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Research and Development

Chris Ruane: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much her Department spent on science research and development in each of the last 25 years; and what the projected budgets are as a result of the spending review. [186137]

Ms Hewitt: The following table sets out science budget expenditure since 1987–88, including projected spend following the 2004 spending review. Responsibility for administration of the science budget transferred from the Cabinet Office to the Department of Trade and Industry in 1995. Figures prior to 1987–88 are not available on a consistent basis.
Science budget (£ million)

(30) Provisional
(31) Plan
The accounting treatment of expenditure has changed over the period. Figures to 2000–01 are on a cash basis. Figures for 2001–02 and 2002–03 are on the RAB stage 1 basis, i.e. including timing adjustments. Figures for 2003–04 onwards are on a full resource budgeting basis, net of depreciation.

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Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to the answer of 30 June 2004, Official Report, column 282W, on research and development, what further assessment she has made, following the publication of the Spending Review 2004, of (a) the effectiveness and (b) future dates of the competition for the Grant for Research and Development. [186141]

Nigel Griffiths: Assessments under the current competition are expected to be concluded in September and I refer the hon. Member to the answer I gave on 30 June.

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry pursuant to her answer of 8 June 2004, Official Report, column 382W, on research and development, how many applicants have received funding; what the total value is of the funding allocated; and how much funding remains to be allocated for the grant for research and development for the current fiscal year. [186162]

Nigel Griffiths: In the first quarter of the current financial year 134 applicants were offered Grants for Research and Development worth £11.5 million. A planned £24.5 million remains to be allocated.

Overall spend on programmes to improve UK innovation performance and accelerate business exploitation of science and technologies is planned to increase from £377 million in 2004–05 to over £387 million in 2005–06.

Sellafield Site Remediation Strategy

Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what funding has been (a) provided and (b) guaranteed to enable the acceleration of previous programmes within the Sellafield Site Remediation Strategy as referred to in the Nuclear Installations Inspectorate's quarterly report for Q1 2004. [186116]

Mr. Timms: The Energy Act 2004 provides for the establishment of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). The NDA will be established in October and become operational in April 2005. The Treasury White Paper dated 12 July on the outcome of the 2004 spending review provided in respect of my Department that the NDA will have an annual budget
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of approximately £2 billion, comprised of central government grant and income from its commercial activities.

The NDA will determine the allocation of funding to its 20 sites—including Sellafield—following discussions with key stakeholders such as the regulators. The NDA will consult on its proposed first annual work plan in the autumn. Acceleration of work will be possible under the proposed contract for Sellafield with the British Nuclear Group, depending on the company's performance.

Small Businesses (Tamworth)

Mr. Jenkins: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what support has been offered to small businesses in Tamworth constituency in each year since 1997. [185835]

Nigel Griffiths: Between 1997 and 2000 support to small businesses in Tamworth was provided by Staffordshire Training and Enterprise Council and subsequently it has been provided by the Business Link Operator for Staffordshire, Staffordshire Business Support Limited.

The total number of businesses advised or helped by Staffordshire Business Support Limited since April 2000 is 1,552. Specific support has included business start-up advice to 118 enterprises with workforce development, Investors in People, international trade, marketing and financial advice also being provided. Of the total enterprises assisted, 111 were female run and 35 were ethnic minority run enterprises.

Within the Tamworth constituency, businesses have been eligible for help from the Small Firms Loan Guarantee Scheme, the SMART Award and the Enterprise Grant Scheme. Since 1997, the SMART Award and its successor, the Research and Development Scheme, awarded grants totalling £480,000 to four enterprises and the Enterprise Grant scheme has enabled a further six enterprises to receive grants totalling £130,350.

Solar PV Major Demonstration Programme

Mrs. Calton: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new companies have been accredited under her Department's Solar PV Major Demonstration Programme since its launch. [185986]

Mr. Timms: 41 different organisations have been accredited so far since the start of the programme, and all retain their accreditation.

Spending Review

Mr. Stephen O'Brien: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will identify the (a) top priority programmes and (b) lower value business support administered by her Department referred to in the 2004 Spending Review, page 141. [185028]

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Ms Hewitt: My Department provides a range of solutions to help business overcome barriers to success and improve productivity. A set of nine broad, cross-sectoral business support products has replaced the previous complex array of schemes.

Significant increases in funding for science and innovation reflect the priority accorded to maximising the potential of the UK's science base and translating this into innovation by business. Five of the nine business support products are specifically designed to help business to succeed through innovation.


Malcolm Bruce: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry if she will make a statement on measures taken by the EU to open up the telecommunications industry across Europe; if she will estimate the impact of such policies on the price of (a) telephone calls and (b) internet access; and if she will estimate (i) the average change in costs per household and (ii) the total value of such changes for each region in the UK as a result of such measures in the last year for which figures are available. [185326]

Mr. Timms: I welcome the measures which opened up the telecommunications industry across Europe, which created opportunities for British companies to contribute in newly liberalised markets across Europe. The impact of these measures on prices is a matter for the Office of Communications (Ofcom) as independent regulator. Accordingly, my officials have asked the Chief Executive of Ofcom to respond directly to the hon. Member on that point. Copies of the Chief Executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.


Mr. Bellingham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what plans her Department has to offer emergency assistance and advice to (a) industry and (b) small businesses in the event of a terrorist attack. [185469]

Ms Hewitt: My Department works closely with those businesses which form part of the critical national infrastructure and for which it has lead responsibility to ensure those businesses are resilient to terrorist attack and have robust business continuity plans in place in response to a range of disruptive challenges.

My Department also works with business more generally to ensure it has access to advice and guidance on preparing for and responding to a terrorist incident, and has established business sector business continuity champions.

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