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Hotels (Grants)

Volume 973: debated on Wednesday 14 November 1979

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asked the Secretary of State for Trade if he will publish in the Official Report a table showing the numbers of hotels by size which qualified for grant and the amount paid out to each size group; and what conclusions were reached by the programme analysis and review as to the return to the public from the moneys thus provided.

I refer the hon. Member to my reply to his question on 27 July 1979 concerning the amount spent by the Government on the hotel development scheme in England. Information is not readily available for grant assistance given under section 4 of the Development of Tourism Act 1969 on the number of hotels by size and the amount paid out to each size group. At 31 March 1979, however, out of 1,076 projects assisted in the development areas in England since 1971—when the scheme began—380 were serviced accommodation projects. Average assistance for all projects over the whole period was about £12,000, or 30 per cent. of project costs, indicating that most of the assistance benefited small businesses, which form the biggest part of the tourist industry.The benefit to the public comes from the investment geared by the assistance in those areas in greatest economic need and from the jobs thus created. Over £40 million of investment has been induced that might not otherwise have taken place, and some 3,300 jobs provided at a cost of public funds of £3,500 per job.