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Clothing Scheme

Volume 940: debated on Monday 28 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry how many applications have been submitted for support under the clothing scheme; how many have been approved; and what is the total of assistance involved.

By mid-November 482 applications for assistance under the clothing scheme had been received. Of these 287 had been approved for assistance, totalling £3·9 million.

Will my right hon. Friend make greater efforts to make this scheme known to the clothing sector, particularly the smaller firms? Will he tell them that it is possible for them to create a package of schemes over a period of years to meet the minimum investment requirement of this scheme?

I think that my hon. Friend will see from my original answer that we have received a substantial number of applications, although they have been on a relatively small scale. We have made about 5,000 contracts by correspondence with firms. The EDC and the trade associations have publicised the scheme, and I welcome the extra publicity that my hon. Friend wishes to give it. He is correct in saying that we are willing to look at rolling programmes of investment over perhaps two or three years rather than perhaps the original project.