HC Deb 06 March 2001 vol 364 cc142-5W
Mr. Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions (1) how many staff are employed by regional development agencies in offices outside the United Kingdom; at which locations; and at what cost; [149505]

(2) which non-UK based regional development agency maintained offices share facilities with (a) each other and (b) other Government agencies or local authority offices. [149506]

Ms Beverley Hughes

[holding answer 26 February 2001]: The table sets out the offices currently maintained by the regional development agencies outside England, with details of how many staff are employed by regional development agencies in offices outside the United Kingdom; where; and at what cost and where facilities are shared with each other and other Government agencies or local authority offices.

The table has been updated since the answer given by my right hon. Friend the Minister for Local Government and Regions on 25 January 2001, Official Report, columns 667–70W. Yorkshire Forward has opened an office in Brussels since the original question was answered. In addition, the information given for North West Development Agency and One NorthEast in the previous answer was not complete and this has been corrected in the table.

RDA/Office location Opened Number of employees Annual cost to RDAs (£) Other comments
Yorkshire Forward
Asia Pacific
Japan 1983 2 full-time 130,000
Brussels February 2001 3 full-time 30,000 Yorkshire Forward contributes to costs. Office is run and staff are employed by Regional Assembly
North West Development Agency
Asia Pacific
Japan Late 1980s 2 part-time 50,000 Also have Marketing Agents since 1993 operating in Taiwan (£20,000)
Europe July 2000 1 full-time 45,000 Co-funded by the Regional Assembly in an office co-habited by Sub Regional Officers (Lancashire, Cheshire, Manchester, Merseyside)
Advantage West Midlands
Brussels November 2000 6 full-time 170,000 The West Midlands in Europe Office is a joint office with the West Midlands Local Government Association, Higher Education, the CBI, NEC Group, Engineering Employers Federation, Chambers of Commerce, Voluntary Sector, Further Education and has close links with Eversheds and PWC The total cost is £500,000 of which the RDA contributes £170,000

One rep in Germany since September 2000, that incurs salary costs only of £80,000.

One part-time rep in Taiwan since April 1998, incurring salary costs only of £40,000

Two part-time agents in Korea since April 1996, incurring salary costs of only £20,000

From January 2001 six month contract for one rep in Australia incurring salary costs of £65,000

East of England Development Agency
Europe Contribute 4 per cent. of total cost of office to East of England European Partnership Office in Brussels. The office is sponsored by local authorities and the seven TECS in the region. EEDA's contribution is £12,000
North America East of England Investment Agency, who carry out inward investment on behalf of EEDA, have a number of strategic alliances overseas, but at negligible cost. There is one part-time marketing agent in the USA at an annual cost of £5,000
East Midlands Development Agency
(Germany) 2 part-time agents 28,000
Asia Pacific 1 part-time agent 50,000
2 part-time agents
South East of England Development Agency
Brussels September 2000 1 full-time1 79,000 Collaborative office with South East Local Authorities and Regional Assembly
South West of England Regional Development Agency
Asia Pacific
Japan 1990 3 full-time 174,0002
North America Also have five staff working from their homes in Sonoma California, Chicago, and Boston The total cost of American and Japanese operations is £565,000 (£391,000 from public and private sector partners)

A condition of funding for 2001–02 will be that ministerial prior approval will be required for any proposal to extend or create new RDA overseas offices involved in inward investment or trade promotion activities.

RDA/Office location Opened Number of employees Annual cost to RDAs (£) Other comments
One North East
Asia Pacific
Japan 1974 2 full-time 200,000
Korea 1990 1 x 0.5 30,000
Taiwan 1989 1 full-time 45,000
Brussels September 1992 43,0003 The Agency makes a financial contribution towards the running costs, including staff costs of the North of England Office in Brussels, which is a partnership for the region
50,0004 The office also receives funding from the North East Regional Assembly
North of England Collaborative Office
North America
(Chicago, Boston5, Atlanta5, West Coast) October2000 15 full-time6 500,000 Joint operations between; One NorthEast, North West Development Agency and Yorkshire Forward Official Launch February 2001 Total cost of the Collaborative Office is £1 million. 50 per cent, of costs come from other public and private sector funding Balance met equally between the three RDAs
Midlands Collaborative US Office
North America
Chicago October 2000 2 full-time 448,0007 Pre-September 2000 EMDA had office in Virginia at annual cost of £90,000
San Diego October 2000 2 full-time reps Joint operation between East and West Midlands
Pittsburgh May 1992 Cost is shared between each RDA
Midlands Collaborative Japanese Office
Asia Pacific
Japan 1997 2 full-time 200,000 As above
1 part-time
London First Centre
Asia Pacific Please note that London First Centre are a private company limited by guarantee, and they carry out inward investment promotion on behalf of London Development Agency.
North America No overseas offices, however do use consultants/agents in selected locations 0.5 of two people in Taiwan since 1998, cost £22,500
0.5 of one person in Korea since 1998, cost £7,500 Two agents in USA since 1996, cost £165,000
1Regional Assembly contributes 50 per cent. to salary of full-time officer.
2 Combined cost of American and Japanese operations.
5 Operations in Boston and Atlanta predate the establishment of the Collaborative Office
6 Projected
7 Includes UK seconded staff costs