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Ebbw Vale

Volume 888: debated on Monday 10 March 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if he will make a statement about the amount of money that could be made available from the EEC to retrain and re-establish in local jobs the men due to be made redundant by the closure of the Ebbw Vale steelworks.

In accordance with the terms of the Agreement concluded in 1973 between the United Kingdom Government and the Commission of the European Communities, the Commission is prepared to refund to the United Kingdom up to half the cost of providing the special tide-over, retraining and resettlement allowances payable to certain redundant United Kingdom steelworkers under the Government's Iron and Steel Employees Readaptation Benefits Scheme (SI 1974 No. 908). The Government will shortly be making a formal application to

1st July to 31st December 19731st July to 31st December 1974
RegionApprovalsArea ('000 sq.ft.)ApprovalsArea ('000 sq.ft.')
North2*1*
Yorkshire and Humberside1034,0831668,776
East Midlands812,8521193,462
East Anglia632,181621,774
South-East3918,58041514,137
South-West611,908612,150
West Midlands1093,3251395,990
North-West884,3681577,509
Wales8250221,654
Scotland1*11*
Notes:
(a)IDCs are not required in the development areas and special development areas.
(b)Figures for Scotland and Wales are not strictly comparable as between 1973 and 1974 due to the granting of development area status to the Cardiff and Edinburgh areas in August 1974 and their subsequent exclusion from the control.
(c)The figures relate to all schemes including buildings converted to industrial use.
(d)On 1st September 1974 the exemption limit below which IDCs are not usually required was towered from 10,000 sq. ft. to 5,000 sq. ft. in South-East England and from 15,000 sq. ft. to 10,000 sq. ft. in the rest of England outside the intermediate areas.
(e)Not shown in order to avoid disclosure of information given in confidence

the Commission for ECSC readaptation aid for workers who lose their jobs at Ebbw Vale, and we have every confidence that the closure will satisfy the agreed criteria for Community assistance.

Additionally, the Commission has agreed in principle to contribute towards the costs of providing approved training courses in new skills for steelworkers made redundant as the result of qualifying closures, on the same scale as the United Kingdom Government contribution, i.e. from one-third to one-half of the total cost for each approved scheme. One such scheme in respect of Ebbw Vale is already before the Commission.

It is not possible at this stage to quantify the total assistance which will be available.