§ 12. Mr. David Borrow (South Ribble)
What actions she is taking to enable regional development agencies to best suit their activities to regional needs. 
§ The Minister for Employment Relations, Industry and the Regions (Alan Johnson)
From 1 April this year, the regional development agencies are getting their funding from the Government as a single budget. This will give them the flexibility to address the regional needs and opportunities that they have identified as key to developing their regional economies.
In return, we have agreed a set of targets with the RDAs. These sit within a common framework, but reflect each region's particular needs and priorities.
§ Mr. Borrow
My hon. Friend will be aware that the north-west of England is the leading aerospace region in the United Kingdom and, indeed, the world. The North West Development Agency is working with the North West Aerospace Alliance, the universities in the area, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce and the Airbus consortium to develop an aerospace innovation centre in the north-west. I have spoken to colleagues in the region, and it is clear that there is frustration at the delay in getting this project 1044 off the ground. I should be grateful if my hon. Friend would look into the matter and see what support his Department can give to the project in the months ahead.
§ Alan Johnson
I am certainly aware of the enormous efforts made by the North West Development Agency to improve aerospace facilities and, indeed, by linking with the universities, to ensure that there is a constant supply of skills for that industry. I was not aware of the point that my hon. Friend makes, and I will undertake to intervene and to find out what is happening.