HC Deb 26 June 1986 vol 100 cc262-3W
Mr. Best

asked the Secretary of State for Wales whether he has concluded his review of the central funding arrangements for local enterprise agencies in Wales; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Wyn Roberts

From 1 April 1987, new arrangements will be introduced in Wales for central funding of the core administrative costs of local enterprise agencies. The arrangements will provide for up to £25,000 a year to be made available to individual local enterprise agencies. The level of support for individual LEA's, which will gradually decline over a maximum period of five years, will be dependent on a pound for pound matching contribution from the private sector, and on the submission of an acceptable three year business plan and five-year financial strategy.

The new arrangements will he administered by the Welsh Development Agency and the Development Board of Rural Wales (Mid-Wales Development) which will be acting as the agent of the WDA within its own area. To benefit from these arrangements, an agency will have to be approved by the Welsh Office under the terms of section 48 of the Finance Act 1982. In considering funding, the present level of central support and the presence of other agencies in the locality will also be taken into account.

These new arrangements provide a simpler, clearer and more comprehensible system for channelling support to local enterprise agencies in Wales. This scheme is a key part of the development of a network of local advice and support through partnership between the central agencies, local governmental and the private sector which is essential to the development of a thriving small business sector in Wales. The success of this strategy and the success of LEA's depends crucially on the commitment of the private sector. I sincerly hope that the private sector will find these new arrangements an improvement on what was there before and will be encouraged to step up their support of local enterprise agencies in Wales.

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