To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland what discussions he has had with the Scottish Development Agency about extending the geographical area of the Coatbridge project to cover a larger area in Monklands district; and if he will make a statement.
[holding answer 17 March 1988]: I am pleased to say that agreement has been reached between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners in the Coatbridge project on an extension both to the area of the project to include the rest of Monklands district, and for a further two years from 1 April 1988. The new project will be known as the Monklands project. This does not require the approval of my right hon. and learned Friend. While, therefore, I have kept myself informed about the current discussions between the Scottish Development Agency and its partners about an extension, I have seen no need for separate discussions with the agency, which—as I said in my answer to the hon. Member on 2 1 January—is aware that we regard Lanarkshire as an area which continues to need its special attention.