§ Mr. Franks
To ask the Secretary of State for Employment if he will make a further statement about the sale of the Skills Training Agency.
§ Mr. Eggar
Further to the statement that my right hon. and learned Friend made to the House on 13 February 1990 (Official Report, 13 February 1990, column 141) about the sale of the Skills Training Agency (STA), I can announce that terms of sale have now been agreed with a consortium headed by Mr. Christopher Lakin for the training businesses located at Cumbria (Maryport), East Lanes (Accrington), Ipswich and St. Helens skillcentres.
The offer from Mr. Lakin's consortium was considered against the Government's objectives for the sale, which were placed in the Vote Office on 13 February, and will involve a payment of some £2 million from the Government to the consortium: this reflects the need for restructuring and reforming the training businesses. There will be no loss to the Government from the transaction compared with the alternative of closing these skillcentres. The total number of skillcentres which will be sold is now 51.