§ 67. Mr. Robert Hicks
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he has taken to ensure that the south-west is benefiting from regional policies; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
My Department has opened satellite offices in Dorset and Wiltshire, in addition to the offices in Avon, Cornwall and Devon, to ensure a greater and more local delivery of DTI services to the business community. In addition, the Department, in conjunction with others, has sought to maximise aid from the European Community to eligible areas in the south-west and continued to provide regional grants to businesses operating in or setting up in the assisted areas. Within Devon and Cornwall we have, with financial support, helped establish a South West Export Federation and in Avon, Devon and Dorset are providing funding for export development advisers. Both those initiatives are designed to increase the volume of exporting by south-west companies. My Department is the largest contributor to the Devon and Cornwall development bureau, supports the activities of English Estates in the south-west and, 313W through my regional office, promotes and supports numerous other initiatives aimed at improving the economic performance of businesses in the south-west.
§ 105. Mr. Livsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what representations he has received on regional policy.