Previous Section Index Home Page

25 May 2005 : Column 114W—continued

New Businesses (Coventry)

Mr. Jim Cunningham: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many new businesses have been established in Coventry since 1997. [623]

Alun Michael: There were 453,000 business start-ups in England and Wales in 2004 according to Barclays bank's latest survey of business creation includes non-VAT registered firms. This is the highest number since the survey started in 1988.

Barclays data show that there were 1,600 business start-ups in the Coventry local authority area in 2003 and a further 2,200 in 2004. Data for local authorities are not available for before 2003.

DTI figures based solely on VAT registrations for the Coventry local authority area are shown below for 1997 to 2003. Data for 2004 will be available in autumn 2005.
25 May 2005 : Column 115W



Business Start-ups and Closures: VAT Registrations and De-registrations 1994–2003, Small Business Service, available from the Libraries of the House and also at

VAT registrations do not capture all start-up 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 4 million enterprises were registered for VAT at the start of 2003.

Nuclear Industry

Harry Cohen: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry whether British Nuclear Fuels Ltd. is involved in the proposed building of a uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico; whether his Department has been consulted on the project; and if he will make a statement. [470]

Malcolm Wicks: British Nuclear Fuels has a 100 per cent. interest in Westinghouse, the business focus of which is front end nuclear fuel services. Westinghouse has a minority interest of 24.5 per cent. in Louisiana Enrichment Services II partnership (LES). LES is currently going through a licensing application process for the potential construction of a new uranium enrichment facility in New Mexico, based on Urenco's technology. Clearly no construction has yet commenced. Urenco own the remaining controlling interest (75.5 per cent.) in LES. Urenco is one third owned by British Nuclear Fuels with the remaining two thirds being owned by Dutch and German organisations.

Officials have been kept informed regarding this project.

Phoenix Fund

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how much funding from the Phoenix Fund has been invested in (a) sole traders, (b) small business and (c) social enterprises through community development finance initiatives in each year since its inception; and if he will make a statement. [761]

Alun Michael: As at 31 March 2005 community development finance institutions supported by the DTI's Phoenix Fund have made 2,560 loans with a value of £16,826,070. These figures can be broken down as follows:
Number of loansValue of loans (£)

25 May 2005 : Column 116W

As at 31 March 2005 1,572 loans worth £6,873,718.27 have been made to sole traders and 988 loans worth £9,952,351.73 have been made to SMEs and social enterprises. Lending to social enterprises is aggregated within the SME figures and is not available separately. However, a number of CDFIs supported by the Phoenix Fund specifically identify social enterprises as part of their customer base. The in-year breakdown is as follows:
Sole traders
SMEs (inc. social
Number of loansValue of loans (£)Number of loansValue of loans (£)

Mr. Love: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what research the Department commissioned on the levels of interest rates charges by community development finance institutions supported by the Phoenix Fund; and if he will make a statement. [764]

Alun Michael: The Department commissioned GHK Consultants to undertake a wide-ranging evaluation of the first two rounds of Phoenix Fund support for Community Development Finance Institutions (CDFIs). GHK published its findings and recommendations in May 2004.

The evaluation looked at many issues facing CDFIs in the provision of debt finance to enterprises in disadvantaged communities. This included the assessment of risk in relation to loan management. (The GHK report can be down-loaded from the "Research and Statistics" (Improving Access to Finance) section of the SBS website at:

Through the Department's core funding of the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA), the trade association for CDFIs, more recent and specific research has been conducted into CDFI interest rates. A summary of this can be found in this year's "Inside Out", the CDFA's report on the industry for 2004. (Copies available through the CDFA website at:

The CDFA's research concluded that CDFI interest rates vary, generally depending on the market being served, client type, loan size and term. Social enterprise lenders continue to operate with the lowest average rates at 9.22 per cent. static and +3.07 per cent. above base rate. A number of CDFIs targeting for-profit micro-enterprises use static rates with an average of 12.95 per cent., with others using variable rates with points above base rate at an average of +4.23 per cent.
25 May 2005 : Column 117W

CDFIs serve a diverse range of customers unable to access all the finance they need from more conventional sources and their rates reflect the risks and cost bases of the particular circumstances in which they operate.

Yorkshire and the Humber

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what public funds have been made
25 May 2005 : Column 118W
available for economic development in the Yorkshire and the Humber region in each of the last three years from (a) national sources and (b) EU funds. [31]

Alun Michael: Figures are grant only to avoid double counting of match funding as many of the projects used other national funds as match funding.

European funding works on calendar years.
Objective 1 European Regional Development Fund28,610,88866,140,39477,692,767
Objective 1 European Social Fund27,372,60229,370,42832,980,128
Objective 1 European Agricultural Guidance Guarantee Fund1,221,6222,896,2582,020,678
Funding Stream200220032004
Objective 2 European Regional Development Fund20,884,35349,670,19653,432,914
Objective 2 European Social Fund1,647,3679,131,7995,773,713
Objective 3 European Social Fund21,387,99422,560,02427,682,844
URBAN European Regional Development Fund1,533816,4191,660,039

Yorkshire Forward has made available a total of £136.30 million towards economic development in Yorkshire and Humber over the last three years (excluding European funding) Yorkshire Forward works on financial years.
Yorkshire Forward



Sir Gerald Kaufman: To ask the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport when she will reply to the letters from the right hon. Member for Manchester, Gorton with regard to (a) Tarquin Crirst dated 8 March and (b) Ms Gill Wright dated 30 March. [69]

Tessa Jowell: I replied on 19 May 2005 to my right hon. Friend's letter of 30 March and shall reply shortly to his letter of 8 March.

Next Section Index Home Page