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Aid To Industry

Volume 990: debated on Monday 4 August 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry if, in view of the sharp increase in unemployment in the regions since the spring, he will give urgent extra financial aid to industry in these areas.

The highest rates of regional aid are already available in those areas with the greatest problems, such as Shotton and Wrexham; and, since the Government's regional policy will make such areas relatively more attractive for investment, I do not think that there would be advantage in increasing them and adding to public expenditure.

asked the Secretary of State for Industry what criteria he employs in deciding whether to make funds available to industry.

Different criteria exist for the various forms of selective assistance made available under the Industry Act and the Science and Technology Act. The Department's general approach is that the project and company concerned should be viable, that the bulk of the finance should come from the private sector, and that the assistance offered must be necessary for the project to go ahead on the basis proposed.Certain other forms of assistance, notably regional development grants, are available on a non-selective basis against pre-determined published criteria.