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National Computing Centre

Volume 984: debated on Tuesday 6 May 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry how much money has been given by his Department to the National Computing Centre for each year since it was established; how much money it earned through its activities in each year; and if he will list the latter as a percentage of its total income in any one year.

The figures requested are given in the following table. For the 11 years to 1 April 1977, Government support for the National Computing Centre was provided in the form of a grant-in-aid from the sponsoring Department (Ministry of Technology, Department of Trade and Industry or Department of Industry). Since April 1977, Government funding has been provided in the form of specific contracts from the Department of Industry's computers, systems and electronics requirements board. The figures shown in the table for Government support and for total income exclude the payment to the centre of a building grant totalling £1,568,185 over the five years 1972–77.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what plans he has for the future funding of the National Computing Centre in general and specifically with regard to the international discussions it holds on standards for the computing industry; and if he will make a statement.

Government funding for work at the National Computing Centre, including work on standardisation, will continue to be channelled through contracts from the Department of Industry's Computers, Systems and Electronics Requirements Board. In the financial year 1980–81, the centre is expected to receive a total of £800,000 from the Department, £103,000 of which will be devoted specifically to standardisation. These departmental funds represent some 15 per cent. of the centre's anticipated total income of £5·3 million for 1980–81.I expect this broad pattern to continue, subject to the Requirements Board's approval of the centre's proposals for subsequent years, and subject to the centre's ability to secure work from other customers.