§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
Figures are not available for the precise areas covered by the business improvement scheme, but figures for the nearest equivalent areas are as follows:
Unemployment at 6 February 1986 Number Per cent/Rate Clwyd 25,549 19.1 Gwent 30,602 18.0 South Glamorgan 27,066 14.4 Bridgend TTWA 9,855 18.3 Neath & Port Talbot TTWA 8,527 16.9 Llanelli TTWA 6,139 19.0 Swansea TTWA 18,429 16.5
Source: Department of Employment.
§ Mr. Best
asked the Secretary of State for Wales what are the areas presently covered by the business improvement services scheme, its rate of success and the total cost to the European regional development fund and his Department; what evaluation of the scheme he intends to make and by when; what criteria he will use in considering an extension of the scheme in geographical area and duration; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Wyn Roberts
The areas covered by the business improvement services scheme are the counties of Clwyd, South Glamorgan, West Glamorgan (including those parts of the travel-to-work area of Port Talbot which are situated in the county of Mid Glamorgan), Gwent and the travel-to-work area of Llanelli in the county of Dyfed.
Up to 31 March 1986 1,176 applications have been received and 750 offers of grants totaling £3.5 million had been made.
The BIS scheme was launched in November 1984 and applications will be accepted up until 31 December 1988. £7.5 million has been allocated of which £5.6 million is from the European regional development fund.
Sufficient projects have now been completed to allow an assessment of the scheme and its benefits. The assessment will continue until the scheme ends. Conclusions reached in the course of the assessment will be used to assist any consideration given to extending the scheme or parts of it.