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Clydebank Enterprise Zone

Volume 12: debated on Wednesday 11 November 1981

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6.

asked the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will make a statement about progress in the Clydebank enterprise zone, including the number of firms that have established or announced a decision to establish in the zone and the jobs created and in prospect.

Already, over 70 companies with a potential for 860 new jobs have either moved into the zone or have expanded their operations there. This is a most encouraging start, and I am confident that the Government's enterprise zone policy will make a substantial contribution to the regeneration of the area's economy.

I thank my right hon. Friend for that encouraging answer. Can he give any further information about the number of inquiries by companies that may come to the enterprise zone?

The zone has created considerable interest. In August, when the announcement of the zone was put into operation, we had no fewer than 200 inquiries. More than 1,000 companies have now made inquiries about establishment in the zone.

Will any of these new companies or new jobs have transferred from other areas in Scotland? If so, from which areas will they have transferred? Will the Secretary of State tell us whether we shall see enterprising new policies to get back to work the 350,000 Scots whom he has deliberately made redundant?

I recognise that there are fears that some of the firms may come into the zone from other parts of Scotland. A significant number of the firms that have set up at Clydebank are new companies. Firms have relocated from other parts of Strathclyde because their existing premises were no longer suitable. I had hoped that the hon. Gentleman would say that the Government had produced a very good idea and that he wished it success.