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Industrial Development Certificates

Volume 889: debated on Tuesday 8 April 1975

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asked the Minister for Industry in how many cases firms which have been refused an industrial development certificate for the area of their choice have established themselves elsewhere during the last convenient 12 months' period; and how many have abandoned the project or settled out of the United Kingdom.

Information of this kind is not collected on a regular basis. Because firms may take several months, if not years, to consider and implement alternative development proposals, the effects of industrial development certificate refusals cannot be assessed until well after the event. The latest information available comes from a study of over 1,300 refusals in the period 1958–71. This study indicates that 18 per cent. of the developments concerned were eventually located in areas preferred by the Department —e.g., the assisted areas. In 58 per cent. of the cases firms met their requirements in various ways outside the preferred areas—e.g., in existing industrial premises. 15 per cent. of projects were abandoned and less than 1 per cent. were located outside the United Kingdom. The remaining 8 per cent. was made up of cases where the companies were considering alternative developments or where there was insufficient information.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what were the total numbers of applications for industrial development certificates in Scotland in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974; how many were granted in each case; and if he will make a statement on the number of certificates being granted in Scotland compared with the rest of Great Britain.

The number of applications for industrial development certificates for Scotland decided in 1971, 1972, 1973 and 1974 was 155, 108, 15 and 3 respectively. No applications were refused during this period. It is not possible to make any meaningful comparisons on this subject between Scotland and England and Wales because in July 1972 the IDC control ceased to apply in development areas. Thus in Scotland from July 1972 to August 1974 the control operated only in Edinburgh, Leith and Portobello employment exchange areas. After these areas were made into development areas in August 1974 the control ceased to operate anywhere in Scotland.