HC Deb 16 November 1995 vol 267 cc5-6W
Mr. Clifton-Brown

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will make a statement on the progress made by English Partnerships in promoting inward investment and in its regeneration role more generally. [972]

Mr. Curry

English Partnerships has played a key role in helping to secure a succession of major inward investment projects during the last 12 months, involving Samsung, Sony, Ford-Jaguar and Siemens. These projects alone will attract over £2 billion of investment into the UK economy and create up to 7,000 jobs. In addition, English Partnerships has been instrumental in other smaller inward investment projects throughout England, which have made positive impacts on local economies and communities.

It is now two years since the Government launched English Partnerships as the main focus of land and building regeneration in England. In July, English Partnerships published its 1994–95 annual report, covering its first full financial year of operations. Copies of the report are available in the Library. It records that English Partnerships successfully implemented a £225 million regeneration programme, attracting some £300 million of private investment, potentially creating over 13,000 jobs and reclaiming 4,200 acres of land.

English Partnerships' concern to secure sustainable economic regeneration has been demonstrated through its commitment to major mixed use development schemes to revitalise urban districts such as Hulme in Manchester and Barking Reach, the first major project in the Thames gateway area.

English Partnerships has also demonstrated a strong commitment to voluntary and community organisations, recognising the importance of their contribution to local regeneration. As well as promoting community involvement in major projects, English Partnerships has established a special fund, the community investment fund, to provide capital funding for smaller community-led projects. It is also continuing for a second year its partnership with the Groundwork Trust to promote smaller reclamation projects which improve the local environment.