§ Shona McIsaac
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what action his Department is taking to attract inward investment into the former South Humberside area. 
§ Mr. Caborn
Promotion of Inward Investment in the regions is undertaken by Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) which were established by this Government in April 1999. My Department funds Yorkshire Forward (the Yorkshire and Humber's RDA) Inward Investment activities to the tune of £1.4 million. The Government and Yorkshire Forward are keen to attract Inward Investment to the former South Humberside area. Yorkshire Forward is actively developing a Sub-Regional Action Plan for the Humber area in conjunction with national and regional partners including the Government Office and DTI's Invest In Britain Bureau. The action plan is scheduled for completion in June 2000.
One of Yorkshire Forward's key objectives is to attract and retain more investment. An important feature of the Humber Sub-Regional Action Plan will be the development of a Humber Trade Zone. This should help exploit the significant advantages of the estuary's deep water ports and provide the foundation for attracting new industry. In addition, the Humber Chemical Forum, with an active DTI contribution, is playing an increasingly important role in helping the development of the chemical industry along the South Bank.
Yorkshire Forward statistics indicate that, since May 1997, there have been 11 Inward Investment projects in the former South Humberside area. These projects are expected to lead to the creation/safeguarding of around 1,000 jobs.