§ Lord Inglewood
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they consider that the establishment of an Enterprise Zone at Barrow-in-Furness would be an appropriate response to the economic problems that that area is currently facing.
§ The Earl of Arran
The Government's policy is that enterprise zones are designated only in the most exceptional circumstances. The possibility of a new zone for Furness and West Cumbria has been explored but no commitment has been made to its designation.
The Government are taking an active role in regenerating the region. English Estates have invested heavily in Barrow, and their interest continues. Since last August, companies in Barrow have been able to benefit from grants and initiatives available under Assisted Areas schemes and in January the area was awarded Objective 2 European Funding status. European Commission funds for regeneration have been available under PERIFRA and are now available under the KONVER scheme. In addition, the Government welcome the initiatives taken by Furness Enterprise, the joint public and private development agency.