HC Deb 26 July 1985 vol 83 c901W
Mr. Hargreaves

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether he will publish a report describing the level of activity in enterprise zones; and whether he will make a statement.

Mr. Kenneth Baker

My Department has today published an information report covering the 23 enterprise zones in Great Britain in autumn 1984. A separate report for Northern Ireland will be published later in the year. A copy of the report has been placed in the Library of the House of Commons.

The report shows that enterprise zones are a success. They restore economic activity to areas that have suffered from decline and decay. In the autumn of 1984, over 2,000 businesses with a total of more than 48,000 jobs were located in the zones in Great Britain. The number of jobs had increased by about 45 per cent. in first round zones since designation in 1981 (excluding Corby, where detailed records of employment at designation are not available) and by 77 per cent. in second round zones since designation (excluding Milford Haven which was not designated until April 1984).

Of course, not all the firms in the zones are new ones: some have moved from elsewhere. Nevertheless, we expect increased economic activity in the zones to benefit the surrounding area generally, generating further activity.

The report provides basic information about zone activity and does not purport to be a comprehensive monitoring exercise. We intend to update the evaluation provided by the consultants, who monitored the first round zones for the initial three years by commissioning a further survey in two to three years' time.

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