§ Mr. Frank Field
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will report the progress which has been made since last summer with his attempts to use the offices of English Partnership to set up a venture with English Partnerships and VSEL on the Lairds site in Birkenhead. 
§ Sir Paul Beresford
English Partnerships and VSEL have been working closely together on proposals for the redevelopment of the Cammell Laird site. One important objective, the continued use of the northern part of the site for ship repair activity, has been secured following the announcement today of the sale of that part of the site to the newly named Cammell Laird Industries. This follows closely on the decision of Mackie Automotive Systems to establish themselves in one of the existing buildings on the southern part of the site.
VSEL and English Partnerships intend to continue to work together within a broad framework to achieve development of the rest of the site and build on the increased industrial interest that is being shown; they are discussing the form that arrangement might take.