§ Mr. Peter Walker
I informed the House on 28 November 1984 that the financial provision for NCB (Enterprise) Limited would be kept under review. I am delighted to say that such has been the progress of this company that there is a need to double the allocation of funds to it. At a press conference to mark the creation of the first thousand jobs I shall today be making the following announcementIt is only a few months ago that the Coal Board, with the financial support of the Government, created NCB (Enterprise). The objective was simple: to see that new jobs were created in mining areas where colliery closures took place.701WFor decades, under every form of Government, collieries have closed as the stocks of coal that could be economically extracted disappeared. But now for the first time the Coal Board have taken on the responsibility to see that they actively and energetically encourage new industries and new businesses to provide jobs where a pit has had to close.The progress within a very few months has been remarkable. Already financial provision has been made to create over one thousand new jobs.Already more than £1 million is being invested to convert redundant colliery buildings into workshops for new enterprises and new industries. A mass of enquiries has been received. They are currently being processed, and will result in much more money being needed in the coming months.I anticipate that the £10 million originally allocated will be dedicated to job creation programmes over the coming months.I am determined that this progress should continue. It is for this reason I am happy to announce today that, before the first £10 million has been allocated, a further £10 million is being made available.An uneconomic pit with only a short time before its coal stocks are exhausted offers no future for a mining community. New businesses, new enterprises and new opportunities are what these communities require. That is why I have given the highest priority to the creative, exciting and constructive work of NCB (Enterprise). It is my hope that the second £10 million will be well spent and the mining communities can be assured that there will be no lack of financial, practical or political encouragement to the success of the Enterprise company. NCB (Enterprise) has done a marvellous job in a very short period of time, but it is only a beginning and nothing compared with the job that needs to be done and will he done.