§ Sir John Biggs-Davison
asked the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will publish in the Official Report the full extent of Government finance made available to, and requested by, the De Lorean Company in Northern Ireland, under Her Majesty's previous, and present, Governments, respectively.
§ Mr. Adam Butler
In August 1978 the company was offered grants of £28.468 million and loans of £6.718 million. In addition, the Northern Ireland Development Agency subscribed £17.757 million for preference shares in De Lorean Motor Cars Ltd. These amounts have now been paid in full with the exception of one claim for approximately £22, 000. Further requests for grant-aid on additional capital expenditure in 1980 and 1981 were refused, but an additional loan of £14 million was made available in September 1980 and bank guarantees, in respect of borrowing of up to £17 million, were provided in February and July 1981. These guarantees were time limited to 31 December 1981.
I announced before Christmas that the Government had agreed in principle to extend the guarantees for a limited period and at a lower level than hitherto, but that the 116W details and conditions had yet to be finalised. I can now report that the guarantees have been replaced by new guarantees for up to £10 million until 31 May 1982 and for £5 million from 1 June to 31 August 1982.
This limited extension of a part of existing guarantees does not of course constitute additional finance for the project. Nevertheless, in view of the need for those continuing guarantees I am arranging for major reviews of Government's overall relationship with the company including representation on the board of directors, the way in which its performance is monitored, and, with the assistance of independent consultants, an assessment of its performance to date and its future prospects.