asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assistance has been contributed by the central fund of the European Community towards the regeneration of industry and commerce in the West Midlands county in each year since 1973; and which sectors have chiefly benefited as a result.
I assume that the hon. Lady is referring to assistance from the European regional development fund, for which my Department is responsible. ERDF grants are paid in respect of such projects only if they receive United Kingdom regional aid. Since no part of the West Midlands county became an assisted area until November 1984, there have as yet been no ERDF grants in respect of qualifying industrial projects in the county. Such grants are, of course, retained by the Government as a partial reimbursement of their own aid, as provided for in the ERDF regulation.