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15 Dec 2004 : Column 1129W—continued

UK Trade and Investment

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry which businesses, associations and organisations have been consulted about the changes being discussed by UK Trade and Investment as a result of the 2004 Spending Review. [203896]

Mr. Alexander: Since the results of SR2004 were announced, UK Trade and Investment has been consulting widely with its stakeholders over potential changes to the services it provides. These stakeholders include regional development agencies, devolved Administrations, business members of its advisory panels and also those trade organisations accredited to organise supported overseas trade fairs, sectoral missions and seminar groups.

Mr. Arbuthnot: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what budget UK Trade and Investments has set for funding for exhibitions in 2004; and what the budget for 2005 is expected to be. [203948]

Mr. Alexander: UK Trade and Investment's SESA scheme provides funding for overseas exhibitions, sectoral missions and seminars. The budget for the scheme for the financial year ending 31 March 2005 is £20 million. The budget for the financial year ending 31 March 2006 is £16 million. The exact budget split
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between exhibitions, sectoral missions and seminars is not fixed in advance. Exhibitions normally account for approximately 80 per cent. of the budget.

VAT-registered Businesses (Rhondda)

Chris Bryant: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, how many VAT registered enterprises there are in the constituency of the Rhondda. [204608]

Nigel Griffiths: Barclays data show that there were 1,900 business start-ups in the Rhondda, Cynon and Taff local authority (for which Rhondda is a constituency) and Merthyr Tydfil local authority combined in 2003. There were a further 900 in Rhondda, Cynon and Taff local authority in the first six months of 2004. Business start-up data for local authorities are not available for before 2003.

Barclays Bank's latest survey of business creation includes non-VAT registered firms and shows that there were 465,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in 2003, a 19 per cent. increase on the year before. A further 288,000 business started up in England and Wales in the first six months of 2004. This represents an increase of 23 per cent. on the first six months of 2003.

DTI figures based solely on the stock of businesses registered for VAT show that there were 3,725 businesses registered fro VAT in Rhondda, Cynon and Taff local authority (for which Rhondda is a constituency) at the start of 2004. There were 365 new VAT registrations in Rhondda, Cynon and Taff in 2003 1 .

VAT stocks do not capture all business activity. Businesses are unlikely to be registered if they fall below the compulsory VAT threshold, which has risen in each year since 1997. Only 1.8 million out of four million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2003.

1 Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT registrations and de-registrations 1994/2003, Small Business Service.

Wind Farms

Mr. Ben Chapman: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what assessment she has made of the effects of wind farms on tourism. [201328]

Mr. Mike O'Brien: While my Department has not made any specific assessment of the effects of wind farms on tourism, I am aware of a number of other assessments. From these there is no evidence to suggest that wind farms deter tourists, indeed some wind farms are themselves tourist attractions. For example, the UK's first commercial wind farm in Cornwall received 350,000 visitors in its first eight years of operation. In Swaffham, Norfolk, tourists queue to climb the wind turbine tower to the viewing platform at the top. In Scotland, a Mori poll was undertaken in 2002 regarding wind farms in the Argyll area. 80 per cent. of tourists said they would be interested in visiting a wind farm if it were open to the public with a visitor centre.
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Battle of Trafalgar Commemorations

Mr. David: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what preparations are being made to commemorate the Battle of Trafalgar. [205028]

Estelle Morris: The bicentenary of the Battle of Trafalgar is the inspiration for SeaBritain 2005, a national celebration of Britain's maritime heritage and links with the sea. SeaBritain 2005 is an initiative led by the National Maritime Museum, in partnership with many leading national and regional bodies, including VisitBritain, the Official Nelson Commemorations Committee, the Royal Navy and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

At the heart of SeaBritain 2005 is the Trafalgar Festival, with events throughout summer and autumn 2005 to mark the bicentenary. Highlights will include an International Fleet Review, Son et Lumière and firework display at Spithead in the Solent, an International Drumhead Ceremony on Southsea Common and an International Festival of the Sea at HM Naval Base Portsmouth, recreations of the delivery of Vice-Admiral Collingwood's Trafalgar Dispatch to London and Nelson's waterborne funeral procession from Greenwich to Whitehall, and commemorative tree-plantings for schools in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The climax of the Festival will be the Trafalgar Weekend of 21–23 October, with a commemorative dinner in HMS Victory on 21 October, a musical celebration of the Sea and the Battle of Trafalgar at the
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Royal Albert Hall on 22 October, and on 23 October, the Sea Cadets' parade in Trafalgar Square and services of commemoration at St Paul's Cathedral, where Nelson is buried, and St Nicholas's Church, Great Yarmouth, where he worshipped in 1801 on his return from the Battle of Copenhagen.

The Trafalgar Festival will emphasise the involvement of young people, demonstrating to them the continuing importance of the sea to Britain and the richness of our maritime heritage. SeaBritain 2005 will encourage all to take part in the Festival or to develop their own events under its umbrella, with the aim of leaving a legacy that will stimulate interest in the sea and inland waters. Full details of all events planned as part of SeaBritain 2005, including the Trafalgar Festival, can be found on the SeaBritain website at Details of the Navy Board's Trafalgar 200 events can be found at


Mr. Salmond: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport what percentage of the BBC's budget during the last four financial years came from (a) licence fee, (b) Government funding, (c) income from commercial enterprise and (d) other sources. [203727]

Estelle Morris: According to the BBC's Annual Report and Accounts, the following table shows what percentage of the BBC group's external income came from the licence fee, Government funding, income from commercial enterprises and other sources.
Total: Group external income
(£ million)(10)
Licence fee (percentage)Government funding(11) (percentage)Commercial services (percentage)Other

(10) Includes contribution from Department for Work and Pensions for free television licence fee for over-75s:
2001—£307.7 million, 2002—£350.0 million, 2003—£370.9 million, 2004—£407.8 million
(11) World Service

Creative Partnerships/Culture Online

Mr. George Osborne: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport how many people are employed by (a) Creative Partnerships and (b) Culture Online; what the running cost of each body was in the last year for which figures are available; and if she will make a statement on the future of each body. [203755]

Estelle Morris: The information is set out in the following table.
People currently employedRunning costs 2003–04 (£)
Creative Partnerships1164,521,000
Culture Online(12)11.2778,000

(12) Full-time equivalent (excluding three on maternity leave)

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