§ Mr. Arnold
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what categories of financial assistance are now available to manufacturing firms within Gateshead.
§ Mr. MacGregor
[pursuant to his reply, 30 November 1982, c. 156]: Manufacturing firms within Gateshead are eligible for the following forms of regional industrial assistance:
- (a) Regional support under the Industry Act in the form of regional development grants—at 22 per cent.—and selective assistance using powers under section 7 of the Act, including:
- (i) in-plant training scheme;
- (ii) exchange risk guarantee scheme;
- (b) inclusion in the assisted areas factory building programmes of the English Industrial Estates Corporation;
- (c) assistance from the quota section of the European regional development fund;
- (d) loans from the European Investment Bank.
In addition, the following assistance measures are available on a national basis and therefore to manufacturing firms in the area:
- (a) General support arrangements under section 8 of the Industry Act 1972 for assisting large projects;
- (b) Six schemes offering assistance under section 8 of the Industry Act as follows:
- (i) Flexible manufacturing—including robotics—scheme;
- (ii) Coal-firing scheme;
- (iii) Private sector steel;
- (iv) Microelectronics industry support programme;
- (v) Computer aided design and test equipment support;
- (vi) Small firms loans guarantee scheme.
- (c) Support for innovation; a general support facility for promoting research and development. Special arrangements within this facility include:
- (i) Microelectronics application projects;
- (ii) Information technology;
- (iii) Fibre optics and optoelectronics scheme;
- (iv) Electronic computer aided design, manufacture and test;
- (v) Computer aided design and computer aided manufacture;
- (vi) Software products scheme;
- (vii) Advisory service for small and medium-sized companies.