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Volume 23: debated on Tuesday 4 May 1982

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asked the Secretary of State for Industry whether, in view of the proposed closure of Shildon wagon works, with the loss of 2,500 jobs, he will now reverse his decision to take development area status from Shildon in August, which will seriously reduce the incentives for new industrial development.

The Government are naturally concerned about the effects of the redundancies announced by British Rail at its Shildon works and will watch the position there closely. However, when considering the assisted area status of any one part of the country it is necessary to take account of all the criteria laid down in the Industry Act 1972, and particular announcements of redundancies do not of themselves necessarily warrant revision of an area's status.