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3 Apr 2003 : Column 787Wcontinued
Mr. Bercow: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will list the (a) conferences, (b) seminars, (c) workshops, (d) exhibitions and (e) press conferences which have been sponsored by
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her Department and which took place on non-Departmental premises in the last 12 months, broken down by title, purpose, date and cost. 
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what her Department's total spending was on advertising and promotional campaigns between April 2002 and March 2003; and what the cost of each campaign was, broken down by costs relating to (a) television, (b) radio and (c) print media. 
|UK Online for Business||1,100,000||329,211||506,582||947,039||2,882,832|
|SBS Business Link||3,051,141||979,907||1,191,389||697,977||5,920,414|
|National Minimum Wage||||||300,388||17,082||317,470|
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what proportion of UK household energy usage requirements by region were for (a) manufacturing and industry, (b) transport and (c) providing heat, in the last 12 months for which figures are available. 
Mr. Wilson: Total energy consumption by region and final use is not currently available. Data on gas consumption by gas local distribution zone is published in Table 4B of the Digest of United Kingdom Energy Statistics 2002; data on electricity distributed by public electricity suppliers by region is contained in Table 5B of the same publication, with inland deliveries of petroleum by country shown in Table 3.9.
The DTI will continue to develop the work on regional energy consumption and the Energy White Paper "Our energy futurecreating a low carbon economy" says that we will be consulting on arrangements to collect and make available data on the pattern of energy usage in local areas, to enable local authorities and regional bodies to target activity more effectively. This is one of a number of measures to be taken to help local and regional bodies to ensure energy objectives are reflected in regional and local priorities. This will help the DTI to develop a more detailed and consistent system for a regional analysis of some fuels.
Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry (1) if she will make a statement on the role of wood-burning fuel in the Government's renewable energy policy; and what steps the Government is taking to encourage its promotion as an alternative source of heat production; 
Mr. Wilson: The Government recognises that wood-burning fuel has significant potential in the UK. Wood fuel is an eligible source for the Renewable Obligations, which came into force on 1 April 2002, and electricity supplied by generators fired on wood fuel will qualify for Renewable Obligation Certificates in dedicated biomass plant or through co-firing under certain conditions.
A number of programmes have been launched to support and promote bioenergy in the UK, including utilisation of wood fuel. £66 million has been made available by DTI and the National Lottery's New Opportunities Fund to stimulate early deployment of biomass-fired technology for heat, combined heat and power and electricity generation. From this allocation,
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grants worth over £4 million were announced in January to support the establishment of wood-fired heat clusters throughout the UK.
The Woodland Grant Scheme and the Farm Woodland Premium Scheme, co-ordinated by the Forestry Commission in mainland UK and Forest Services in Northern Ireland, provides grants to create and manage woodland, which can help in the production of wood fuel. The Woodland Grant Scheme also supports the establishment of SRC in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
Mr. Watts: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry when the Government will publish its proposals for replacing European structural funds with its own regional funding system; whether the Government will ensure that all Objective 1 and 2 areas receive the same level of funding as they receive under the Objective 1 and 2 programmes; whether all Objective 1 and 2 areas will continue to receive pound for pound matching funding for regeneration programmes; whether the Government's proposals will offer the same seven-year guarantee of funding as that offered by the Commission's proposals; whether the Government will maintain the same level of non-structural regeneration funding to Objective 1 and 2 areas over this period; and whether money will be targeted at Objective 1 and 2 areas whose economic performance is below that of the national average. 
Alan Johnson: The Government set out their proposals for the future of the European Structural Funds post-2006 in "A Modern Regional Policy for the United Kingdom" which was published on 6 March; a parliamentary statement was issued on that day. This paper puts forward a new EU Framework for Devolved Regional Policy, and launches a consultation on the proposition that this should form the basis for a UK negotiating position in the debate in Europe. The consultation period ends on 4 July.
It is not possible at this stage to be precise about the details of how the Framework and funding will operate in individual regions. However, approximately three-quarters of UK regional development funding already comes directly from the UK Government. And, if the Government's proposals for the future of the Structural Funds were accepted, the Government would guarantee that regional spending would be increased so that the nations and regions of the UK receive a level of resources which ensures that they do not lose out from the UK's proposals on Structural Funds reform, for example from the transitional funding they would automatically have received from the application of the eligibility criteria to EU 25 instead of EU15.
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The Government have already introduced three-year multi-annual budgeting to encourage long-term planning. And the Government guarantee on future regional spending would extend over the entire seven-year period of the next EU Financial Perspective. As part of this guarantee, the Government would commit to ensuring that the nations and regions have sufficient resources to continue to be able to promote regional productivity and employment from increased UK Government spending on regional policy, targeted on those areas of high unemployment and low GDP.
Matthew Taylor: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what rate of return will be expected on the trading fund of the Export Credits Guarantee Department; what proportion of guarantees by value she expects it to cover; and if she will make a statement. 
Ms Hewitt: ECGD and HM Treasury are currently working on the policy and objectives, financial and regulatory frameworks and operational details of the ECGD Trading Fund. The aim is to complete this work by the summer recess. There has therefore been no decision yet as to the rate of return that the ECGD Trading Fund will be expected to generate, but the Government's policy remains that ECGD's premium rates will not be increased to pay a return on capital.
The Trading Fund will cover all guarantees issued by ECGD, with the exception of instances where guarantees are issued under Ministerial Instruction, used only rarely in the past. The Government have made a firm commitment that ECGD will continue to support broadly the same amount of business as it does now, but given that the precise volume of ECGD's future business, it is not possible to divide the business in the way the hon. Member has requested.
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