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Mr. Evennett: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the number of apprenticeship places that have been lost in (a) the London Borough of Bexley and (b) Greater London as a result of the recession in the last 12 months. 
Kevin Brennan: Data about the total number of apprentices made redundant are not currently held centrally. Arrangements are in place from 1 August 2009 onwards to record the number of apprentices who are made redundant. Working with the Learning and Skills Council (LSC) we have established a matching service to help apprentices at risk of redundancy to find alternative employment and to complete their apprenticeship. More generally, providers and the LSC have procedures to advise and relocate apprentices, in cases where providers or employers fail, to help ensure that they are able to continue in work and complete their apprenticeship. The £140 million package announced by my right hon. Friend the Prime Minister for an additional 35,000 apprenticeship places will help fund new provision in both the public sector and private sector, and will extend the opportunities available to people facing redundancy.
Mr. Prisk: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications for funding have been made to the Aspire fund since its creation; and what proportion of (a) successful and (b) unsuccessful applications made to the fund were from female entrepreneurs. 
Mr. Amess: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills on what dates the Secretary of State met representatives of British Airways since June 2007; what issues were discussed; who attended each meeting; whether a record of each meeting was kept; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. McFadden: The then Secretary of State, my right hon. Friend the Member for Barrow and Furness (Mr. Hutton), met with Willie Walsh (chief executive) and Maria De Cunha (director, Government Affairs), on 19 June 2008; and my noble Friend the Secretary of State met with them on 9 December 2008. They discussed a range of issues facing British Airways and the aviation industry.
Mr. Greg Knight: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what estimate he has made of the likelihood of every home in Britain having access to 2MB broadband by 2012. 
Mr. McFadden: It is the Government's intention that all households will be able to have access to a broadband connection capable of delivering at least 2 Mbps by 2012. The Digital Britain White Paper published on 16 June confirmed the Government's commitment to providing universal broadband access that can deliver at least 2 Mbps to virtually all UK homes and businesses by 2012.
Mr. Hunt: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what steps have been taken by the Government to help implement the Community Broadband Network's proposals for an umbrella body for local and community broadband networks. 
Mr. McFadden [holding answer 11 June 2009]: The Government have held several discussions with the Community Broadband Network (CBN) and set out in the Digital Britain Report, published on 16 June, how they will take forward this action.
Mr. Don Foster: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much funding his Department plans to raise from the private sector before 2012 to fund universal broadband commitment of two megabits per second. 
Government are committing an anticipated £200 million of public funds to deliver the Universal Service Commitment. It is envisaged that the remainder of the costs will be met from the private
sector through in-kind contributions, competitive commercial pricing through tender contract and design, and contributions from other public sector organisations. It is impossible at this stage to determine what the total cost may be. The finer details will be looked at by the proposed Network Design and Procurement Group.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the proportion of households without access to broadband in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point. 
Mr. McFadden: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member.
Miss McIntosh: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) what recent estimate he has made of the number of people living in remote rural areas of (a) the Vale of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England who have access to broadband. 
(2) what proportion of households in rural areas in (a) the Vale of York, (b) North Yorkshire and (c) England have access to (i) a digital subscriber line (DSL) at speeds of at least 512 kBits/s and (ii) cable broadband services of at least 2Mbps. 
Mr. McFadden: The matter raised is the responsibility of the independent regulator, the Office of Communications (Ofcom), which is accountable to Parliament rather than Ministers. Accordingly, I have asked the chief executive of Ofcom to reply directly to the hon. Member. Copies of the chief executive's letter will be placed in the Libraries of the House.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills with reference to paragraph 36 of Building Britain's Future, Cm 7654, which Department will sponsor the proposed new Infrastructure UK advisory body. 
The development of Infrastructure UK will be led by Lord Davies of Abersoch, reporting to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and the First Secretary of State. It will be supported by a joint HM Treasury/Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills secretariat.
Mr. Sanders: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will estimate the cost to businesses of compliance with (a) EU and (b) UK regulations in 2009-10 to date. 
Mr. Weir: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (1) how many applications for the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme have been (a) received and (b) approved; 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Since its launch on 14 January 2009 the Enterprise Finance Guarantee has over £573 million of eligible applications from 5,090 firms that have been granted, are being processed or assessed. 3,697 businesses have been offered loans totalling £364.33 million.
Mr. Cox: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what guidance his Department has issued to lenders consequent upon the extension of the Enterprise Finance Guarantee Scheme to agricultural businesses. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: Revised guidance was incorporated into the web portal used by lenders to determine eligibility and guidance issued to lenders via Capital for Enterprise Ltd (CfEL). Additionally, details are on the BIS website at
Stewart Hosie: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many applications have been made to the Capital for Enterprise Fund; and how many of these have met the eligibility criteria. 
Ms Rosie Winterton: As from 11 June 2009, the Capital for Enterprise Fund has received 459 formal inquiries. From these 169 have been rejected on the basis of ineligibility. 278 of these applications fit broad eligibility criteria subject to further information and are under consideration. 12 of the applications meet all eligibility criteria and offers have been made totalling £12.4 million.
Bob Spink: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what support his Department is providing to small and medium-sized businesses in (a) Essex and (b) Castle Point. 
Regional Business Link service which includes the Train to Gain training brokerage service for businesses. In 2008/09, Business Link interacted with 28,223 businesses in Essex, of which over 1,088 are in Castle Point.
52 Essex businesses have received support for enhanced ICT through EEDA's TakeItOn programme totalling over £144,000 since December 2007.
Over the last 18 months Manufacturing Advisory Service East (MAS-East) has assisted 138 manufacturing businesses in Essex, and completed projects that have generated £2,553,100 estimated GVA.
659 Essex women are signed up to Enterprising Women, EEDA's specialist business support for women entrepreneurs.
Essex businesses have won nine contracts for Olympic opportunities through the CompeteFor programme out of 28 total awards to the region.
In the past year, six Essex businesses have received £95,100 from EEDA's Proof of Concept and Grants for Research and Development funding streams.
Since 2004, over 400 companies in Southend-on-Sea have received business support through the new Southend University Campus.
EEDA is also implementing the 'Solutions for Business' programme to make access to support easier and has recently launched the 'Understanding Finance for Businesses' product.
On 14 January 2009 we launched the Real Help Now for Business measures to support businesses in the current economic climate. These include useful information, advice and tools to help businesses with staff, cash flow and access finance measures, such as:
The £1.3 billion Enterprise Finance Guarantee (EFG) scheme supports bank lending, up to £1 million, to viable small businesses which, due to the current economic downturn, are struggling to secure the finance they need through normal, commercial lending.
EFG data are available at district and county level and as at 24 June, Essex county offered 92 loans with a total value of £8.39 million of which 58 have been drawn with a total value of £5.81 million
In addition to the above there are the unitary authorities of Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. These have an additional 20 loans offered with a value of 1.12million of which 13 loans have been drawn with a total value of £866,000.
Capital for Enterprise Fund (CfEL) announced in PBR 2008 as a £50 million debt for equity fund, this now provides £75 million of equity, made up £50 million of Government funds and an additional £25 million from high street banks. The fund provides equity and quasi-equity of £250,000 to £2 million for companies under the EU SME definition, ie with turnover of up to €50 million, who have viable business models and growth potential in need of long term capital. Risk will be shared equally between government funds and those committed by the banks. Data for the CfEL are only available at regional level at present.
The Working Capital Scheme which (though not available to business to apply for) enables participating lenders to increase the amount of working capital they can make available to businesses with a turnover of up to £500 million.
As part of the Real Help offered to businesses, they could undertake a "Health Check" (an impartial and
objective assessment of business performance to identify; key strengths, prioritising areas for improvement and highlighting business opportunities) either on-line or with a Business Link adviser. Since the end of October 2008, over 57,000 businesses have undertaken a "Health Check" with more than 5,400 benefiting in the East of England.
Mr. Stewart Jackson: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what recent steps his Department has taken to assist (a) small, (b) medium-sized and (c) large businesses in Peterborough constituency. 
In 2008-09, Business Link interacted with 1,684 businesses in Peterborough through its Train to Gain training brokerage service for businesses.
In the past years seven Peterborough companies have received Take ITon grants totalling £25,220. These grants have focused on helping small and medium enterprises to improve use of IT.
Over the last 18 months Manufacturing Advisory Service East (MAS-East) has supported 20 businesses in Peterborough, having worked intensively with three businesses to generate an estimated Gross Value Added of £88,000.
140 Peterborough women are signed up to Enterprising Women, EEDA's specialist support for women entrepreneurs.
So far Peterborough has 150 businesses registered on CompeteFor, a web portal for promoting Olympic opportunities to businesses.
Two projects have been funded through Grant for Business Investment (to support companies in expanding their business through capital investment) with a total contribution of £144,000. This has levered in £823,000 in business investment.
Two projects are currently being funded to help companies increase their research and development (R&D) capability through Grant for Research.
Development (GRAD) with a total contribution of £258,000. This has levered in £742,000 in business investment.
£2.2 million has funded a regional response to redundancy programme which has supported companies across the region and in Peterborough.
EEDA is implementing the 'Solutions for Business' programme to make accessing support easier. A breakfast event will be held at the Peterborough Eco Centre in July with a larger business event organised in conjunction with Opportunity Peterborough for later in the year to target Peterborough businesses. EEDA has also recently launched the Understanding Finance for Businesses product, with the purpose of helping SMEs to be investment ready and signposting to relevant sources of funding.
EEDA funded £750,000 towards the Learning Centre at Perkins in Peterborough, to help create an expanded high-tech, world-class in-industry training facility in R&D, design and production available to local people, businesses, educational establishments and other organisations.
Margaret Moran: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how many employers in (a) England and (b) Luton sought advice on redundancy issues from his Department and its predecessors in (i) the latest period for which figures are available and (ii) the same period 12 months previously. 
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