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Development Initiatives

Volume 204: debated on Tuesday 25 February 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Wales what evaluation he has carried out of the (a) Swansea bay initiative, (b) valleys initiative, (c) information technology initiative, (d) financial services initiative and (e) road to opportunity initiative; and if he will make a statement.

The information is as follows.The valleys initiative launched in 1986 by Mr. Nicholas Edwards, now Lord Crickhowell, was evaluated in 1988 by the department of town planning, UWIST, Cardiff. Progress on the programme for the valleys, launched by my predecessor in 1988, is monitored at six-monthly intervals. Reports are published regularly; the most recent was on 19 February 1992. I will consider the most appropriate form of evaluation when the programme ends in March 1993.The financial services initiative, the Swansea Bay partnership and IT Wales are initiatives organised by local authorities, the private sector and the Welsh Development Agency, which are intended to help promote inward investment. It is primarily for the partners concerned to evaluate progress. Based on information provided by companies at the time of their decision to invest, 151 inward investment projects have been recorded for Wales so far this financial year. These projects promise more than 14,000 new and safeguarded jobs and include eight projects in financial services, 12 in information technology and 19 in Swansea bay.My right hon. Friend the Minister of State, announced on 11 December 1991 his intention to launch a review of the "A55—Road of Opportunity". The review is proceeding.