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Volume 450: debated on Thursday 19 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what his priorities are with respect to ensuring a regional balance in investment in modern manufacturing. (95038)

The Government are working with all stakeholders to implement our Manufacturing Strategy so that we maintain and grow a high value added modern manufacturing capacity in all regions.

The DTI, together with the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Treasury, share a public sector agreement which seeks to improve the economic performance of all the regions of England, while in the longer term narrowing the gap in growth rates between the regions.

We employ a range of levers, which include tax incentives, R and D investment, support and advice, grants and loans to support modern manufacturing in the regions.