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Sunderland Trading Estate Factory (Closure)

Volume 526: debated on Tuesday 13 April 1954

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26.

asked the President of the Board of Trade if he will make a statement on the closing down of the paper and board conversion factory on the Pallion Trading Estate, Sunderland.

27.

asked the President of the Board of Trade what action he proposes to take to ensure the full use of the factory on the Pallion Trading Estate, Sunderland, presently occupied by Fordham and Company, which is to be closed at the end of this month.

Fordham and Company announced on 6th April that they intended to close their factory on the Pallion Estate at the end of May. The Board of Trade will, of course, give all the help they can in finding a suitable tenant to take over this factory.

Is the hon. and learned Gentleman aware that the announcement of the closing of this factory whilst the Price factory still remains vacant is causing serious concern in Sunderland? Is he aware that we should like to see some evidence of real energetic action by the President of the Board of Trade?

There are some 300 tenants of factories on the Estates in this area and some closures must be expected from time to time. I appreciate that the hon. Member regrets that, but I am glad to say that the total employment in our north-eastern factories this winter has been higher than during any previous winter.

That might well be so, but is my hon. and learned Friend not aware that there may well be a rather dangerous trend developing at this moment? Will he take even more energetic steps than have been taken up to the moment to ensure that firms that are already on this trading estate are encouraged to stay and the development of those firms is encouraged still more?

As I said in my original answer, the Board of Trade will give all the help that they can in finding a suitable new tenant for this factory.

In view of the disappointing reply, I beg to give notice that I shall endeavour to raise this matter again at the earliest opportunity.