§ Mr. Clapham
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what assessment his Department made of the effect on employment in south Yorkshire of the withdrawal at the end of December 1995 of special aid to small and medium-sized businesses in areas affected by the decline of mining, shipbuilding and textile industries. 
§ Mr. Page
This particular aid which was made under the flexible business support measures scheme was made available by the Government, in mining and shipbuilding areas, through some of the European structural funds programmes during the period 1989–93. These have all been monitored and will be evaluated to assess their impact.
The needs of small and medium-sized businesses in south Yorkshire have been and will continue to be met, and on a larger scale, in the implementation of the successor structural funds programmes. For example, the Yorkshire and Humberside objective 2 area single programming document approved for 1994–96 provides £10.3 million to be used to increase expenditure on DTI measures to help SMEs.