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Dr. Gibson: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if the Higher Education Funding Council will change the funding formulae to provide Exeter university with more money for undergraduate chemistry provision; 
Dr. Iddon: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills (1) if the Higher Education Funding Council will change the funding formulae to provide Exeter university with more money for undergraduate chemistry provision; 
Dr. Howells: The Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) is about to launch a fundamental review of the teaching funding method in advance of the introduction of variable tuition fees. The review will involve wide consultation with the sector. It will include consideration of the impact of the current funding method on different types of provision, such as undergraduate science, including chemistry.
Mr. Chope: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills when his Department will pay the debt of £200,000 incurred in respect of works at Verwood Trinity Church of England Voluntary Aided First School. 
Mr. Miliband: The additional costs that currently have been met by Dorset county council were not planned within the capital programme for voluntary aided schools. Our current indications are that we cannot meet these unforeseen costs because we expect the available budget to be needed to meet existing agreed commitments, but we will review again the position towards the end of the financial year, when we will have a clearer picture of whether any funding may be available.
Andrew George: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how much public funding has been granted to UK (a) veterinary colleges and (b) training places in each of the last 10 years for which figures are available. 
Dr. Howells [holding answer 30 November 2004]: The actual amounts of recurrent funding paid by the HEFCE (Higher Education Funding Council for England) to the Royal Veterinary College from 199899 to 200405 are set out in the following table.
|Academic year||Total grant|
There are in addition three other higher education institutions in England offering courses in veterinary science. Bristol, Cambridge and Liverpool. Table B following shows the notional amounts of grant paid in total to these institutions.
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|Academic year||Total notional grant|
Mr. Ivan Lewis: This is a matter for the Learning and Skills Council. Mark Haysom, the council's chief executive, will write to my hon. Friend with this information and a copy of his reply will be placed in the Library.
Mrs. Brooke: To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many and what percentage of first time mothers returned to work within (a) four, (b) six, (c) nine and (d) 12 months of the birth of their child in the last year for which figures are available. 
The data source is the DTI/DWP Maternity and Paternity Rights Survey, conducted with mothers who gave birth in January 2001. This was before the extension of statutory ordinary maternity leave (from 18 to 26 weeks, paid), and introduction of statutory additional maternity leave (26 weeks, unpaid), in April 2003. The data are only available as percentages and not as population totals.
Mrs. Iris Robinson: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will designate autism as a distinct neurological condition to be addressed through a specific programme of care, separate from existing mental health and learning disability structures. 
Angela Smith: Policy and services for children and adults with autism are currently being examined under the Review of Mental Health and Learning Disability (N.I.). The Review will recommend how future service delivery should be managed and funded.
Mr. Trimble: To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what grants are available to enable owners of charter boats in Northern Ireland to (a) upgrade their vessels and (b) enhance their facilities for tourists. 
Mr. Gardiner: Government do not currently deliver any programmes aimed specifically at awarding grants to owners of charter boats. However owners of charter boats can avail of grants through a number of other Departmental programmes.
For example, the Northern Ireland Tourist Board operates a Tourism Development Scheme (TDS) which can provide financial support for the development of key tourism amenities, projects and sectors that meet objectives for tourism growth based on priorities detailed in the Strategic Framework for Action 20042007. In particular TDS can consider financial assistance towards additional mooring facilities for boats. Any assistance offered is subject to the proposed project demonstrating its viability, additionality and sustainability as well as completing a satisfactory economic appraisal to assess the need for the project, its strategic context and fit, its benefits to tourism and economic impact.
The Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD) also has a range of projects which have been or are currently being funded through DARD's Rural Development Programme (2001 to 2006). This aims to tackle disadvantage and is designed to produce flexible opportunities for all rural dwellers. Worth approximately £80 million, it brings together elements of several EU programmes and initiatives covering:
In addition support is specifically targeted on farmers and members of farming families within the PEACE II programme. Within this programme, the NRRTI programme has provided support for the enhancement of harbour facilities and the provision of water-based activities on Lough Erne. In addition, within PBSB, the Lough Neagh Strategic Fund (LNSF) supports economic, environmental and social projects which will assist with the development and management of the
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Lough Neagh Wetlands area. A limited fund was set aside specifically for strategic projects on the Lough. Projects wishing to develop water based recreation businesses may apply to the LNSF for support. The INTERREG programme also provides support for the development and enhancement of tourism and associated activities that form part of a cross border development strategy.
As the Rural Development Programme has reached an advanced stage in terms of commitments, any potential applicants would need to ensure that the Programme's measures which are most relevant to their needs are still open for applications.
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