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Regional Assistance

Volume 934: debated on Thursday 30 June 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry why the North-West Industrial Development Association is to receive only £135,000 in 1977–78 compared with the £250,000 promised to the North of England Development Council, when the North-West has a higher number of unemployed.

The grants are allocated to the English regional development associations on the basis of the numbers of unemployed in the development areas in the regions covered by these associations. In May of this year, the figures were 100,822 in the Northern Region and 78,189 in the North-West Region. In deciding the size of the grants, more weight has been given to the Northern Region because of the deep-seated structural unemployment and the particular problems of the industries there.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry (1) why Scotland received £124·4 million of regional expenditure in 1975–76 compared with the £71·3 million received by the North-West, in view of the fact that the unemployment total in the latter is nearly 30,000 greater;(2) why the Northern Development Area received nearly twice as much regional preferential money as the North-West Region, in view of the fact that unemployment in the North-West is almost twice as high as that in the Northern Region.

My Department's regional expenditure on any area depends on its assisted status and on industry's response to the incentives offered.On 9th June this year unemployment, as a percentage of the total number of employees, in the North and in Scotland was higher than in the North-West; the rates were 7·5 per cent. in the North-West; 8·6 per cent. in the North and 8·6 per cent. in Scotland.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the grant paid in each of the last four years to: (a) the North-West Industrial Development Association and (b) the North of England Development Council.

The grants paid to the North-West Industrial Development Association and the North of England Development Council for the years in question were:

NWIDANEDC
1973£20,000£40,000
1974£67,500£100,000
1975£67,500£106,600
1976£67,500£106,600