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Volume 460: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what targets are set by his Department for regional development agencies (RDAs) to support the Government’s target on regional competitiveness; what assessment he has made of performance by each RDA against these targets; and if he will make a statement. (138753)

[holding answer 22 May 2007]: The RDA tasking framework, introduced in April 2005, comprises a set of 10 output targets: with the RDAs agreeing specific numbers against them. The targets cover employment creation and support, business creation and support, leverage of public and private sector infrastructure investment, brownfield land reclamation/redevelopment, and skills development. The performance of the RDAs against their targets is laid before Parliament every six months. Nationally, as a network, the RDAs have achieved or exceeded their targets every year since a common target framework was introduced in 2002, except in 2002-03 when the employment target was not met, and in 2005-06 when the level 2 skills sub-target was not met.