[pursuant to his reply, 26 November 1982, c. 588]: The main assistance measures currently provided by the Department of Industry and therefore available to the manufacturing firms within Greater Manchester are as follows: (a) General support arrangements under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 for assisting large projects;(b) Six schemes offering assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act are as follows:(i) Flexible manufacturing—including robotics—scheme;(ii) Coal firing scheme;(iii) Private sector steel;(iv) Microelectronics industry support programme;(v) Computer aided design and test equipment support;(vi) Small firms loans guarantee scheme.(c) Support for innovation; a general support facility for promoting research and development. Special arrangements within this facility include:(i) Microeletronics application project;(ii) Information technology;(iii) Fibre optics and optoelectronics scheme;(iv) Electronic computer aided design, manufacture and test;(v) Computer aided design and computer aided manufacture;(vi) Software products scheme;(vii) Advisory service for small and medium-sized companies.
In addition, regional support under the Industry Act 1972 is available to firms in the assisted parts of Greater Manchester—the travel-to-work areas of Bolton, Leigh, Rochdale and Wigan. This support covers: