HC Deb 10 April 2000 vol 348 c36W
Mr. Kemp

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what steps he is taking to attract more business and industry to the North-east. [117941]

Mr. Caborn

A stable economic climate is vital to stimulate development. DTI policies are aimed to create an environment where new investment is attracted, business can thrive and jobs can be created. To achieve that nationally we have:

  • Announced a new Enterprise Grant Scheme for SMEs;
  • Created a £180 million Enterprise Fund to provide both debt and equity finance to UK SMEs with growth potential;
  • Set up the Small Business Service to provide a strong voice for small business at the heart of Government; and
  • Created new Regional Venture Capital Funds to support growing businesses in England.

To bring a more specific regional focus, we established eight regional development agencies. They bring together the regional work of DTI, DfEE and DETR on regeneration, rural development, competitiveness and skills and training. They are the lead bodies in the regions for inward investment activity and supply chain work.

In the North-east, the regional development agency, One NorthEast, have published their Regional Economic Strategy. Their vision is that by 2010, the North-east of England will be a vibrant, self-reliant and outward looking region, with the aspiration, ambition and confidence to unlock the potential of all its people. They are working with all of their regional partners to ensure there are sites, premises and the necessary work skills available to ensure the North-east region remains an attractive location for inward investors.

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