Letter to the Clerk of the Committee from
Thank you for your letter of 3rd April
2001 to Sir Brian Moffat in connection with the recent report
from your committee on Corus R&D, which I am replying to on
Since publication of your report, the committee will
be aware of the situation facing Corus in the UK, its restructuring
announcement made on 1st February 2001 and its financial
results presented on 15th March 2001. I am enclosing
a copy of those announcements and results together with a copy
of our Annual Report and Accounts*.
The committee will further be aware of the evidence given to Commons
committees on Trade and Industry and Welsh Affairs as well as
to the Economic Development Committee of the National Assembly
Despite continuing difficulties, we have maintained
our original intentions outlined to the committee as regards the
restructuring of R&D, which will make an important contribution
to the future development of the company.
We have carefully considered the points raised in
the committee's report and welcome the support given for the creation
of the UK Technology Centre. Through this, the company will be
able to focus its R&D efforts and create an important platform
for the future.
The company is currently discussing the creation
of this new centre, which it is hoped will be located in South
Yorkshire. These discussions will be completed in the next few
Whilst the loss of jobs from the various existing
R&D centres is regrettable, the company is encouraging key
staff to consider relocation to either South Yorkshire or IJmuiden
in the Netherlands (depending on which will be the lead centre
for a particular activity). It should, however, be appreciated
that, by reducing the number of R&D centres from four to two,
we will be able to eliminate duplication and administration, which
should enable us to redirect R&D resources more efficiently.
During the Select Committee hearing we raised many
issues (for example, tax treatment of R&D, the problem of
low numbers of technical graduates and the poor state of physical
sciences teaching in secondary schools) that affect the attractiveness
of UK as a country in which to do R&D. We welcome the fact
that the report draws these issues to the Government's attention.
We also welcome the Government's consultation on extending the
scope of R&D tax credits to larger companies, to which we
will be responding.
Corporate Relations Director
27 April 2001
* Not printed