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Waterborne Freight Grant

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 26 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what the budget was for, and what payments were made under, the waterborne freight grant in each year since its inception. (188894)

[holding answer 25 February 2008]: Prior to 2007, the Department funded both the waterborne freight grant (resource) and water freight facilities grant (capital) schemes from a budget of between £8-12 million.

In April 2007, the mode neutral sustainable distribution fund (SDF) was created to fund rail and water freight grants and road efficiency schemes. £18.5 million of resource and £7 million of capital funding has been available from the SDF this year.

No waterborne freight grants have been awarded by the Department since the scheme's inception in 2004. This is not due to a lack of available budget but to the fact that potential applicants have difficulty in satisfying constraints imposed by the European Commission when the Government sought State Aids clearance. These require schemes to be viable without grant support within a three-year period.

The Department for Transport is currently reviewing the waterborne freight grant scheme.