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Regional Enterprise Grants

Volume 205: debated on Friday 6 March 1992

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To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if he will make a statement about the future of the regional enterprise grants scheme.

On 1 April 1992, subject to European Commission approval, the following changes will be made to regional enterprise grants. There are two types of assistance under this scheme—innovation and investment grants.Regional innovation grants (RIN):

will be extended to Intermediate and EC objective 2 areas not already covered;
firms will be able to apply for more than one innovation grant;
grants will now be available to firms employing under 50 people instead of below 25.
>additional advice will be provided to encourage business planning and the exploitation and marketing of successful projects.

Regional investment grants (RIG) will be subject to a simple additionality test which will require applicants to show that the grant is necessary if the project is to go ahead.

Additional signposting and advice will be provided for both grants to encourage business planning and exploitation and marketing of successful projects.

Regional innovation grants have proved to be cost-effective and an important trigger for new developments. These changes open the doors to many more firms to take up innovation opportunities.