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Welsh Development Agency (Building Programme)

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Wales how many new factory units and how many square feet of factory space have been built by the Welsh Development Agency in the past five years.

Between April 1980 and March 1985 inclusive the Welsh Development Agency completed 928 advance factory units, 11 bespoke factory units and 45 bespoke factory extensions, totalling over 6ยท4 million sq ft.

Does my right hon. Friend think that sufficient factory units have been built to meet future demand ?

A delicate balance has to be found between the need to build factories in special areas where the private sector might not be involved, and the need not to destroy the attractions of building factories for the private sector. The current vacancy rate is about 121/2 per cent., which is not unreasonable at this stage in the programme. The Welsh Development Agency, sensibly, is concentrating on priority areas and on the need for purpose-built factories to meet the needs of particular companies.