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Norman Baker: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will take steps to limit the likely negative effects of the proposed closure of the Parker Pen factory in Newhaven on the local businesses. 
Mr. Lammy [holding answer 21 July 2009]: Support to local businesses and work force to help them manage the impact of the proposed closure of the Parker Pen factory in Newhaven is delivered through a number of regional and local agencies. The range of support mechanisms that is currently available includes all the following.
"South East England Development Agency (SEEDA)" is providing a range of support mechanisms. SEEDA's Investor Development Manager and a broker from the Continuing Employment Support Service (CESS) have been in contact with Parker Pens. An offer of support is being put together for the company to consider. If accepted, there could be a local taskforce involving SEEDA and key partners such as Jobcentre Plus, Business Link, the local council and local recruitment agencies. This would support the work force and possibly also local businesses which form part of the supply chain for Parker Pens, and for whom the closure may have a significant impact.
"East Sussex County Council (ESCC)" has set up a 'Recession Task Force'. This group shares key information and co-ordinates work between different organisations, and provides practical support for ideas from a wide range of sources, including drawing on the Government's 'Real Help Now' programme. The Task Force includes representatives from the district and borough councils, Jobcentre Plus, major employers such as the NHS, local business support bodies such as Business Link and Trading Standards, and representatives from the voluntary and community sector, such as the Citizens Advice Bureau. ESCC has set up a £1 million Recession Fund to help the county through the recession. The funding will be spent on a wide range of initiatives and partnerships aimed at helping firms, families and individuals to fight the credit crunch. Projects include supporting small businesses by offering more support and speeding up the payment of invoices. In November 2008, the Council provided £100,000 to enable Business Link Sussex to offer specialist help to local businesses and grants to the local Credit Unions-community-based savings and loans organisations-to make it easier for people to access loans and protect residents from the loan sharks. Through the Fund a grant of £75,000 has been allocated towards the Newhaven community-based NewCEP Extra project-which will be used, with a focus on Parker Pens, to assist 125 clients with job search, action planning and skills development.
"Business Link (enterprise gateway service)" helps people facing barriers in starting up their own businesses. They offer a four-step programme called Building Business Confidence and a one-to-one mentoring service. They work locally with partner organisations such as Jobcentre Plus, NewCEP and Sussex Downs College, as well as social enterprises in the region, to identify individuals who are interested in self-employment.
"Newhaven's Enterprise Centre" funded by SEEDA at a cost of £4.75 million provides 2,000 sq m of new space. The Centre has been developed by Lewes District
Council in conjunction with specialist managed business centre operators Basepoint plc. It provides 44 units offering a wide range of high quality office space and workshops designed for all sectors of small to medium businesses and to encourage new and micro enterprises.
SEEDA has started a relevant new service in the "South East Women's Business Service". There will be two women's business advisers in Sussex, and they will provide intensive women-friendly business adviser support to women considering enterprise (pre-start) from the Business Link enterprise gateway service's priority groups and areas. For example it will support those who are disadvantaged, from groups under-represented in business or facing barriers to enterprise. They will be offering assistance to vulnerable early-stage, women-owned businesses, assisting self-employed women or women-owned businesses to stabilise and improve their performance.
Contact has been made by "Sussex Downs College (SDC)" with Parker Pens, and employees will be offered support through its 'Response to Redundancy'-funded 'Navigate' programme. SDC is the main further education provider covering the Newhaven area, with a campus in Newhaven at Denton Island Training Centre, and has wide experience of working in the town.
As the Skills Secretary announced on 21 October 2008, in a package of measures responding to the economic downturn, the LSC has £100 million to support workers affected by redundancy. It is making available £50 million from the European Social Fund (ESF) and £50 million through Train to Gain to boost skills interventions for individuals: those under notice of redundancy; those recently made redundant; and those that are unemployed and further from the labour market but could be made ready for work with a skills development support package. The aim of the Redundancy Support Programme is to ensure adults aged 18 and over in these groups are provided with the high-quality training and education support that they need to enable them to continue in, or enter or re-enter employment and contribute positively to the local labour market.
Mrs. Spelman: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the Answer of 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 530W, on regional development agencies: finance, how much each agency spent on regeneration programmes as a percentage of its total expenditure in (a) 2007-08 and (b) 2008-09. 
|RDA expenditure on regeneration programmes as a percentage of its total expenditure|
|(1) The LDA have revised their definition of "regeneration programmes" from the previous answer 25 March 2009, Official Report, column 530W, on Regional Development Agencies.|
Julia Goldsworthy: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what his most recent estimate is of the monetary value of unused land owned by regional development agencies. 
The figure above gives the monetary value of land holdings recorded on each RDA's asset register at 31 March on which there is no activity or other development taking place although in virtually all cases the RDAs are actively negotiating the development or plans for development of these assets. While assets are revalued at least annually by RDAs, the book value may not reflect the actual value of a particular holding therefore these figures should only be considered an estimate.
Robert Neill: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what payments each regional development agency has made to airports in the last 12 months; and for what purposes such payments were made in each case. 
|RDA||Payments to airports (£000)||Purpose|
This was a payment made as part of a £1.6 million Regional Selective Assistance (RSA) grant to London City airport. The grant was a contribution to a wider £39.8 million project to construct additional apron over the north-west corner of the George V Dock, increasing stand space and providing an extra runway link.
This is comprised of: (a) four payments to Newcastle International airport to finance route development support to Copenhagen, Bergen and Krakow, as well as the cost of hiring a meeting room. (b) three payments to Durham Tees Valley airport for route development support to Warsaw as well as gap funding for economic development at the adjacent business park.
Mr. Dai Davies: To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills how much each regional development agency has spent on (a) airport infrastructure and (b) subsidies designed to increase levels of use of airports in each region in each year since 1997. 
Mr. McFadden: The following tables show expenditure by each RDA on airport infrastructure and subsidies designed to increase levels of use of airports in each region since 2003-04. The RDAs retain records of the last seven years. To provide records before this period will incur disproportionate costs.
|RDA Expenditure on airport infrastructure (£000)( 1)|
|(1) Expenditure on airport infrastructure relates to any direct expenditure on airport buildings and equipment and has been invested within the airport's boundaries.|
|Subsidies designed to increase levels of use of airports (£000)( 1)|
|(1) Subsidies designed to increase levels of use of airports relates to any expenditure|
aimed at increasing the use of or uptake of the airport and its facilities.
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