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Welsh Development Agency

Volume 127: debated on Friday 12 February 1988

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales (1) what is his estimate of the proceeds accruing to the Welsh Development Agency's property budget for 1988–89; what will be derived from increased rents and the sale of property; and what were the comparable proceeds for 1987–88;(2) what is his estimate of the Welsh Development Agency's budget for

(a) its WlNtech operation, (b) its WlNvest operation and (c) its venture capital programme, in 1988–89; and what the comparable figures were in 1987–88;

(3) whether he will list the objectives and powers of the Welsh Development Agency's urban renewal unit; what is his estimate of the budget for that unit in 1988–89; and what the relationship will be between that unit and his own Department's organisation of urban development grants.

The buoyancy of the property market in Wales allows the Welsh Development Agency to plan for a continued rise in income generated from receipts. In total, the property-related receipts are forecast at £38 million in 1988–89, of which about £18 million and £14 million relate to factory rents and sales respectively. In the current financial year total property-related receipts are currently projected at £30·8 million, of which £14·3 million relate to rents and £11 million to sales.A detailed breakdown of the agency's increased budget for 1988–89 and comparisons with spending in the present financial year will be available when the Supply Estimates are presented to Parliament in March.The Welsh Development Agency's urban renewal unit will be strengthened considerably in 1988–89 in order for it to contribute even more effectively to the development and implementation of my urban policies.

Over the next three years the agency is likely to have up to £75 million available to fund its land reclamation, urban renewal and environmental improvement programmes—about 40 per cent. more than originally planned.

Further information on the role of the urban renewal unit, the measures at its disposal and the links with my Department and other bodies will be available when I announce my proposals for developing the valleys initiative.