Mr. Alan Williams
I have been asked to reply.
Houghton-le-Spring is in the North-East Special Development Area, and manufacturing firms setting up or expanding there qualify for the highest level of regionally preferential assistance; moreover my Department accords a high priority in the steering of new projects 379W to the area. There are also grants to attract service industry jobs. The whole of the Northern Region is either a special development or a development area; the incentives to industry available include regional development grant, the regional employment premium, selective financial assistance and the provision of Government factories. The region also stands to benefit from the schemes we have introduced to encourage the modernisation and restructuring of specific industries and to bring forward investment in industry generally.