HC Deb 21 October 2002 vol 391 cc66-7W
Dr. Cable

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, pursuant to her answer of 14 February 2002,Official Report, column 529W, on Corus, how much of the aid that was announced in May 2001 to provide suport to communities affected by Corus redundancies has been spent in respect of each of the projects listed; and if she will make a statement. [75437]

Alan Johnson

The majority of the £48 million package of regeneration measures for areas in England affected by the closures announced by Corus in May 2001 consisted of major infrastructure projects funded by the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions.

The announcement also indicated that the Government intended to approach the Commission under Article 56 of the ECSC Treaty with a view to introducing an ISERBS type of programme to provide social aid to redundant steelworkers. A scheme involving a one off lump sum payment of £2,480 per individual was implemented. By end of October 2002 £28.6m will have been disbursed to eligible workers.

Infrastructure projects are necessarily slow moving, and little money is spent in the early stages. Progress on the projects is as follows: Durham University Stockton Campus (budget £19.4 million)—Work has started on site reclamation but there is no significant expenditure to date. Phase 2 of the Middlehaven scheme—One NorthEast is planning to spend some £16 million on Phase 2 which includes a contribution to a new junction on the A66 to access the site. Design work on the junction has been started and development of the Phase 2 site, which will involve the private sector, is planned to start in 2003. New Tees crossing and Teesside Light Rapid Transit system feasibility studies (combined budget £500,000)—£300,000 has been spent so far and further work has been commissioned to start in 2003. A66 Longnewton Junction improvements (budget £4.7 million)—the project is included in the Highways Agency programme and work will start in 2003. Projects funded by the UK broadband fund are seeing One North East in the Tees Valley area and Yorkshire Forward in the North Lincolnshire are a spending £500,000 each on supporting these communities. One North East are spending their money on connecting SMEs to broadband services and Yorkshire Forward on connecting business parks. £130,000 has been spent on feasibility so far in the North East. Enterprise Grants in Scunthorpe and some additional wards in Glanford (budget of up to £500,000)—expenditure is dependent on applications from companies wishing to expand. So far 11 applications have been received of which 5 have been approved and offers of grant totalling £149,000 have been made.

The remainder of the package announced in 2001 consisted of an extension of the Job Transition Service to the areas affected by the closures, and is a matter for my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions. Expenditure on the regeneration package for Wales also announced on that day is a matter for the National Assembly for Wales.

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