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Industrial Strategy

Volume 647: debated on Tuesday 16 October 2018

11. What progress he has made through the industrial strategy on ensuring that the UK is the best place to start and grow a business. (907081)

We are making the UK the best place to start and grow a business and a global draw for investors: for example, Green GB Week showcases fantastic opportunities in clean growth for businesses, as put forward in our industrial strategy. We have put in place the building blocks to drive £20 billion of investment into high-growth potential businesses and to support long-term investment across the UK.

I thank the Minister for his answer. Town deals are a welcome part of the industrial strategy. Yesterday, a delegation from Torbay Together met the Minister in the other place to discuss how a town deal for Torbay would make our bay the best place to grow and start a business. What view does the Minister take of how such a deal for Torbay would help to deliver this objective of the industrial strategy?

I am aware of the ambitions in Torbay and I am encouraged to see the high-level commitment from the Torbay Together partnership. I encourage Torbay Together to continue its engagement with the Heart of the South West local enterprise partnership to ensure that the forthcoming local industrial strategy reflects the potential for the local area, and I commend its strategy.

UK shipbuilding is vital to the industrial strategy and our long-term economic success. When he visited Cammell Laird last year, the northern powerhouse Minister—the Under-Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, the hon. Member for Rossendale and Darwen (Jake Berry)—said:

“The future of this yard is absolutely crucial to the future of Birkenhead and Liverpool and I will do all I can to support them.”

Since the decision was made last week to cut more than 290 high-skilled jobs—40% of the entire workforce—the silence from the Government has been deafening. What will the Government do to defend jobs in this vital industry?

The Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, my hon. Friend the Member for Watford (Richard Harrington), met and spoke to Cammell Laird last night. It has finished one contract and a number of other contracts are on the way. It has also received £150 million for projects that it is engaging in and the Minister will be delighted to meet the hon. Gentleman to update him.