to any company which is a beneficiary of this aspect of the transitional arrangements.
In addition to Nissan, a number of other projects will benefit from the transitional arrangements. For reasons of commercial confidentiality it is not the practice to comment in detail on individual applications but details will be published in due course.1097WA
Changes to the legislation on regional development grant will not be delayed to take account of the interests of individual companies.