This is a good-quality project, providing support to unemployed people and businesses in Gloucester, and bringing together the public and private sectors to ensure that local communities benefit from regeneration. During the first phase of the Quays development, the project has delivered 236 jobs for local people, 67 per cent. of whom had previously been unemployed or facing redundancy. I was very pleased to see this for myself when I visited the project in October to meet people who have secured jobs thanks both to the investment Government are making and to the tireless work of their excellent local Member of Parliament.
I am grateful to my right hon. Friend, who will be aware that Gloucester Works has contributed to a reduction in unemployment in the city of Gloucester in four of the past six months. The project is worth something like £4 million of investment from the Government, so does he share my concern that that funding would not continue should the Opposition ever come to power?
I share my hon. Friend’s concern, because the funding has come from two organisations about which the Opposition are sceptical—the regional development agency and the European Union. As I have said, the project has delivered 236 jobs that would not be delivered if the Opposition’s policies had their way.