HC Deb 29 March 1995 vol 257 c642W
Mr. Hicks

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will state the terms of reference for private sector participation in the European regional development fund objective 2 and 5b schemes. [16729]

Sir Paul Beresford

A broad range of private sector organisations may benefit directly from ERDF grants, providing they are non-profit making and acting in the public interest.

Although ERDF grants have not normally been available to profit-making companies in the past, the Government wish to maximise the private sector contribution to projects attracting ERDF grants, and has put to the European Commission proposals for facilitating this while ensuring that projects are of general economic benefit to the areas concerned, and that ERDF grants do not lead to excessive profits. The Commission's comments are awaited.