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Rural Disadvantage

Volume 175: debated on Thursday 28 June 1990

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what amounts of social policy expenditure have been allocated by his Department, and its agencies, to combat rural disadvantage.

Expenditure is not classified in the way implied by the hon. Gentleman's question. However, by way of example, well over £3 million is being spent by the Welsh Development Agency each year to fund its various rural development measures including the allocation of £1 million a year for the next five years for the development of rural initiatives and venture enterprises—DRIVE. This is expected to generate a further £15 million to £20 million of private sector investment. Tai Cymru aims to allocate £25 million towards the provision of housing in rural areas in Wales in this financial year, which should generate around £7·5 million of private finance. In addition the gross budget for the Development Board for Rural Wales is £19·918 million for 1990–91. The formulae used for the allocation of resources to local authorities and to district health authorities both contain certain elements which recognise the particular needs of rural areas.