HC Deb 25 May 2000 vol 350 c596W
Mr. Pike

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action the Government are taking to support manufacturing industry in the north-west; what related discussions he has had in the north-west during the last year; and if he will make a statement. [123527]

Mr. Caborn

Support for manufacturers is listed at Annexe A of the DTI report, "Manufacturing in the Knowledge Driven Economy". This report provides contact details for further information and can be found on the DTI website: www.dti.gov/comp/knowledge.htm.

In addition there are a number of initiatives which will assist in the creation and development of manufacturing companies—Regional Capital Venture Funds; a Phoenix Fund, the UK High Technology Fund and the Innovative High Growth Start Up Initiative which will be open to companies across the whole of the North West. As part of the Government's response to the financing problems of SMEs, we have introduced the new Enterprise Grant scheme. It is proposed that this will cover 64 per cent. of the population in the north-west.

We are also consulting Regional Development Agencies on the potential for the development of Regional Centres for Manufacturing Excellence and Productivity.

Ministers have regular discussions on regional matters. As my hon. Friend is aware, I am due to be in the region on 2 June to meet him and my hon. Friends the Members for Rossendale and Darwen (Janet Anderson) and for Hyndburn (Mr. Pope).

Forward to