§ Mr. Kaufman
The scheme of financial assistance which my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced on 5th August provides £25 million for the modernisation of the ferrous foundry industry, and is intended to encourage companies already engaged in iron and steel foundry operations to (a) invest in new productive equipment and buildings; (b) improve working conditions and general operating environment; (c) develop the most efficient production and commercial practices; (d) attract and retain skilled labour and other qualified manpower in the industry.
Companies eligible to apply for financial assistance are iron founders who are liable to pay the levy under the Iron and Steel Castings Industry (Scientific Research Levy) Order 1971 SI No. 253 and companies engaged in steel castings production. The scheme does not apply to the provision of facilities for the production of precision cast components using the techniques known as "investment casting" and "die-casting".376W
Assistance, which is selective, will be given for specific projects approved by the Department, and falls into these categories:
Category 1 Investment in new plant and equipment, with a minimum project cost of £25,000.
Category 2 Investment in new buildings of extensions to existing buildings, with a minimum project cost of £50,000.
Category 3 Projects involving more comprehensive expenditure, and possibly involving more than one company, with a minimum cost of £50,000.
Assistance under Categories 1 and 2 will consist of grants of 25 per cent. and 15 per cent. respectively of the eligible cost, net of any regional development grant for which the expenditure may qualify. Under Category 3, assistance will consist of a loan or interest relief grant towards eligible costs which are not covered by Categories 1 and 2.
Further details are available from regional offices of the Department of Industry, the Scottish Economic Planning Department, the Industrial Department of the Welsh Office and the Northern Ireland Department of Commerce.