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Volume 955: debated on Thursday 3 August 1978

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry what was the total amount of grants, loans and other benefits received by firms in the Blackburn area in respect of (a) its status as an intermediate area, and (b) other Industry Act powers for each of the years 1973 to 1977 inclusive; and how many firms and employees benefited thereby.

The assistance offered under section 7 and 8 of the Industry Act is set out below: details of regional development grants paid to firms in Blackburn are not readily available.come price advantages of competitors arising from much cheaper water and effluent charges in other Common Market countries; what representations he has received; and if he will make a statement.

The report of the Yorkshire Water Authority/Wool Textile Delegation on charges for water and trade effluent treatment is lengthy and complex; it reaches several conclusions from its study of the problem and makes five recommendations. The annual payment of £750,000 to the wool scouring sector is only one of these recommendations. Officials of the two Departments concerned, the Department of Industry and the Department of the Environment, have been considering the report in detail and I hope to be able to make a statement near the end of August. I have received direct representations from the Wool Textile Delegation, the Wool (and Allied) Textile Employers' Council and four individual companies in the scouring sector; the British Wool Confederation have also made their views known.